coal creek

Great River Energy operates Coal Creek Station between Underwood and Washburn in McLean County.

Nearly one year after the purchase agreement was first announced, the sale of Coal Creek Station and the high voltage direct current (HVDC) transmission system was completed this morning.

Rainbow Energy Center, LLC (Rainbow Energy Center) purchased the 1,151-megawatt (MW) power plant and Nexus Line, LLC (Nexus Line) purchased the high voltage direct current transmission system that extends between central North Dakota and Minnesota. Both assets were previously owned by Great River Energy, a Minnesota not-for-profit electric cooperative.

Rainbow Energy Center and Nexus Line are affiliates of Rainbow Energy Marketing Corporation of Bismarck, North Dakota.

The sale to Rainbow Energy Center was vital to preserving jobs at Coal Creek Station, the Falkirk mine, and many direct support jobs, as well as supporting the regional and state economy.

“Saving jobs and providing certainty to employees at both the plant and the mine has been a top priority for us,” said Rainbow Energy Marketing Corporation President Stacy L. Tschider. “The employees are one of the most valuable assets of all. They have been instrumental in making Coal Creek Station the most efficient coal plant in North Dakota. It’s because of their hard work and their willingness to be innovative means the future of this power plant is very bright.”

“It was important for Great River Energy to have a buyer that understood the importance of maintaining the workforce at Coal Creek Station. We’re thankful Rainbow Energy Marketing has always put employees at the top of their list of priorities,” said Great River Energy Vice President and Chief Transmission Officer Priti Patel. “We are also pleased that our employees will continue to operate the HVDC system for Nexus Line for the next 20 years.”

“We are grateful to Rainbow Energy Center and Great River Energy for working tirelessly to finalize and execute the purchase agreement,” said Carroll Dewing, Vice President of Operations, The North American Coal Corporation. “We are very excited because this transaction means over 650 direct jobs will be preserved, but also that the local communities and region will continue to thrive. It is a great day to celebrate and be thankful for what has been accomplished. Today we celebrate our forty-year relationship with Great River Energy and look forward to a new relationship with Rainbow Energy Center for decades to come.”

As a part of today’s announcement, Rainbow Energy Center hosted a celebration for employees with speeches from several local and statewide elected officials as well as others who helped make this transaction possible. Tschider emphasized to attendees that Rainbow is committed to efforts to successfully implement carbon capture at Coal Creek Station.

“From the beginning, we knew our challenge would be to change the way carbon is handled at coal-fired power plants. To ensure the long-term health and viability of an industry that means so much to so many, we must run towards finding a solution to how we treat carbon. Now that the sale is complete, we turn our full attention towards delivering on our carbon capture objectives so we may extend the life of this power plant and look towards a carbon neutral future,” Tschider said.

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