Power Co-Op Shutting Down New Plant 30 Nov 11

A Minnesota energy cooperative recently spent $437 million to build a coal-burning power plant in North Dakota. Now it plans to shut it down. Great River Energy says a combination of factors caused it to reconsider running the plant, about 85 miles west of Fargo. Electrical demand has slowed, prices for power supplied to the grid have declined and a key industrial customer was lost. Executives say that will keep the plant off-line until 2013, or longer. Great River Energy is owned by 28 Minnesota electric cooperatives, including Brown County REA, McLeod Co-Op Power, Redwood Electric and the South Central Electric Association of St. James. The cooperative has reportedly budgeted $30 million next year to maintain the North Dakota plant.