Great River Energy now has agreements with five wind farms to provide power to help compensate for the planned closure of its massive coal plant in North Dakota by 2023. Maple Grove-based Great River, the state’s second largest electricity producer, this week announced three new wind power purchase agreements, mostly in Minnesota. A fourth was unveiled last month, and a fifth was signed in 2019.
“These projects will produce emission-free energy, lower electric rates and provide a much-needed boost as Minnesota’s economy recovers from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic,” Great River CEO David Saggau said in a press statement.
In May, Great River announced it would close its 1,151-megawatt Coal Creek Station near Underwood, N.D., the company’s primary source of electricity for the past 40 years and one of the Upper Midwest’s largest power plants.
After Coal Creek closes, Great River expects that two-thirds of its electricity will come from wind turbines.
The three projects unveiled this week are the 170-megawatt Dodge County Wind in Dodge and Steele counties; 280-megawatt Three Waters Wind in Jackson County, Minn., and Osceola and Dickinson counties in Iowa; and 150-megawatt Timberwolf Wind in Fillmore County. Last year, Great River signed onto a fourth Minnesota project, the 109-megawatt Buffalo Ridge Wind in Lincoln County.
Florida-based NextEra Energy Resources will develop and own those four wind farms, investing $882 million. Great River, a wholesale electricity cooperative, has signed power purchase agreements of at least 25 years for the four projects.