In an unusual development for America’s declining coal industry, a 1,151-MW North Dakota coal-fired power plant slated for early retirement in 2022 is being snatched up by a wholesale power marketing and trading company for an undisclosed sum.
Rainbow Energy Marketing Corp., a subsidiary of North Dakota-based oil and gas producer United Energy Corp., said its newly formed Rainbow Energy Center LLC will tap into federal 45Q tax credits for carbon capture to reduce emissions from the Coal Creek power plant. The company would also benefit from recently enacted state legislation that created a five-year tax break for operating coal plants and exempted sales taxes for companies that secure carbon in geologic storage.
Great River Energy, the Minnesota-based electric cooperative that has owned and operated the plant since the late 1970s, wanted to close the plant because it was no longer economical. However, a North Dakota official in October 2020 disclosed that several parties were interested in buying Coal Creek and an associated 400-kV line.
Rainbow Energy and Great River on June 30 announced they have reached a deal on the sale of the plant. A separate Rainbow entity, Nexus Line LLC, will acquire the associated high-voltage transmission line.
[ Karin Rives]