Great River Energy announces Stanton Station closure in 2017
By Daniel Arens
With coal energy at the heart of economic and local government life in Mercer County, the ramifications of the coming retirement of Stanton Station will have large impacts throughout the area.
Great River Energy announced the plans to retire Stanton Station late last week. The plan gives a May 2017 date for the closure. The station is located east of Stanton off North Dakota Highway 200.
“This is due primarily to the market conditions [the plant] has been facing, and would have been into the future,” Lyndon Anderson, communication supervisor at Great River Energy, said.
Primarily, the increase in electricity produced by wind farms into the power grid has decreased demand and prices for electricity produced at the power plant. Anderson stressed that the decision is not due to the Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan, but to economic factors for the company.
“Outlook for prices has really dropped,” Anderson said, adding that Great River Energy has invested time into looking into alternatives to the retirement. However, none of the alternatives produced a situation where revenues would cover the costs of operation.
After the end of March this year, Stanton Station began limiting its electricity output due to the increased supply of electricity and the affordability for the company of operating other plants or purchasing power from the regional market.