GRE: Economic impact felt throughout county
BY STU MERRY
The twin stacks standing tall on the central North Dakota Prairie near Falkirk have become one of the many trademarks synonymous with McLean County.
Great River Energy’s Coal Creek Station footprint on the landscape is undisputed. It’s economic impact in the county is unquestioned. Where would McLean County be today without Great River Energy?
A recent study, conducted by the University of Minnesota-Duluth, said GRE’s core operations provide a significant economic boost to communities where the electric cooperative operates. That impact is hugely felt in McLean County.
Coal Creek Station has a huge impact on the economy in McLean County as does Stanton Station in Mercer County. "We provide diversification of the local economy that also includes farming, tourism and oil as major industries," said Lyndon Anderson, Dakota Communications supervisor with GRE. "McLean (and Mercer) counties are stronger in the long term because of Great River Energy."
The impact goes beyond having an employee at a plant. "It’s the same with local businesses we work with in the county," Anderson added. "A number of people have jobs in McLean County because of the economic activity that the plants generate."
The study takes into account Coal Creek Station. Approximately 140 employees live in McLean County. Some in the county work at Stanton Station.