Coal Creek’s closing means energy will come at a higher cost

Great River Energy announced today it would be closing the Coal Creek Station, a large power plant in North Dakota, by the second half of 2022, decades before the end of its useful life. The company plans to replace this plant with wind turbines, and electricity purchased from other electricity providers when the wind is not blowing.

In response, Center of the American Experiment policy fellow Isaac Orr released the following statement:

“Great River Energy’s decision to shutter its Coal Creek power plant will have devastating consequences for the families and businesses that depend upon the reliable, affordable electricity generated from this plant.

“Coal Creek is one of the most reliable and efficient plants in the nation. According to S&P Global Market Intelligence, the plant produced energy 91% of the time at a cost of $21 per megawatt hour. Even the most efficient wind facility in North Dakota only produced electricity 49% of the time, according to Berkeley Labs.

“It is not a free market for electricity that is driving reliable coal plants off the grid, it is decades of renewable energy subsidies which have totaled more than $100 billion, according to the Congressional Budget Office. These subsidies allow wind developers to effectively dump electricity into the market at a loss, but still come out with a profit thanks to taxpayers. This isn’t capitalism, it’s government cronyism, plain and simple.”