Great River Energy can provide reliable electricity in the summer due in large part to modern, flexible and efficient power plants at strategic locations throughout Minnesota.
Known as “peaking stations,” these facilities can feed precise amounts of electricity onto the electric grid when electricity needs spike in the winter and summer.
“These plants are able to start in a matter of minutes, thanks to a lot of hard work by our team in the spring,” said Great River Energy Generation Strategy Director Nathan Domyahn. “Every one of our peaking stations underwent critical maintenance so they are in top form for summer.”
When combined with the high availability of wind in the Midwest, natural gas peaking plants provide stability today and flexibility for a future with new technologies and opportunities. They also help Great River Energy manage costs for its 28 member-owner cooperatives.
Great River Energy has approximately 1,400 megawatts (MW) of peaking generation capacity. Approximately 1,200 MW of that capacity is “dual fuel capable,” meaning they can operate on fuel oil at times when natural gas supply is constrained, generally during the winter when natural gas is used to heat many homes.
Investing in fuel security
Great River Energy is currently pursuing the necessary approvals to add dual-fuel capabilities to its Cambridge Peaking Station power plant. Great River Energy projects the plant would operate using fuel oil approximately 24 hours every year — typically during extreme winter weather.