Stanton Station retirement frequently asked questions

Why is the Stanton Station Plant being retired?

Great River Energy is closing Stanton Station, located near Stanton, N.D., because the plant is no longer economic to operate due to low energy prices in the regional market. We were faced with making significant improvements at the plant. Those improvements, if made, would have further increased the cost of electricity from Stanton Station and made it even more challenging to recover the costs to operate the plant. Stanton Station will close by May 2017.


What happens after the plant closes?

Great River Energy is developing plans to decommission Stanton Station in a responsible manner that will safeguard the local environment, and assure the safety and security of the local community and our neighbors. When we complete decommissioning, the facility will be retired-in-place pending future decisions on demolition and site redevelopment. Great River Energy will work with the North Dakota Department of Health and other state and federal organizations to ensure that Stanton Station is decommissioned in compliance with all applicable regulatory requirements.


Will this impact the local community’s tax base?

Great River Energy recognizes that the retirement of Stanton Station will affect the local economy. Since we will no longer be paying coal conversion taxes, Great River Energy will make voluntary payments to the county based on the historic average of the local share (15%) of the conversion tax. The payments will be made on a sliding scale over the next five years. We will provide information in a timely manner so that affected parties can prepare for these changes.


What will happen to the employees at the plant?

Great River Energy will work to help the 65 Stanton Station employees through this transition. Whether they find other employment at Great River Energy or leave our organization, Great River Energy is providing resources and services to assist them.


How long has Stanton Station been generating electricity?

Stanton Station’s Unit 1 began generating power in 1966. The plant’s generating capacity is 189 megawatts. The plant has one turbine-generator and began operations with one boiler. A supplemental boiler, Unit 10, was added in 1982. The plant initially used North Dakota lignite coal, but in 2004 began using low-sulfur subbituminous coal from Montana.


What about other North Dakota operations?

Great River Energy remains a committed partner in North Dakota’s energy industry. We own and operate the Coal Creek Station power plant which is northeast of Stanton Station and the Spiritwood Station plant near Jamestown, N.D. We are the majority owner of Midwest AgEnergy Group which owns and operates two ethanol plants and related facilities in North Dakota. Great River Energy also maintains a number of transmission facilities in the state.


How will Great River Energy replace the energy from Stanton Station?

Great River Energy has sufficient power capacity to meet the needs of our member cooperatives. We will meet future demand for energy with conservation, energy efficiency, renewable energy, natural gas and market purchases.