Great River Energy

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Great River Energy
Type Municipal Cooperative
Headquarters 12300 Elm Creek Blvd.
Osseo, MN 55369
Area served MN
Key people David Saggau, CEO
Industry Electric Producer and Distributor
Products Electricity
Revenue $775.8 million (2007)[1]
Net income $36.5 million (2007)[1]
Employees 768

Great River Energy is the second largest electric company in the U.S. state of Minnesota, behind Xcel Energy. Located in Maple Grove, Minnesota, Great River Energy provides electricity to 28 member cooperatives throughout Minnesota. The company moved to its new headquarters in April 2008, a building which is expected to be certified as LEED Platinum in late 2008.

Power portfolio

Out of its total 2,576 megawatts (MW) of electric generating capacity in 2005 (0.24% of the U.S. total), Great River Energy produces 54.4% from coal, 38.7% from natural gas, 5.4% from oil, and 1.5% from biomass. Great River Energy owns power plants in Minnesota and North Dakota.[2]

Coal lobbying

Great River Energy is a member of the American Coal Ash Association (ACAA), an umbrella lobbying group for all coal ash interests that includes major coal burners Duke Energy, Southern Company and American Electric Power as well as dozens of other companies. The group argues that the so-called "beneficial-use industry" would be eliminated if a "hazardous" designation was given for coal ash waste.[3]

ACAA set up by a front group called Citizens for Recycling First, which argues that using toxic coal ash as fill in other products is safe, despite evidence to the contrary.[3]

Existing coal-fired power plants

Great River Energy owned 3 coal-fired generating stations in 2005, with 1,400 MW of capacity. Here is a list of Great River's coal power plants:[2][4][5]

Plant Name State County Year(s) Built Capacity 2007 CO2 Emissions 2006 SO2 Emissions
Coal Creek ND McLean 1979, 1980 1210 MW 10,600,000 tons 32,084 tons
Stanton ND Mercer 1967 190 MW 1,671,000 tons 7,815 tons

In 2006, Great River Energy's 2 coal-fired power plants emitted 12.3 million tons of CO2 and 40,000 tons of SO2.

Proposed Coal Plants

Great River's Coal Creek Plant eighth in 2009 mercury emissions

The 2011 Environmental Defense Fund report, "Mercury Alert: Cleaning up Coal Plants for Healthier Lives" found that 25 plants alone are responsible for nearly a third of all mercury emissions in the power sector, while providing only eight percent of U.S. electricity. The findings are based on 2009 U.S. Department of Energy data. The plant with the eighth highest mercury emissions was Coal Creek Station, releasing 862 lbs in 2009.[6]

Articles and Resources


  1. 1.0 1.1 2007 Great River Energy Financial Highlights, Great River Energy website, accessed July 2008.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Existing Electric Generating Units in the United States, 2005, Energy Information Administration, accessed April 2008.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Coal-Fired Utilities to American Public: Kiss my Ash & PolluterWatch, October 27, 2010.
  4. Environmental Integrity Project, Dirty Kilowatts: America’s Most Polluting Power Plants, July 2007.
  5. Dig Deeper, Carbon Monitoring for Action database, accessed June 2008.
  6. "Mercury Alert: Cleaning up Coal Plants for Healthier Lives" Environmental Defense Fund report, March 2011.

Related SourceWatch Articles

External Articles

Wikipedia also has an article on Great River Energy. This article may use content from the Wikipedia article under the terms of the GFDL.