Otter Tail Power to sell stake in North Dakota coal plant

September 2, 2021 GMT

FERGUS FALLS, Minn. (AP) — A utility company in western Minnesota plans to end its investment in a coal-fired plant it operates in North Dakota as part of its push to add more sources of renewable energy.

Otter Tail Power Co., based in Fergus Falls, plans to sell its 35% stake in the Coyote Station Power Plant in Beulah, North Dakota by 2028, according to documents filed Wednesday with the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission.

The utility said “more flexible and economical resource options are available” and it is concerned that its obligation to the plant will become too costly for customers.

Otter Tail serves about 137,000 homes and businesses in western Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota. The plan, which would need to be approved by utility regulators in all three states, calls for Otter Tail to continue operating the Coyote Station plant.

Otter Tail is looking to add dual fuel capability at its Astoria Station plant in South Dakota, which is fueled in part by natural gas from North Dakota’s Williston Basin. The company also wants to add 150 megawatts of solar power at a location yet to be determined.