Japanese Montana coal plant closes | 406 Politics

The coal-fired power plant at Lewis and Clark Station in Sidney is owned by Montana-Dakota Utilities. The closure of the plant was announced by the MDU as a cost-saving step.

LARRY MAYER, Billings Gazette

Another coal-fired power plant in Montana was finally shut down.

According to owner Montana Dakota Utilities, the Lewis & Clark Generating Station near Sydney delivered its last megawatt on Wednesday at 8 a.m. 30 people worked in the power plant.

“Customers will not notice any change in their service when the system goes offline. Our customers have an integrated system in which energy sources can be turned on and off during the day without affecting customers, ”said Mark Hanson, MDU spokesman.

Coal Cuts: Aging Power Plants, Cheap Natural Gas Shutting Down Montana Coal

Two small gas generators on the factory premises continue to work.

The MDU, which has around 26,000 customers with metered electricity in Montana, is also slated to close the two-stage RM Heskett station near Mandan, North Dakota, in March 2022. All three units were no longer competitive with other energy sources, namely gas generation, and were market purchases from the Midcontinent Independent System Operator, a mass flow transmission system for 15 states and Manitoba. MDU has other coal-fired power plants in its portfolio that are still in operation.

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Since the Lewis & Clark closure announcement two years ago, there have been concerns in the community about the reliability of energy supplies and the fate of the Savage Mine, a small open-pit lignite mine that also produces coal seasonally for the Sidney Sugars beet factory in Sydney. The mine produces less than 300,000 tons of coal each year, with the majority going to Lewis & Clark.

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