Report: Minnesota Electric Co-ops & Out-of-State Coal Plants

This is a great new report/issue brief from the Union of Concerned Scientists on Minnesota Electric Co-ops, their coal supply contracts and their connection to out-of-state coal plants that cost co-op member-owners more than $93M from 2015-17!  This builds on the Rural Electrification 2.0 report that CURE, We Own It, and Center for Rural Affairs published in 2019 and better understanding electric co-op coal contracts and coal debt. Here's a quote from the issue brief:

"Except for Dairyland’s plants, which use spot purchases and short-term contracts, the co-op coal plants examined here have coal fuel contracts running to 2037, 2041, 2045, and even 2071 (Table 3). Several of the plants—including Antelope Valley, Dry Fork, Leland Olds, Coal Creek, and Milton R. Young—are considered “mine mouth” plants because they are located close to the coal mines that supply them.
Collectively, these plants cost co-op consumers more than $93 million in uneconomic generation costs from 2015 to 2017. Coal supply contracts are often asserted as one reason why coal plants must continue operating even when running the plant loses money (Daniel 2019a). Coal plant owners point to these contracts as justification for operating their plants year-round, asserting that the agreements contain liquidated damages clauses requiring the plant owner to pay for the fuel regardless of whether it is taken (Daniel 2019a)."

Learn more and access the report on CURE's website here:

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