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Dairyland, Minnesota Power to build combined-cycle power plant in Wisconsin

EBR Staff Writer Published 08 June 2017

Dairyland Power Cooperative has revealed its plans to jointly build a 525-550MW combined-cycle natural gas facility with Minnesota Power in the US state of Wisconsin.

Named as the Nemadji Trail Energy Center, the natural gas power plant is planned to come up in Superior, adjacent to the service regions of the two electric utilities.

The industrial site where the power plant will be built is shovel-ready and is controlled by the partners in northwest Wisconsin. With good access to natural gas pipelines, the Nemadji Trail Energy Center is expected to see ample fuel availability.

According to Dairyland Power, the Nemadji Trail Energy Center will give an agile and affordable resource that back the important wind and solar energy investments the utility continues to implement.

Dairyland Power president and CEO Barbara Nick said: "Dairyland's resource diversification strategy enables renewable forms of generation and ensures reliability, sustainability and affordability. Natural gas plants provide critical back-up to intermittent renewable sources of power, like solar and wind.

“The Nemadji Trail Energy Center will respond on demand, providing the energy required by our membership and Minnesota Power's customers exactly when they need it—at the flip of a switch."

Subject to regulatory approvals, the combined-cycle natural gas facility is slated to be operational by 2024.

In February, Dairyland Power announced wind energy expansion for its power supply to customers by purchasing 80MW of energy generated from the 160MW Barton Wind Farm in Kensett, Iowa. The power purchased would be enough to cover the energy consumption needs of more than 19,000 households in the region.