March 16, 2006–Great River Energy will begin construction of a 170 MW natural gas-fired power generation facility near Cambridge, Minn. The project is scheduled to begin on, or around, March 20. All permits for constructing the plant have been granted by state and federal agencies. The plant will begin generating electricity in spring 2007.
Approximately 100 skilled workers will be employed during construction, and Great River Energy plans to hire two to three full-time employees to perform daily maintenance tasks and monitor operations at the completed plant.
Cambridge Station will consist of a simple-cycle combustion turbine. The fuel for the facility will be natural gas, chosen for its low air emissions and ready availability from a nearby Northern Natural Gas pipeline. Cambridge Station normally will be operated during times of peak electrical demand, which generally occur during periods of very hot or very cold temperatures, and at times to support operation of the state’s transmission grid.
“This plant is an important part of Great River Energy’s continuing efforts to ensure that its member cooperatives have sufficient and reliable electricity to keep their customers’ lights on,” said Cynthia Sulzer, Great River Energy’s construction manager for the project.
Great River Energy is a generation and transmission cooperative located in Elk River, Minnesota. Its 2,500-MW generation system is composed of a mix of baseload and peaking power plants, including coal, natural gas, refuse-derived fuel and oil plants, as well as wind generation. Cambridge Station will provide peaking power to Great River Energy’s 28 member distribution cooperatives in Minnesota and Wisconsin, serving approximately 600,000 customers.