Otter Tail Power will keep coal plant through 2020ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Otter Tail Power says it plans to keep its Fergus Falls coal-fired plant in operation through 2020.
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Otter Tail Power says it plans to keep its Fergus Falls coal-fired plant in operation through 2020.
The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission ordered the utility company to study the cost of retiring the 53-year-old Hoot Lake plant. Otter Tail Power spokesman Brian Draxten tells Minnesota Public Radio News the company considered closing the plant sooner, but with new mercury emission controls it's more cost effective to keep the plant operational.
Draxten says a 14 to 15 percent rate increase is already expected by mid-decade because of environmental upgrades to another plant. So, postponing building a gas-fired plant to replace the Hoot Lake plant will "smooth out the rate shock that customers will experience."