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2014 energy by fuel type

A diverse mix of generation resources

We own 12 power plants that generate more than 2,800 megawatts of electricity, plus we purchase additional power from several wind farms and other generating facilities.

Our energy primarily comes from:

  • Coal-based power plants in North Dakota
  • Natural gas-fired peaking plants
  • RDF (Biomass)
  • Wind energy
  • Purchased power
  • Hydropower
  • Distributed generation


We own and operate three coal plants in North Dakota. These plants serve as the backbone of our generation system.

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Elk River Energy Recovery Station, our waste-to-energy plant, converts refuse derived fuel from mixed municipal waste into energy. This fuel is considered a "biomass" fuel, such as plant matter and animal waste, because – as we all know – municipal waste is a replenishable resource.

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Resource plan

Our resource plan outlines what power resources are currently available to our members and how we will consider new resources for the future. The plan also analyzes the future electricity needs of our members. Great River Energy files its resource plan with the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission every other year.

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Natural gas/oil

Great River Energy operates its peaking plants on the hottest and coldest days of the year, when demand for electricity is especially high. The plants use natural gas or fuel oil to generate electricity. Because peaking plants are more expensive to operate, we put them into service only when necessary to increase capacity.

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Our generation portfolio includes environmentally sound renewable energy sources: wind energy, refuse-derived fuel, solar and hydropower.

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