Co-op starts building coal plant

State environmental regulators have issued an emissions permit for the planned Dry Fork Station coal-fired power plant north of Gillette.

Critics protest that the plant will use old-fashioned technology that fails to capture carbon emissions that contribute to global warming.

Basin Electric Power Cooperative officials said construction of the 385-megawatt plant began last week, after the state gave its approval Monday.

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Demand for coal falls short of predictions amid uncertainties

At least 16 coal-fired power plant proposals nationwide have been scrapped in recent months and more than three dozen have been delayed as utilities face increasing pressure due to concerns over global warming and rising construction costs.

The slow pace of plant construction reflects a dramatic change in fortune for a fuel source that just a few years ago was poised for a major resurgence. Combined, the canceled and delayed projects represent enough electricity to power approximately 20 million homes.

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Two Elk plant inks transmission deal

Two Elk Generation Partners reached a milestone this week in its decade-long bid to build a coal-fired power plant in southern Campbell County, landing an agreement to transport the power the plant will produce.

The Denver-based subsidiary of North American Power Group said it signed an interconnect agreement with PacifiCorp that will allow Two Elk to deliver 320 megawatts on PacifiCorp’s transmission system to Two Elk customers.

Mine-mouth electrical generation for export has long been identified as an opportunity to increase state revenue from processing coal rather than solely relying on the export of the raw commodity. Building new electrical transmission remains a challenge to those endeavors, particularly for small generation companies that are not also in the transmission business.

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