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Plans for Great Falls CCS Coal Plant Move Along

Friday, June 08, 2007
Article Type: Cited

Plans for a new power plant in Great Falls, Montana, are moving along gradually, according to press reports in the Great Falls Tribune.

Current plans are for the plant to be owned 85 percent by Southern Montana Electric Generation & Transmission Cooperative (SME), the plant's developer, and 15 percent by Great Falls City Council.

SME has submitted a revised loan application for $650m to the US Rural Utilities Service in Washington, to cover its 85 percent share of the $720m costs of the plant. It will be discussed by two loan committees in August this year, and money is expected to come from US Department of Agriculture farm bill legislation.

Interim financing has been agreed from private lender CoBank, subject to agreement of the main loan from the US government, and this should enable construction to begin by the end of 2007.

A nearby salt cap formation called Kevin Dome has been identified as a suitable location for storing the carbon dioxide.

Great Falls City Council developed an interest in part ownership of the plant, after another power company, Northwestern Energy, cancelled a contract to supply power to the city four years ago.

It is possible that the City Council will not be able to finance its share of the costs; if this happens, the scale of the plant will be brought down from 250 mW to 215 mW.

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