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ELK RIVER, MN-After studying 31 proposals for building a power plant, Great River Energy decided to build the plant itself. The locally based utility company had asked for proposals in March to build a 150-megawatt peaking plant.

Compared to the proposed projects, the cooperative found it could site, build and operate the power plant for a lower cost than any of the submitted proposals. The company fielded proposals from 17 companies for the plant, which Great River said it needs to meet its anticipated 2007 generation resource needs. Among criteria considered were price, transmission, size, development experience and location.

The company has not yet selected the location of the 150 megawatt peaking plant, but is considering several potential sites in Minnesota. Over the next several months, Great River Energy says it will continue to evaluate the sites. By this fall, its staff will recommend a preferred site to the board of directors for its approval. Permitting and other processes would begin after approval of the project by Great River Energy’s members later this fall.

The power plant will be available for commercial operation by the summer of 2007, Great River says. Great River Energy, a generation and transmission cooperative, provides energy and related services to 28 member cooperatives in Minnesota and Wisconsin and is the second largest utility in Minnesota serving more than 580,000 customers or 1.4 million people.

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