A company that spent more than $40 million in taxpayer money on a coal-gasification power plant that was never built, now says it has secured the land it needs to build a natural gas-fired facility.
Excelsior Energy Wednesday bought a 240-acre parcel near the small Iron Range town of Taconite at an Itasca County Sheriff's Auction.
The company now has the land required to build two 550-megawatt natural gas units, said co-CEO Tom Micheletti, although utility customer are not yet lined up to buy the power.
"We've always said that we will either build the plant ourselves and sell the power to other entities under what's called a power purchase agreement, or we would sell them the rights to build the unit on our site," Micheletti said.
Micheletti believes there is an opening for a new natural gas plant because of environmental regulations that could lead to the closure of several coal-fired plants in the state.
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