PNS National Newscast

Audio Activation
"Siri, play the Public News Service (podcast)"
"Hey Google, play the Public News Service podcast"
"Alexa, play Public News Service podcast"
or "Alexa, what's my news flash?" once you set it up in the Alexa app

2020Talks

Audio Activation
"Siri, play the 2020Talks podcast"
"Hey Google, play the 2020Talks podcast"
"Alexa, play Two-Thousand-Twenty Talks podcast"
or "Alexa, what's my news flash?" once you set it up in the Alexa app

Newscasts

PNS Daily Newscast - August 5, 2020 


A massive explosion kills dozens and injures thousands in Beirut; and child care is key to getting Americans back to work.


2020Talks - August 5, 2020 


Election experts testify before the US House that more funding is necessary. And Arizona, Kansas, Michigan, Missouri and Washington state had primaries yesterday; Hawaii and Tennessee have them later this week.

North Dakota's Largest Coal-Fired Power Plant to Close

Coal Creek Station, North Dakota's largest coal plant, has been operating since 1979 but will cease production by the end of 2022. (Adobe Stock)
Coal Creek Station, North Dakota's largest coal plant, has been operating since 1979 but will cease production by the end of 2022. (Adobe Stock)
May 8, 2020

UNDERWOOD, N.D. - The Upper Midwest will see a seismic shift in energy production after a Minnesota-based utility announced it will close a coal plant in the Dakotas.

Great River Energy, which is Minnesota's second largest electric utility, says it will retire the Coal Creek Station in North Dakota in the second-half of 2022. Great River also plans to boost its wind-energy output by the end of 2023 and have it make up two-thirds of its energy production.

J. Drake Hamilton is science policy director with the group Fresh Energy and says this is a significant move.

"They're moving very rapidly away from coal, reducing their greenhouse-gas emissions by about 95%," says Hamilton.

The coal plant in Underwood, North Dakota accounts for half of the energy Great River sells to dozens of electric cooperatives across the region.

The plant currently employs more than 250 people. To ease the economic pain that will be felt by the community, the company says it will keep paying local taxes on the property for five years after the plant closes.

Great River says the move was largely driven by economics, with coal plants becoming less profitable in the energy market. Hamilton says it's not surprising to see the company want to shift more toward renewables such as wind energy.

"The growth of wind energy, followed secondly by solar energy, that has really upended the economics of burning coal and made it much less attractive to a large number of companies," says Hamilton.

In Minnesota, Xcel Energy last year announced plans to retire its last two coal plants in the Upper Midwest a decade earlier than scheduled.

Mike Moen, Public News Service - ND