Hoot Lake Plant
On May 27, 2021, we retired Hoot Lake Plant, marking the end of 100 years of coal-fired energy generation at the site. The plant, a 140-megawatt (MW) coal-fired generating facility in Fergus Falls, Minnesota, played a vital role in our history of generating safe, reliable, affordable energy. We reflect on and celebrate its contributions to our company, communities, and customers.
Celebrating Hoot Lake Plant
We're planning for a commemoration in July.
The plant's legacy
We increased generating capacity as our number of customers grew, building 1,500-kilowatt steam generating units at the Hoot Lake site in 1921 and 1923. In 1948 we replaced those with Unit 1, which retired in 2006. We commissioned Hoot Lake Plant’s current coal-fired operational units (Units 2 and 3) in 1959 and 1964, increasing the plant’s generation capacity from 5 MW to 145 MW.
Powering the future
We’re also planning to construct a solar facility near the former plant site. Hoot Lake Solar is a unique opportunity to be resourceful by wisely using our existing Hoot Lake property and substation after the plant’s retirement. The substation will connect electricity produced by Hoot Lake Solar to the energy grid for our customers.
We project that by 2023 our customers will receive approximately 35% of their energy from renewable resources. And by 2025 collective carbon emissions from generation resources we own will be approximately 50% below 2005 levels—all while keeping residential rates among the lowest in the nation.