Chisago County board votes against proposed power plantby Stephanie Hemphill, Minnesota Public Radio
Chisago County — The Chisago County board has voted against a proposed gas-fired power plant.
The Sunrise River Energy Station would have been the fourth-largest power plant in the state. But many residents said it wasn't right for their rural-residential neighborhood. By a three-to-two vote, the Chisago County Board agreed.
"I think they realized that this was not a good deal for the county," said Shellene Johnson, president of Concerned River Valley Citizens. "This was in a highly residential area, this was a massive power plant, and the long-term negative impacts on that, at least three of the county commissioners, and I commend them for recognizing that."
The vote Wednesday came after months of study and negotiations.
"They really weighed all the factors involved in this, our months and months of input on this issue, looking at this from an economic standpoint and an environmental standpoint, and it didn't serve the best interests of our community," Johnson said.
The plant was to be an 800-megawatt, gas-fired plant located near North Branch. The national company proposing it, LS Power, said it would provide back-up electricity for intermittent wind power.
LS Power said it won't pursue the plan without an agreement from the county.