Navasota project tied to Minnesota Power plan

5645595730d17.imageEarlier this week, I shared a developing story about a new natural gas peaking plant proposed for the city of Cohasset, home of Minnesota Power’s giant Clay Boswell coal-fired power plant.

After a great deal of initial confusion, we established that the $300 million proposal by Navasota Energy of Texas for a 400 MW plant was *probably* related to a bid to fill hometown company Minnesota Power’s plan to run cleaner energy over the next decade.

Yesterday, Dan Hudson with Navasota, contacted to explain that this project is, in fact, a bid to meet Minnesota Power’s demand for cleaner energy and meet impending federal regulations. Navasota is the only one proposing a plant in Northern Minnesota, though another bidder is likely the expansion proposal at Calpine Mankato Energy in Mankato, Minnesota.

Hudson is a U of Minnesota graduate with a home near Brainerd and ties to several Minnesota projects over his career.

Minnesota Power will select its preferred bid by February which will determine whether Navasota sticks with its initial proposal to build the plant in Cohasset.

It stands to reason, however, that these new natural gas megawatts — wherever they are generated — will eventually affect demand for coal-fired electricity within the company. This could portend layoffs at places like Clay Boswell over time. The natural gas peaking plant would employ only 20 workers while Boswell currently employs about 200.


  1. In the short term, the proposed Navasota plant is probably more closely related to the shut down of the 225 MW Taconite Harbor Energy Center in Schroeder in Cook County.

    I think a lot of people in Lake and Cook counties – including some progressive environmentalists – are interested in seeing at least part of Taconite Harbor converted into a biomass energy plant. Whether that is feasible and whether that can be done in a sustainable way remains to be seen.

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