Powering with Fossil Fuels

MRES considers a variety of factors when determining which fuels to use for generating electricity, including price, availability and reliability. In addition to renewable energy, MRES and our member communities rely on coal, natural gas and diesel generation to reliably and economically serve their customers.

Laramie River Station


The Laramie River Station (LRS) near Wheatland, Wyoming, provides most of our members' power supply needs above their purchases of federal hydroelectricity. The three units of LRS began commercial operations in 1980, 1981 and 1982. LRS is fueled by coal, and the electricity produced at the power plant is sent to substations in Wyoming, Nebraska and Colorado. The substations then deliver it to Missouri Basin Power Project (MBPP) participants.

These participants, a group of six electric utilities that includes the Western Minnesota Municipal Power Agency (WMMPA), own the Laramie River Station. WMMPA is the financing arm of MRES.

Exira Station

Natural Gas

The Exira Station is a nominal 140-megawatt facility that consists of three simple-cycle General Electric LM6000 combustion turbines (each rated at approximately 47 MW) and primarily uses natural gas as fuel with a diesel fuel (No. 2 fuel oil) back-up.

Located near the community of Brayton in Audubon County, Iowa, the facility is constructed on a 76-acre plot, with a footprint of approximately 7 acres. The site also includes modular control buildings, diesel fuel and water storage tanks, mechanical buildings, electric control buildings, electric switchyard, and a short interconnecting 161-kV transmission line.

Watertown Power Plant

Fuel Oil

The Watertown Power Plant (WPP) is a diesel fuel-fired peaking facility that was constructed in the late 1970s. WPP was deactivated in the early 1980s because of the availability of lower-cost generation and the slower-than-anticipated load growth of Missouri River Energy Services’ (MRES) members. Then, due to increasing load and the possibility of short-term power and energy sales, WPP was reactivated in late 1994.

WPP is typically operated during times of maximum electric demand or to sell output for a margin over costs. WPP provides 50 MW of firm capacity for MRES.


Additional generation is provided from smaller generating units that are located, owned, operated and maintained by member utilities.

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