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Excelsior Energy redraws power plant proposal

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DULUTH -- Developers of new power plant on the Iron Range are optimistic about the project's future, despite the U.S. Department of Energy's decision to withdraw financial support.

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The plant has been in the planning stages for years. Excelsior Energy initially proposed a $2 billion plant that would be built next to Itasca County's Canisteo mine pit. It would convert coal into a gasified fuel and burn it as a highly efficient way to generate power.

Excelsior Energy's plans have recently changed. It's now proposing a 600-megawatt plant -- about half the size first proposed -- running on natural gas rather than coal.

The Duluth News Tribune says the Department of Energy has invested about $22 million in the project, but has ended its support.

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