Hoot Lake Plant

From Global Energy Monitor

Hoot Lake Plant was a 129.4-megawatt (MW) coal-fired power station owned and operated by Otter Tail Power near Fergus Falls, Minnesota.


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Plant Data

  • Owner: Otter Tail Power[1]
  • Parent Company: Otter Tail Power
  • Plant Nameplate Capacity: 136.9 MW (Megawatts)
  • Units and In-Service Dates: Unit 1: 7.5 MW (1948), Unit 2: 54.4 MW (1959), Unit 3: 75.0 MW (1964)
  • Location: 1012 Water Plant Rd., Fergus Falls, MN 56537
  • GPS Coordinates: 46.290791, -96.043071
  • Technology: Subcritical
  • Coal type: Sub-bituminous
  • Coal Consumption:
  • Coal Source: Spring Creek Mine (Cloudpeak)[2]
  • Number of Employees: 40[3]
  • Unit Retirements: Unit 1 retired in 2005, Units 2 and 3 retired on May 27, 2021.[4]

Unit Retirement

The coal plant retired in 2021.[5]

According to the EIA-923 file of 2019 and February 2020[6] the Hoot Lake Plant did not receive or use any fuel in 2019 and 2020.

Scheduled conversion to natural gas

In January 2013, the Minnesota PUC approved a plan to convert the plant to natural gas by 2020. In addition, Otter Tail will install pollution controls at the plant by 2015.[7] In 2019 it was reported that the facility will not be converted but replaced by a new powerplant with a 245-megawatt natural gas combustion turbine, to be build southeast of Watertown in east central South Dakota. The facility will be known as the Astoria Station. [8]

Emissions Data

  • 2006 CO2 Emissions: 1,227,768 tons
  • 2006 SO2 Emissions:
  • 2006 SO2 Emissions per MWh:
  • 2006 NOx Emissions:
  • 2005 Mercury Emissions:

Death and disease attributable to fine particle pollution from Hoot Lake Plant

In 2010, Abt Associates issued a study commissioned by the Clean Air Task Force, a nonprofit research and advocacy organization, quantifying the deaths and other health effects attributable to fine particle pollution from coal-fired power plants.[9] Fine particle pollution consists of a complex mixture of soot, heavy metals, sulfur dioxide, and nitrogen oxides. Among these particles, the most dangerous are those less than 2.5 microns in diameter, which are so tiny that they can evade the lung's natural defenses, enter the bloodstream, and be transported to vital organs. Impacts are especially severe among the elderly, children, and those with respiratory disease. The study found that over 13,000 deaths and tens of thousands of cases of chronic bronchitis, acute bronchitis, asthma, congestive heart failure, acute myocardial infarction, dysrhythmia, ischemic heart disease, chronic lung disease, and pneumonia each year are attributable to fine particle pollution from U.S. coal plant emissions. These deaths and illnesses are major examples of coal's external costs, i.e. uncompensated harms inflicted upon the public at large. Low-income and minority populations are disproportionately impacted as well, due to the tendency of companies to avoid locating power plants upwind of affluent communities. To monetize the health impact of fine particle pollution from each coal plant, Abt assigned a value of $7,300,000 to each 2010 mortality, based on a range of government and private studies. Valuations of illnesses ranged from $52 for an asthma episode to $440,000 for a case of chronic bronchitis.[10]

Table 1: Death and disease attributable to fine particle pollution from Hoot Lake Plant

Type of Impact Annual Incidence Valuation
Deaths 7 $51,000,000
Heart attacks 11 $1,200,000
Asthma attacks 120 $6,000
Hospital admissions 5 $120,000
Chronic bronchitis 4 $1,900,000
Asthma ER visits 7 $3,000

Source: "Find Your Risk from Power Plant Pollution," Clean Air Task Force interactive table, accessed February 2011

Articles and Resources


  1. "2019 Annual Report,page 13" ottertail.com, accessed June 17, 2020
  2. "EIA 923 2018" EIA 923 2018.
  3. "Hoot Lake Plant" Otpco.com, Accessed May 18, 2020
  4. "Hoot Lake Plant retires | Otter Tail Power Company". www.otpco.com. Retrieved 2021-09-10.
  5. "Powering down: Otter Tail Hoot Lake Power Plant in Fergus Falls retired". Fergus Falls Daily Journal. Retrieved 2021-09-10.
  6. "EIA 923 february 2020" EIA 923 2020.
  7. Dan Kraker, "Western Minn.'s Hoot Lake plant to stop burning coal," MPR News, January 31, 2013
  8. "Otter Tail Power’s Hoot Lake Plant to be replaced by natural gas facility" Perhamfocus.com, October 14, 2019
  9. "The Toll from Coal: An Updated Assessment of Death and Disease from America's Dirtiest Energy Source," Clean Air Task Force, September 2010.
  10. "Technical Support Document for the Powerplant Impact Estimator Software Tool," Prepared for the Clean Air Task Force by Abt Associates, July 2010

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