The Laramie River Station, located east of Wheatland, Wyoming, is one of the largest consumer-operated, regional, joint power supply ventures in the United States. Laramie River Station has three coal-based units: Unit 1 began operating in 1980; Unit 2 began operating in 1981; Unit 3 began operating in 1982. The power plant was built for $1.6 billion.
Laramie River is unique because it delivers electricity to two separate electrical grids. Unit 1 is connected to the Eastern Interconnection, while Unit 2 and Unit 3 are connected to the Western Interconnection. These grids, which divide the United States into two sections, were developed independently and must be served separately.
The electricity produced at Laramie River is sent to substations in Wyoming, Nebraska and Colorado, where it is then delivered to Missouri Basin Power Project (MBPP) participants:
- Basin Electric
- Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association
- The Western Minnesota Municipal Power Agency
- The Lincoln Electric System
- The Wyoming Municipal Power Agency
Laramie River Station's fuel source is sub-bituminous coal supplied by Western Fuels Association, a cooperative fuel supplier for consumer-owned utilities, and delivered by rail from surface mines near Gillette, Wyoming.
Located 11 miles east of Laramie River Station, the 104,000 acre-foot Grayrocks Reservoir is the principal water source for the plant. Along with other groundwater sources, it provides up to 23,250 acre-feet of water annually to Laramie River Station for steam production and cooling. The reservoir, which is about eight miles long, includes recreational facilities and a visitor outlook. Several species of game fish are stocked in the reservoir.
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