Diverse, Reliable and Affordable Power Supply
In order to meet the growing and changing needs of our customers, Heartland maintains a diverse power supply portfolio. Our baseload resources include coal-fired energy from Whelan Energy Center Unit 2 near Hastings, Nebraska, as well as Laramie River Station near Wheatland, Wyoming. Wessington Springs Wind Energy Center near Wessington Springs, South Dakota, supplies Heartland with renewable energy. We also utilize contracts with our customers and other utilities to acquire low-cost capacity resources.
In October of 2015, functional control and operational authority of Heartland's transmission facilities within the historic Integrated System (IS) were turned over to the Southwest Power Pool (SPP), meaning Heartland's power is now delivered over the SPP system. Heartland's generation resource and customer load assets are also now included within the SPP Integrated Marketplace.
Prior to integration into SPP, Heartland jointly owned the IS with Western Area Power Administration and Basin Electric Power Cooperative. The IS was the high voltage transmission system covering a seven-state area and consisting of over 9,300 miles of line. For information on the IS please visit the IS OASIS site.
Whelan Energy Center Unit 2
Heartland has a 36% entitlement share in Whelan Energy Center Unit 2 (WEC 2), making it the largest generating resource in our portfolio. WEC 2 is a 220 megawatt, pulverized coal-fired generating plant located near Hastings, Nebraska. The plant meets or exceeds all current pollution control standards and is well-positioned to meet many rules pending with the Environmental Protection Agency.
A three-unit, 1,710 megawatt coal-fired generating station located near Wheatland, Wyoming, Laramie River Station (LRS) is continuously ranked as one of the top ten lowest-cost generating stations in the country. LRS was constructed as part of the Missouri Basin Power Project, which also includes Grayrocks Dam and Reservoir and nearly 650 miles of high voltage transmission line. Heartland has a 3% undivided ownership share of LRS, drawn from the output of Unit 1.
Through a long-term purchase power agreement with NextEra Energy, Heartland purchases the full output of the 34, 1.5 megawatt turbines at Wessington Springs Wind Energy Center (WSW Energy Center). Situated on approximately 3,500 acres on the bluffs of Jerauld County, WSW Energy Center allows us to meet both the Minnesota renewable energy standard of 25% by 2025 and the South Dakota renewable energy objective of 10% by 2015 on behalf of our customers. Heartland keeps 27% of the environmental attributes (Renewable Energy Certificates, or RECs) from the WSW Energy Center in order to deliver this amount of renewable energy generated from the facility to our customers, and reserves the right to sell the remaining RECs.
Heartland uses contracts with our customers and other utilities to acquire low-cost capacity resources to meet reserve margin requirements and provide a hedge against high market prices. Several Heartland customers have diesel generating plants, totaling 28.5 megawatts, which Heartland has secured on a long-term basis. Contracts with other utilities are used to fill short-term capacity needs.