Milton R. Young Station

The Milton R. Young Station is the primary source of electrical generation for Minnkota and its members. Named for the late senator from North Dakota, the Young Station is a two-unit, lignite coal-based power plant located near Center, N.D.


Young 1, which began generating electricity in 1970, is owned and operated by Minnkota. It has the capacity to produce 250,000 kilowatts (kW). Young 2, with a 455,000-kW generating capacity, began producing electricity in 1977. It is owned by Square Butte Electric Cooperative and operated by Minnkota. An abundant, low-cost coal supply from the nearby Center Mine, owned and operated by BNI Coal, has played a key role in the plant’s success.


The Young Station uses cooling water from Nelson Lake, a 2.5-milelong, man-made reservoir created in 1968 with a 45-foot high, earth-filled dam across Square Butte Creek. The 660-surface-acre lake provides water for cooling, boiler makeup and other station uses in the power production process. All water used in plant processes is tested and treated to confirm that its quality meets all standards for discharge. The lake is a popular spot with fishing and outdoor enthusiasts.


Both units at the Young Station are equipped with emission control technologies that meet or exceed all current state and federal air quality standards. Between 2006 and 2011, about $425 million was invested into the plant to significantly reduce emissions of sulfur dioxide (SO2), nitrogen oxides (NOx), mercury (Hg), and other emissions.



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5301 32nd Avenue South

Grand Forks, ND 58201

(701) 795-4000


Minnkota Power Cooperative provides wholesale electric energy to 11 member-owner distribution cooperatives in eastern North Dakota and northwestern Minnesota.