July 28, 2014 | La Crosse Tribune | An ongoing rail backlog that has stranded grain shipments across the Great Plains is now threatening to shut down a La Crosse-area power plant.
Dairyland Power Cooperative says it could run out of coal at its Genoa generating plant by January if the BNSF railroad doesn’t rapidly accelerate deliveries.
Halfway through the summer shipping season, the coal supply has dwindled to “perilous levels” and is falling further behind each week, according to a memo sent last week to lawmakers.
The La Crosse-based utility, which serves about 250,000 mostly rural customers, relies on coal to generate power at plants in Alma and Genoa. Alma is served directly by a BNSF rail line, while coal is shipped to Genoa on barges loaded at a terminal in southeast Iowa.