GRE outlines expansion goals
By Suzanne Werre
Great River Energy’s Coal Creek Station near Underwood is working on bringing a new type of “greenhouse effect” to the area, as plans are in the works to create an industrial park just southwest of the coal-burning power plant that would include a potential greenhouse and a cattle feedlot.
The proposed energy/industrial park will allow all of the entities involved to help each other’s sustainability and profitability by using the resources the others create.
“The energy park concept is an important part of Great River Energy’s vision to innovate, collaborate and lead to competitively power the future,” said John Bauer, GRE’s Director of North Dakota Generation.
Project leaders from GRE, Falkirk Mine and Midwest AgEnergy (Blue Flint Ethanol) have been analyzing the technical and financial aspects of both proposed projects, and are getting near the point where they feel confident enough that things are going to move forward with the projects that they wanted to discuss them with area community members.
According to Bauer, a feasibility study is currently underway to determine whether a third-party operator could economically construct, own and operate a commercial greenhouse near Coal Creek Station using the excess heat and carbon dioxide created at the power plant, thereby leaving less of a carbon footprint – a requirement since the passing of the Clean Power Plan.
Although that requirement has eased somewhat with the new administration, noted Falkirk’s Jay Kost, it’s still a priority. They started to try to come up with ideas of what could be brought in to use what the power plant has – plenty of water and CO2.