Bringing greenery to GRE
BY ALYSSA MEIER
Great River Energy may be adding some new plants at Coal Creek Station in coming years, but instead of producing energy, the new feature would actually generate produce.
In an effort to avoid wasting heat given off by the Coal Creek Station north of Washburn, officials have proposed a plan to study potentially using it to operate a greenhouse at the plant.
“We’ve been working off and on for about a year on the possibility of using some of those resources here to see if it would be beneficial to locate a commercial greenhouse adjacent to the power plant,” GRE Senior Project Manager Rich Garman said during an interview last week.
Garman said the heat given off by the plant would be used to warm an on-site greenhouse.
“If we could cost-effectively utilize that heat to heat the greenhouse, which we’ve seen work,” Garman said, noting that there are also possibilities to use water, power, flue gas and CO2 in a connected facility. Garman said he and other GRE employees had visited two other facilities with a similar operation, one with a small tree conservatory and another with a 30-acre tomato greenhouse.