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Spiritwood Station is located approximately one mile south of Spiritwood, North Dakota, on a 100-acre site adjacent to Cargill Malt. The plant itself resides on approximately 10 acres.

Spiritwood Station

Great River Energy’s Spiritwood Station is the first of its kind in North Dakota; it generates two primary products:

  • Electricity
  • Steam

The plant has the capacity to generate up to 99 megawatts (MW) of electricity for the regional energy market. The combined heat and power plant also supplies steam to the Cargill Malt plant and the Dakota Spirit AgEnergy biorefinery near Spiritwood, N.D. Otter Tail Power Company, as the local service provider, supplies electricity to the Cargill Malt plant.

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Highly efficient

Combined heat and power plants such as Spiritwood Station are highly energy efficient because they make use of the energy in the steam which, at most plants, is released to cooling towers. Spiritwood Station sends some of the steam it produces to a malting facility and biorefinery for use in their production processes.

Spiritwood Station is about 60 percent efficient with its key partners – Cargill Malt and Dakota Spirit AgEnergy. Most conventional coal-based power plants are 30 to 35 percent efficient.

Executive Order – CHP

President Barack Obama signed an Executive Order on August 30, 2012 to expand the use of combined heat and power, including the deployment of 40 additional gigawatts of capacity in the United States by 2020. The use of combined heat and power provides an opportunity to accelerate energy efficiency efforts at industrial facilities. This can help our nation’s factories improve the competitiveness of manufacturing, lower energy costs, free up future capital for businesses to invest, reduce air emissions, and create jobs. The order directs, among other steps, the use of existing Federal authorities, programs, and policies to support investment in industrial energy efficiency and CHP.

Quality fuel source

Spiritwood Station’s fuel source is lignite coal, which is converted to a higher-efficiency fuel using innovative technologies. The lignite is dried and refined at Great River Energy’s Coal Creek Station near Underwood, N.D. About 610,000 tons per year will be shipped to Spiritwood Station. The dried and refined coal is referred to as DryFineTM and has the following benefits:

Technology that controls emissions

In addition to utilizing beneficiated lignite, Spiritwood Station uses Best Available Control Technologies to control emissions. State-of-the-art technologies make Spiritwood Station one of the cleanest coal-based power plants in the world.

Spiritwood Station a long-term asset

The decision to build Spiritwood Station was made when Great River Energy faced a strong growth in demand for electricity by its member cooperatives in the mid 2000s. At that time, Great River Energy moved forward on plans to build a long-term asset to meet that growing demand for generation. During the construction phase, the United States was hit by the recession, and the five year growth forecast became marginal. Thus, Great River Energy delayed the in-service date of the plant to minimize the cost impact to members. Great River Energy’s members will again need more baseload electricity in the future, and that will help make Spiritwood Station a valuable long-term investment. This will occur as demand and electricity prices increase via a turnaround in the economy, and as additional markets develop for the available process steam from the plant.

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