Spiritwood Station coal plant producing electricity, steam

Great River Energy has started producing electricity at a multimillion-dollar power plant in southeastern North Dakota.

The coal-fired Spiritwood Station plant on Saturday began producing power for homes and businesses and also steam energy that will be used by a nearby malt processing plant and an ethanol plant being built in the area, according to the Associated Press.

The plant, which uses combined heat and power (CHP) technology, has the capacity to generate up to 99 MW of electricity for the regional energy market.

Spiritwood Station’s fuel source is lignite coal, which is converted to a higher-efficiency fuel using new 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.

Construction of the power plant wrapped up in 2010 but startup was delayed due to a drop in demand for electricity in Minnesota.

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