Great River Energy lauded for greenhouse gas emissions reductions

BISMARCK, N.D., Aug. 7, 2002 — Great River Energy (GRE), a wholesale electric power supplier, was honored Monday for its significant contribution in reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

GRE – owner and operator of the Coal Creek Power Plant near Washburn, North Dakota – was responsible for displacing nearly 220,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions during 2001.

The company achieved this positive environmental milestone through the use of fly ash in concrete products. Fly ash is produced when coal is burned in power plants and can be used to replace a portion of the cement used in concrete. By displacing the cement, fly ash reduces the need for cement production – resulting in substantial reductions in carbon dioxide emissions.

“More than a ton of carbon dioxide is emitted for each ton of cement that is produced,” said Raul A. Deju, president and chief operating officer of ISG Resources, the nation’s largest manager and marketer of fly ash and other coal combustion products. “Eliminating a ton of cement production saves enough energy to power an average American home for 27 days and reduces CO2 emissions by an amount equal to taking a car off the road for two months.

“By ensuring that its fly ash was used for this purpose, GRE had the same emissions reduction effect as removing 36,500 cars from the road for all of last year,” said Deju.

“Great River Energy has a strong commitment to the environment and finding alternate uses for the coal byproduct, fly ash, is a win-win situation all around,” said Jim Van Epps, president and CEO of Great River Energy. “We’re very proud to be recognized by ISG Resources with this award.”

ISG Resources is presenting World Environmental Improvement Awards to fly ash producers and users across the country, recognizing those who have had the most significant impacts on reducing carbon dioxide emissions.

ISG plans to make the awards an annual event to raise awareness of this important tool in America’s efforts to improve the environment.

“Fly ash use represents America’s fastest, easiest, and least costly step to substantially reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” said Deju. “Fly ash is a unique recycled product that – in addition to having dramatic positive environmental impacts – is cost-effective and actually improves the quality of the concrete it is used in.”

Concrete producers use fly ash to create a product that is stronger and more durable than concrete made with cement only. Concrete containing fly ash is also more resistant to a variety of chemical attacks that can shorten concrete life.

Numerous experts encourage the use of fly ash in concrete. Government agencies like the Federal Highway Administration and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers are proponents of fly ash use. The United States Environmental Protection Agency has issued procurement guidelines since 1983 requiring federal agencies to utilize fly ash in concrete. And in a 1994 Report to Congress, the U.S. Department of Energy concluded that: “The increased utilization of coal combustion byproducts could provide numerous environmental and economic benefits to the United States. Positive environmental effects include (1) reduced solid waste, (2) reduced use of natural resources, and (3) reduced energy consumption and CO2 emissions from the reduced use of natural resources in the production of cement.”

“It is exciting to see companies like GRE take a leadership role in increasing the utilization of this important material,” said Deju. “Their actions are providing a major boost to the improvement of our world’s atmosphere.”

Headquartered in Elk River, Minnesota, Great River Energy is a consumer-owned generation and transmission cooperative and Minnesota’s second largest utility in terms of generating capacity. Great River Energy provides low-cost electrical energy and related services to its 29 member distribution cooperatives in Minnesota and Wisconsin. It is a Touchstone Energy® cooperative.

To learn more about fly ash on the worldwide web, visit www.flyash.com.

Author

  • The Clarion Energy Content Team is made up of editors from various publications, including POWERGRID International, Power Engineering, Renewable Energy World, Hydro Review, Smart Energy International, and Power Engineering International. Contact the content lead for this publication at Jennifer.Runyon@ClarionEvents.com.

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The Clarion Energy Content Team is made up of editors from various publications, including POWERGRID International, Power Engineering, Renewable Energy World, Hydro Review, Smart Energy International, and Power Engineering International. Contact the content lead for this publication at Jennifer.Runyon@ClarionEvents.com.

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