North Dakota

Antelope Valley Station

Beulah, ND

47.282703, -101.784699

The Antelope Valley Station is a lignite-fired electric generating station located seven miles northwest of Beulah, ND.

It has two units, each rated at 450,000 KW. The first unit began commercial operation in July 1984, and the second unit began in July 1986. They were built at a cost of $1.9 billion.

Lignite, the fuel for AVS, is provided from the Freedom Mine, adjacent to the plant site. A major part of the fuel supply also comes from the neighboring Great Plains Synfuels Plant in the form of lignite fines, coal particles too small for use in the gasification process. The water source for AVS is Lake Sakakawea, a large reservoir on the Missouri River.

Since it began operation, the Antelope Valley Station has consistently ranked among the 10 lowest-cost producers of electricity when compared to more than 400 other coal-fired power plants in the United States.

AVS was designed as an environmentally sound, coal-fired generating station. As a "zero-discharge" facility, none of the water used in the plant is returned to its source. The only way water leaves the plant site is by evaporation.

In addition, about $270 million has been invested in environmental equipment and controls for protecting land, air and water. Removal efficiencies for sulfur dioxide and particulates from stack gases meet or surpass North Dakota and federal air quality standards.

Dakota Gasification Company

Beulah, ND

47.356831, -101.855686

The Great Plains Synfuels Plant appears as a massive complex of pipes, towers and buildings on the rolling North Dakota prairie. This plant is actually much more: it is part of an American dream. The 1970s energy crisis spawned a vision of greater U.S. energy independence. Abundant lignite resources underlying the North Dakota plains held promise as a vast synthetic fuel source. The Synfuels plant began operating in 1984 and today produces more than 54 billion standard cubic feet of natural gas annually. Coal consumption exceeds 6 million tons each year.

Synthetic Natural Gas leaves the plant through a 2-foot-diameter pipeline, traveling 34 miles south. There it joins the Northern Border Pipeline, which transports the gas to four pipeline companies. These companies supply thousands of homes and businesses in the eastern United States.

In addition to natural gas, the Synfuels plant produces fertilizers, solvents, phenol, carbon dioxide, and other chemicals. Carbon dioxide is now part of an international venture for enhanced oil recovery in Canada.

Leland Olds Station

Stanton, ND

47.29769, -101.387559

The Leland Olds Station (LOS) is named for Leland Olds, a champion of public power who served on the Federal Power Commission for 10 years under President Franklin D. Roosevelt. In a speech in 1959, Olds called for the construction of consumer-owned power plants that would be integrated with the federal hydroelectric dams on the Missouri River. He described what was then a hope for him, but it eventually became a successful reality through the creation of Basin Electric in 1961.

LOS, located four miles southeast of Stanton, ND, was the first electric generating station built by Basin Electric.

The plant has two lignite-fired electric generating units. Unit 1 construction began in June 1963 and took three years and $36 million to build. When it began operating in January 1966, it was the largest lignite-burning power plant in the western hemisphere with a capacity of 216,000 kilowatts (KW). It was upgraded in 1995 at a cost of $12 million with new low-nitrogen oxide burners on the boiler and a computer-based control system.

Construction began in July 1971 on Unit 2, which cost $109 million to build and has a capacity of 440,000 KW. This second unit began commercial operation in December 1975.

LOS draws water for steam and cooling from the nearby Missouri River, while coal is shipped from the Freedom Mine near Beulah, ND. Both units are equipped with electrostatic precipitators which collect 99.5 percent of the fly ash created by burning lignite in the boilers. In addition, in-stack monitors measure oxides of nitrogen, sulfur dioxide, carbon dioxide, volumetric flow and opacity.