GSM 2014 August North Dakota - Day 6
Mar 25, 2017Public
Photo: Early Friday morning: We spent the previous night in the campground in Beulah's city park, which also included the town's football field. This was the view from my tent. We planned to camp there Friday night also, until we were told the football team would have midnight scrimmage. We decided to move on.  :-)
Photo: We were given a great tour of this lignite mine, during which this group photo was taken. Unfortunately, while we were allowed to take photos, we promised not to post them publicly, so the photos don't appear here.
Photo: Description of pertified logs at entrance to North American Coal Freedom Mine.
Photo: These are massive petrified logs!
Photo: I took this photo of the massive electric-powered shovel in the lignite mine later in the day, from the top of the adjacent power plant, hence the haziness. The mine supplies lignite for both the power plant and the coal gassification plant.
Photo: Basin Electric Power Cooperative, through its for-profit subsidiary, Dakota Gasification Company, owns and operates the Great Plains Synfuels Plant. We had a great tour of this facility also, but no picture-taking inside. I did get a few photos of the exterior. All the tan buildings are part of this plant.
Photo: This Synfuels Plant is the only commercial-scale coal gasification plant in the United States that manufactures natural gas. It is also the cleanest energy plant operating in the state of North Dakota, according to a comparison of emissions data available from the North Dakota Department of Health.
Photo: Average daily production of natural gas is about 153 million cubic feet, the majority of which is piped to Ventura, IA, for distribution in the eastern United States.  
The Synfuels Plant also supplies carbon dioxide to the world’s largest carbon-capture and storage project in the world in Saskatchewan, Canada. Dakota Gas currently captures between 2.5 and 3 million metric tons of carbon dioxide per year.
Photo: Overlook of the synfuels plant I took later in the day from the top of the adjacent power plant. The long rectangular chutes convey lignite directly from Freedom Mine to this plant.
Photo: The $2.1-billion plant began operating in 1984. Using Lurgi gasifiers, the Synfuels Plant gasifies lignite coal to produce valuable gases and liquids. Located five miles northwest of Beulah, ND, the Synfuels Plant has been owned and operated by Dakota Gas since 1988.  
About $665 million has been invested in the Synfuels Plant since 1988 to achieve environmental compliance, improve efficiency, and diversify the product slate.
Photo: Dakota Gas captures and sells carbon dioxide (CO2) produced at the plant to two customers and transports it through a 205-mile pipeline to Saskatchewan, Canada, to be used for enhanced oil recovery in the Weyburn and Midale fields. The first CO2 was sent to Canada in October 2000.
Today, Dakota Gas exports about 152 million cubic feet per day of CO2 to Canada – about 50 percent of the CO2 produced when running at full rates.
Photo: CO2 from other power plants is very wet and diluted with nitrogen and oxygen and requires further processing, but Dakota Gas' process results in a CO2 stream that is very dry and 96 percent pure, so no additional processing is needed.
The Synfuels Plant's unique gasification operations and CO2 capture and transport continue to draw worldwide attention. Visitors from Germany, China, Italy, Korea, Great Britain and Japan, the United States and other nations have toured their facilities. National media from 60 Minutes, The History Channel, and Fox News, and television reporters from London, Tokyo, and Montreal have produced reports and special programs about the plant.
Photo: The $2.1-billion plant was built in response to America's quest for energy independence during the 1970s energy crisis by a group of five interstate pipeline companies, Great Plains Gasification Associates (GPGA), of which American Natural Gas (ANG) was the majority partner.
Photo: The plant also produces fertilizers, solvents, phenol, carbon dioxide, and other chemical products for sale.
Photo: The Synfuels Plant is adjacent to Basin Electric's Antelope Valley Station, a 900-megawatt baseload electric generating plant. (The tan buildings are part of Synfuels, while the blue buildings are the power station.) The Synfuels Plant and Antelope Valley Station share certain facilities and coal and water supplies: Antelope Valley Station supplies the Synfuels Plant with electricity, and the Synfuels Plant supplies several of Basin Electric's gas peaking facilities with synthetic natural gas (SNG).
Photo: Our final tour of the day was to Antelope Valley Power Station (and they had no photo restrictions. :-) ).
Photo: Located seven miles northwest of Beulah, ND, the Antelope Valley Station is the newest coal-based power plant in North Dakota. Its two units, each rated at 450 megawatts, began commercial operation in 1984 and 1986, respectively.
Photo: Antelope Valley is part of a $4-billion energy complex that includes the Great Plains Synfuels Plant and the Freedom Mine. Basin Electric regularly hosts tours of these facilities for member system consumers, school groups, and more (such as GSM!). Nearly 3,500 people visit the power plant each year.
Photo: The power plant treated us to an early afternoon sack lunch. Great since with our two earlier tours, we had not had time for lunch.
Photo: We enjoy our lunch before the presentation and tour begin.
Photo: Schematic of power generation.