Spiritwood Station

Spiritwood Station is the first of its kind in North Dakota. The power plant generates two primary products – electricity and 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 industrial operators near the 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 nearby Cargill Malt for use in its production processes and supplies steam to the Dakota Spirit AgEnergy biorefinery.

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 are shipped to Spiritwood Station. The dried and refined coal is referred to as DryFineTM and has the following benefits:

  • A higher BTU value per pound, so the plant burns less fuel
  • Reduced emissions
  • Lower transportation costs
  • Lower maintenance costs

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.

Biomass study

Great River Energy and project participants — The Great Plains Institute, the North Dakota Association of Rural Electric Cooperatives, the North Dakota Department of Agriculture, the North Dakota Farmers Union and the North Dakota Natural Resources Trust — studied the feasibility of utilizing biomass at Spiritwood Station through a research and development grant from the North Dakota Renewable Energy Council. Study results highlight the technical feasibility and economics of supplying biomass to the facility from various sources.

View the study