Ash revenue, savings reach $100 million

The Coal Creek Station power plant has a dome for storing fly ash.

Fly ash collected at Coal Creek Station is stored in a dome (pictured at right) before it is sold for beneficial use.

Great River Energy’s fly ash business recently hit a huge milestone in reaching $100 million in combined revenue and savings since 1997.

That year, Great River Energy decided to make fly ash beneficial use efforts into a business by selling it into the concrete market. In doing so, Great River Energy not only generated revenue for its cooperative members, but also saved money by avoiding landfill costs.

“Every dollar we save or generate goes back to our cooperative members – we always keep that in mind with everything we do,” said Al Christianson, Great River Energy’s director of business development and government affairs.

Last year, with the addition of a favorable revised fly ash marketing contract, Great River Energy sold approximately 350,000 tons of fly ash. This generated approximately $5.5 million in revenue and avoided over $3.8 million in landfill costs, which pushed the total impact to more than $100 million.

As fly ash is often used in concrete to displace Portland cement, Great River Energy has also prevented the production of 5.8 million tons of carbon dioxide that would have been created had ash not been used instead. This is equivalent to the amount of carbon dioxide emitted by 121,000 vehicles annually.