Part of Great River Energy’s commitment to providing reliable, affordable electricity to its member-owner cooperatives is an ongoing responsibility to minimize the environmental impact of its operations.
The co-op demonstrates its dedication to environmental stewardship by the inclusion of sustainability in its mission statement, a commitment to incorporating renewable energy into its power supply portfolio and implementation of an environmental management system for its generation and transmission facilities.
In a recent example of these commitments in action, one of Great River Energy’s generation facilities — Cambridge Station, a natural gas peaking plant — was recognized by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) for exemplary compliance with the requirements of the plant’s wastewater permit.
Cambridge Station met strict qualification criteria to earn an MPCA Wastewater Treatment Facility Operation Award this year.
“The facility met all compliance limits, collected all required samples and associated information, and also submitted all necessary reports on time,” said Erik Heinen, environmental and sustainability administrator at Great River Energy. “This performance is a result of the diligence and attention that plant staff have paid to these important environmental requirements.”
The type of wastewater produced at Cambridge Station consists of discharge from an evaporative cooling system, cooling water from pumps in its fire suppression system and stormwater runoff. During warm summer months, the evaporative cooling system is used to cool inlet air for the peaking plant’s turbine which improves the unit’s efficiency.
“I am grateful for your work in making sure the complex and delicate systems you manage function effectively, especially during a global pandemic,” said Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz in a recorded message to award recipients. “These facilities do exceptional work to ensure proper operation of their treatment plants which, in turn, results in cleaner, swimmable, fishable water for Minnesotans to enjoy.”