Falkirk Mine replaces conveyor damaged by storm

Falkirk Mine, which supplies Great River Energy’s Coal Creek and Spiritwood stations with lignite coal, recently replaced a conveyor that was damaged during a June 2018 storm.

The replacement of the conveyor was completed mid-December and the system was fully operational by the end of 2018.

Falkirk Mine conveyor belt

The conveyor that carries coal from Falkirk Mine to Coal Creek Station was recently replaced after suffering damage from a summer 2018 storm.

Coal deliveries to Coal Creek Station via the conveyor system were immediately interrupted when the damage occurred. The rebuild required short-term changes in coal deliveries for six months. Both crushed and uncrushed coal were trucked directly by the mine to the plant, and temporary conveyors were used to move the coal. During this time, 24/7 coverage was required to handle the coal with heavy equipment.

Steady coal supplies were needed last fall – up to 1,000 tons per hour – due to strong load demands at Coal Creek and Spiritwood stations.

“Employees at Great River Energy and Falkirk Mine worked collaboratively during this challenging time to ensure the reliable supply of electricity to our member-owner cooperatives,” said Todd Gehring, leader of fuel systems at Great River Energy.

Falkirk Mine also recently marked a milestone of 40 years of operation. Throughout those years, the mine has supplied Coal Creek and Spiritwood stations with 264 million tons of coal. That fuel is equivalent to the generation of 302 million megawatt-hours of electricity, or enough to power 29 million homes for one year.