Great River Energy honored for mercury control technology

EPRI Technology Transfer Award recognizes leadership in applying new electric industry technology


PRI’s Dr. Ramsay Chang, who led development of the SAP process, presents the award to Greg Archer, environmental administrator, Great River Energy.

Great River Energy’s full-scale test of a promising mercury-control technology yielded results that could dramatically improve the environmental performance of coal power plants. Great River Energy employees Greg Archer, Breanna Lemer and Tim Nottestad were honored for their work in collaborating with the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) and using the research results in new and innovative ways that benefited both Great River Energy and the electricity industry.
Archer, Lemer and Nottestad led a team that developed and evaluated one of the first full-scale units of the sorbent activation process (SAP), a technology that uses on-site coal to produce activated carbon for direct injection into power plant flue gas for mercury control. The demonstration was conducted at Great River Energy’s Coal Creek Station, which burns lignite coal.

They received EPRI 2014 Generation Sector Technology Transfer Awards during ceremonies in Fort Worth, Texas. The awards recognize leaders and innovators who have applied results of EPRI’s research to solve critical industry issues. The three Great River Energy employees championed important technologies within their companies and across the industry, driving progress in the electricity sector and providing meaningful benefits for society.
Tests to date confirm that the SAP activated carbon is capable of reducing the stack mercury emissions below the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Mercury and Air Toxics Standards (MATS) limits. SAP also provides a cost-effective alternative to other activated carbon sources that could result in savings of hundreds of millions of dollars a year across the industry.

“This research project and the installation of our DryFining system have positioned Great River Energy to comply with all EPA mercury reduction requirements by the April deadline,” said Rick Lancaster, Great River Energy, vice president of generation.

“The vision, hard work and leadership of the Great River Energy team in demonstrating these important technologies has provided invaluable guidance for the electric power industry,” said Tom Alley, vice president of generation at EPRI. “The commitment demonstrated by Great River Energy is a great example of the collaboration that enables the industry to continuously improve the safety, reliability, affordability and environmental responsibility of electricity.”