North Dakota plants qualify for LEE status

Great River Energy recently received a letter from the North Dakota Department of Health qualifying Coal Creek Station and Spiritwood Station as low emitting electrical generating units (LEE) with respect to particulate matter emissions.

“Because of the stringent requirements, few plants have qualified for LEE status and it demonstrates that our plants are some of the cleanest-emitting coal-fired units operating in the country,” said Ben Gress, regulatory compliance specialist.

This qualification can be met through a provision within the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards rule. To qualify for LEE status, power plants must test emissions quarterly over a three-year period and prove that emissions are less than 50 percent of the applicable standard.

Coal Creek Station

Coal Creek Station is one of two power plants owned by Great River Energy that was recently qualified as a low emitting electrical generating unit.

“If one emissions test exceeds the 50 percent threshold during that timeframe, the three-year test period would start over,” Gress said. “Both Coal Creek Station and Spiritwood Station accomplished the task in the initial three-year period.”

Not only does LEE status show Great River Energy’s commitment to the environment, but earning the qualification also helps Coal Creek Station and Spiritwood Station reduce costs, monitoring and reporting requirements.

“Sources that qualify for the LEE status do not have to install the applicable continuous emission monitoring systems, which are very costly to certify, operate and maintain,” Gress said.

He added that LEE status could not have been accomplished without the help of Great River Energy’s dedicated employees, including plant operations, and the support of electrician and instrumentation technicians who ensured that the equipment was working properly.