Antelope Valley Station

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Antelope Valley Station is a coal-fired power station owned and operated by Basin Electric Power Cooperative near Beulah, North Dakota.

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Plant Data

  • Owner/Parent Company: Basin Electric Power Cooperative
  • Plant Nameplate Capacity: 870 MW
  • Units and In-Service Dates: 435 MW (1984), 435 MW (1986)
  • Location: 294 County Rd. 15, Beulah, ND 58523
  • GPS Coordinates: 47.367903, -101.837286
  • Coal Consumption:
  • Coal Source:
  • Number of Employees:

Coal Ash Waste and Water Contamination

In August 2010 a study released by the Environmental Integrity Project, the Sierra Club and Earthjustice reported that North Dakota, along with 34 states, had significant groundwater contamination from coal ash that is not currently regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The report, in an attempt to pressure the EPA to regulate coal ash, noted that most states do not monitor drinking water contamination levels near waste disposal sites.[1] The report mentioned North Dakota's Antelope Valley Station and Leland Olds Station as sites that have groundwater contamination due to coal ash waste.[2]

Antelope Valley CO2 capture demonstration project

In January 2009, the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced a loan of up to $300 million to Basin Electric Power Cooperative for the development of a demonstration project to capture carbon dioxide emissions at its Antelope Valley plant in Mercer County. Basin Electric is partnering with Powerspan Corp. and Burns & McDonnell to demonstrate CO2 removal from the flue gas of a lignite-based boiler. The project would capture about a million tons of CO2 per year from part of the plant's exhaust stream and send it to oil fields along the pipeline used by the plant.[3]

In July 2009, the project received up to $100 million from the Department of Energy's Clean Coal Power Initiative.[4]

Some state representatives are seeking $100 million in state support to match the federal grant. The project's initial engineering and design work should be completed by the end of 2010, Basin spokesman Daryl Hill said. North Dakota's Industrial Commission, which oversees a state coal research fund, put up $2.7 million for the study, which equaled half its expected cost.[5]

In August 2010, Basin Electric Power Cooperative said it was searching for customers to buy the carbon dioxide it plans to retain from the experimental Antelope Valley power plant. A potential buyer is the oil industry, which uses carbon dioxide for enhanced oil recovery in some geologic formations. Designers hope the project will be able to capture up to 1 million tons of the gas annually. The legislative committee's chairman, Sen. Rich Wardner, R-Dickinson, said he believed a surge in carbon dioxide demand was in the offing for western North Dakota's oil industry.[5]

The carbon dioxide retention process to be used at Antelope Valley is being developed by HTC Purenergy Inc. of Regina, Saskatchewan and Doosan Babcock Energy, an English company that has its U.S. headquarters in Atlanta. Basin said the carbon dioxide that cannot be sold could be pumped underground into saltwater aquifers in western North Dakota for storage. One large aquifer is beneath the Freedom Mine, eight miles northwest of Beulah, which supplies coal to the synfuels plant and Antelope Valley station.[5]

Emissions Data

  • 2006 CO2 Emissions: 8,696,067 tons
  • 2006 SO2 Emissions: 14,525 tons
  • 2006 SO2 Emissions per MWh:
  • 2006 NOx Emissions: 14,728 tons
  • 2005 Mercury Emissions: 410 lb.

Death and disease attributable to fine particle pollution from Antelope Valley Station

In 2010, Abt Associates issued a study commissioned by the Clean Air Task Force, a nonprofit research and advocacy organization, quantifying the deaths and other health effects attributable to fine particle pollution from coal-fired power plants.[6] The study found that over 13,000 deaths and tens of thousands of cases of chronic bronchitis, acute bronchitis, asthma-related episodes and asthma-related emergency room visits, congestive heart failure, acute myocardial infarction, dysrhythmia, ischemic heart disease, chronic lung disease, peneumonia each year are attributable to fine particle pollution from U.S. coal-fired power plants. Fine particle pollution is formed from a combination of soot, acid droplets, and metals formed from sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxide, and soot. Among those particles, the most dangerous are the smallest (smaller than 2.5 microns), which are so tiny that they can evade the lung's natural defenses, enter the bloodstream, and be transported to vital organs. Impacts are especially severe among the elderly, children, and those with respiratory disease. Low-income and minority populations are disproportionately impacted as well, due to the tendency of companies to avoid locating power plants upwind of affluent communities. The table below estimates the death and illness attributable to the Antelope Valley Station. Abt assigned a value of $7,300,000 to each 2010 mortality, based on a range of government and private studies. Valuations of illnesses ranged from $52 for an asthma episode to $440,000 for a case of chronic bronchitis.[7]

Table 1: Death and disease attributable to fine particle pollution from the Antelope Valley Station

Type of Impact Annual Incidence Valuation
Deaths 52 $380,000,000
Heart attacks 80 $8,700,000
Asthma attacks 870 $45,000
Hospital admissions 37 $870,000
Chronic bronchitis 32 $14,000,000
Asthma ER visits 53 $19,000

Source: "Find Your Risk from Power Plant Pollution," Clean Air Task Force interactive table, accessed February 2011


Coal Waste Sites

Articles and Resources

Sources

  1. "Study of coal ash sites finds extensive water contamination" Renee Schoff, Miami Herald, August 26, 2010.
  2. "Enviro groups: ND, SD coal ash polluting water" Associated Press, August 24, 2010.
  3. "USDA approves loan for CO2 capture project," Basin Electric Power Cooperative, January 15, 2009.
  4. "DOE provides stimulus cash for 'clean coal' plants," E&E News PM, July 1, 2009.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Dale Wetzel, "ND PSC candidate backing carbon dioxide project" Bloomberg, July 30, 2010.
  6. "The Toll from Coal: An Updated Assessment of Death and Disease from America's Dirtiest Energy Source," Clean Air Task Force, September 2010.
  7. "Technical Support Document for the Powerplant Impact Estimator Software Tool," Prepared for the Clean Air Task Force by Abt Associates, July 2010

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