Coal fines being trucked from Antelope Valley Station to Leland Olds Station

Editor’s note: This story has been updated from its original version.

Coal fines from Antelope Valley Station are being trucked to Leland Olds Station to supplement the low stockpile the plant is currently experiencing. Coal fines are the smaller pieces of coal that are sent to Antelope Valley from Dakota Gasification Company’s Great Plains Synfuels Plant after screening prior to the gasification process. Coal-based power plants can burn the fines to make electricity.

Trucking began Aug. 5 and the number of trucks will vary based on the needs of the plant. While coal was similarly hauled via truck to Leland Olds Station in 2014, there were considerably more trucks carrying coal during that time period. Basin Electric is requiring the contents of the trucks to be covered to help secure the fines in the trailers.  

The decision to truck coal was made due to a dwindling stockpile of lignite at Leland Olds Station. The pile is down due to a combination of factors including coal system repairs at Antelope Valley Station, a malfunctioning scale showing the incorrect stockpile weight, increase in the plant’s run hours, and rail delays. As of July 31, Leland Olds inventory was less than 220,000 tons. The target stockpile is 500,000 tons, which would be enough to generate about 40 days of electricity.

“Ensuring our members continue to receive reliable electricity is a top priority for Basin Electric,” said Colleen Peterson, Basin Electric superintendent of fuel and transportation. “Having an adequate fuel supply at our facilities ensures we can maintain reliability should fuel or transportation issues arise.”

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