Proactive planning for the beneficial utilization and cost efficient disposal of coal combustion products (CCPs) is required due to constantly evolving CCP markets (CCPs can be utilized as construction materials), plant operational requirements, and changing regulatory requirements. At Great River Energy's (GRE) Coal Creek Station generating facility in North Dakota, management recognized that these issues will likely impact the marketability, disposal practices, environmental aspects, and economic issues associated with CCPs, and ultimately affect power costs to its rate payers.
GRE and Golder Associates, an international engineering consulting firm, collaborated to evaluate this complex interdependent dynamic system. A process of planning, modeling and engineering activities were carried out to evaluate the economic and environmental impacts associated with various CCP management scenarios at the Coal Creek Station. GoldSim was key to this evaluation, and allowed for the dynamic and probabilistic modeling of various interconnected systems, enabling for the prediction of future behavior of a number of CCP management scenarios with respect to both material and financial implications.
Results of the modeling effort led to the development of a long-term comprehensive CCP management plan, which will minimize the impacts on power cost for GRE's rate payers.