Coal Creek Generating Station


Built in the late 1970s by the United Power Association and the Cooperative Power Association, the Coal Creek Generating Station is the world's largest lignite-coal-fired plant and North Dakota's largest electrical powerplant. Consuming 950 tons of coal per hour, it is engineered to produce some 13 million pounds of steam per hour. The steam is superheated to 1005 degrees Fahrenheit and sent through two turbine units under 2,620 psi to produce 1,100 megawatts of electricity. All the electricity is transmitted along a 432-mile line to Minnesota, where it is distributed to the 29 member cooperatives served by Great River Energy.

Activity Details

Activity Type:Trips and Destinations
Discipline:Industrial & Manufacturing
Topic(s):Electricity
Grade:K-2, 3-5, 6-8, 9-12
Time:Full day

Fun Fact:The Coal Creek Station burns about 8 million tons of lignite coal annually. The coal comes from the adjacent Falkirk Mine, which contains an estimated 652 million tons of lignite coal, enough for more than 100 years of powerplant operation. The plant was located next to the mine, because it's more economical to transport electricity than haul coal.
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