A study is underway to see if carbon dioxide can replace water in coal-fired power plants.
Allete, Incorporated – the parent company of Minnesota Power – is doing the study, along with BNI Coal. And the state of North Dakota is kicking in some money – through the Lignite Research Council.
Brad Oachs is the chief operating officer of Minnesota Power. He says the reason for the study is to keep lignite coal as a viable source for electricity generation.
"We're looking to have a balanced portfolio," said Oachs. "We want to have a third of our energy coming from coal, a third coming from renewables and a third from natural gas or other sources. We need to continue to look for ways for coal to be part of the mix, and this study will help see what that potential will be."
One of the Lignite Research Council members who reviewed this proposal says this could be a “game changer” for coal.