EPA administrator, Wyoming governor visit Dry Fork Station

tour of power plant
Tom Stalcup, Dry Fork Station plant manager (far right), leads a tour of the generation facility for (from left) Wyoming Gov. Mark Gordon, EPA Region 8 Administrator KC Becker, and EPA Administrator Michael Regan.

On Aug. 9, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Michael Regan, Wyoming Gov. Mark Gordon, and EPA Region 8 Administrator KC Becker toured Basin Electric’s Dry Fork Station near Gillette, Wyoming, as well as the Wyoming Integrated Test Center (ITC) and Wyoming CarbonSAFE projects located at the facility.

Dry Fork Station is a coal-based generation facility that generates 405 megawatts of reliable, dispatchable generation, critical to the cooperative’s all-of-the-above energy strategy. Dry Fork Station is amongst the newest coal-based facilities in the country, making it an ideal location to host the ITC and Wyoming CarbonSAFE projects.

Tom Stalcup, Dry Fork Station plant manager, showed the visitors an overview of the plant design, highlighting the state-of-the-art environmental controls installed on the plant. “I think it’s valuable to show the visitors the investment we have made at Dry Fork Station to ensure we operate in an environmentally responsible manner, as well as keeping electricity reliable,” he said. “The controls we use here for mercury, sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxide, and more took 30 years to develop to get to the point we now use them today.”

The group then toured the ITC and Wyoming CarbonSAFE to learn more about the research and development on carbon capture, utilization, and storage being done at these test sites. Learn more about that work: Innovative solutions for carbon management.

Chris Baumgartner, Basin Electric senior vice president of Member & External Relations, said the visit was an opportunity to show all that goes into generating reliable electricity. “We appreciated that Administrator Regan visited the ITC, CarbonSAFE site, and our Dry Fork Station to get a first-hand look at the work being done to advance carbon capture, utilization, and storage research,” Baumgartner said. “Dispatchable generation units like Dry Fork Station are critical to serving reliable and affordable electricity our members count on. The work we are doing here on research and development started in 2016 to get us to this point — which demonstrates the time and resources still necessary to bring technology to the point where it is commercially feasible.”

Baumgartner said EPA’s proposed rules on greenhouse gas emissions don’t allow for the time needed to design, permit, and construct carbon capture at Dry Fork Station. He said it’s important to note this is a federal, state, and private partnership, and the work underway at Dry Fork Station is the most advanced on carbon capture anywhere in the country.

“Partnerships like we have on these projects show that it takes many years and substantial resources to bring new technology to commercial viability,” he said. “We are doing this work to learn whether carbon capture from Dry Fork Station will be a sound investment for our membership. Currently, this technology is not ready to meet the requirements of the EPA’s timeframes set forth in their proposed regulation without significantly impacting reliability and affordability for our members.”

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