Coyote plant to sell hot water for Bakken oil shale production

The Coyote Station, a 427-MW, lignite-fired power plant, is about to broaden its customer base by selling hot water for use by oil producers in the Bakken shale play, said the North Dakota Lignite Energy Council on Sept. 17.

Operated by Otter Tail Power, Coyote has traditionally produced just electricity, but it will be selling hot water to companies operating in the Bakken oil play in western North Dakota. The water will be heated with waste heat from the power plant and sold to the oil companies to be used in the fracturing of the shale formations to free up oil for production.

Currently, loadout facilities are being built at the Coyote site, the council said. When the project is done, tanker trucks will pull up to one of eight water depot bays and be able to choose hot water or cold water. From Coyote, the trucks will head west to the oil fields. Coyote gets its water from the Missouri River through a 26-mile pipeline. The hot water will leave the power plant at about 120 degrees. The depot bays should be operational in early September.

Coyote station manager Brad Zimmerman said the project will benefit regional electric customers by adding another revenue stream and offsetting costs. Coyote is also selling flue gas desulfurization (FGD) byproduct to oil field companies where it is used to solidify drill cuttings in waste pits, and also selling boiler slag to Abrasives Inc.

Coyote is jointly owned by Otter Tail Power, Montana-Dakota Utilities, Northern Municipal Power Agency and Northwestern Corp.

The primary objective of the Lignite Energy Council is to maintain a viable lignite coal industry and enhance development of the region’s lignite coal reserves. Members of the council include mining companies, major users of lignite for electricity generation and businesses that provide goods and services to the lignite industry.

About Barry Cassell 20414 Articles
Barry Cassell is Chief Analyst for GenerationHub covering coal and emission controls issues, projects and policy. He has covered the coal and power generation industry for more than 24 years, beginning in November 2011 at GenerationHub and prior to that as editor of SNL Energy’s Coal Report. He was formerly with Coal Outlook for 15 years as the publication’s editor and contributing writer, and prior to that he was editor of Coal & Synfuels Technology and associate editor of The Energy Report. He has a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University.