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PKM sends 40 highschoolers on energy tour

Tuesday, November 21, 2017   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Shari Wormwood
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Written by Ben Fladhammer, Minnkota Power Cooperative, Inc. - Sept/Oct 2017 PKM News

PKM Electric Cooperative hosted an Energy Tour in September for 40 high school students from Lancaster, Hallock and Karlstad, Minn. They first traveled 35 miles northwest of Bismarck, N.D., to tour the BNI coal mine and the Milton R. Young Station, a coal-based power plant operated by Minnkota Power Cooperative.


The Young Station provides the majority of the energy needed by PKM and 10 other electric cooperatives in eastern North Dakota and northwestern Minnesota.

  Students stand in the 77-cubic-yard dragline bucket
operated by the BNI coal mine.
  Students had the opportunity to ride in the dragline.

Students learned how coal is responsibly mined and the reclamation efforts to restore the land to its original (or better) state after mining has been completed.  They then followed the process to the adjacent power plant where coal is used to generate electricity.  Students were educated on the innovative technologies that have been installed at the plant to significantly reduce emissions levels.

The tour included a stop at the Energy & Environmental Research Center at the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks. The students were briefed on the cutting-edge energy research being conducted by the organization's scientists and engineers.

In addition to the educational benefits, the tour also promoted students to start thinking about career opportunities, according to Scott Slusar, PKM Electric line sub foreman, who chaperoned the tour. "I think it opened a lot of their eyes about the good jobs that are out there in the energy industry," Slusar said.

The tour was the first of its kind for PKM. The cooperative hopes to make it an annual event with other schools in its service area.



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