| Breakfast: ||The hotel offers a tasty, expanded continental breakfast this morning. Includes both hot and cold breakfast items, pastries, fruit, protein and juices.|
| Morning: ||Start your North Dakota Energy Trail learning experience with NextEra Energy Resources Wilton Wind Field, one of the region’s largest wind energy projects. Get a
close-up view of the 260-foot tall wind towers, each with three 120-foot long blades weighing over 7 tons, capable of generating 48.5 megawatts of power. Learn about the pros and cons of this type of energy resource. Basin Electric Power Cooperative is the sole purchaser of electricity from this project. |
At the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center, in Washburn, you will get an overview of the Expedition with special emphasis on displays that include Native American Artifacts, a buffalo robe that visitors can try on, as well as a cradle-board, and an original "hasp." The Center's Bergquist Gallery, one of only four galleries in the world to house a complete collection, rotates the prints of Karl Bodmer on a seasonal basis. Bodmer's watercolors and Maximilian's written descriptions are considered the most complete and reliable eyewitness account of the Upper Midwest Indian cultures.
Learn more of the Journey from a reenactor at Fort Mandan. Lewis & Clark spent more days in North Dakota than any other place on their journey. This site offers a reconstruction of the 1804-1805 winter quarters built by the Corp of Discovery. Sacagawea, their interpreter and wife of French Canadian trapper and guide Toussaint Charbonneau, joined the expedition at this site. The fort was built of cottonwood lumber cut from the riverbanks. It was triangular in shape, with high walls on all sides and a gate facing the riverbank. The men started building the fort on November 2, 1804 and remained in the area until April 7, 1805. When the Corp passed back through the area in August 1806 on their return journey home, the fort had burnt to the ground; the reason is unknown.
| Lunch: ||Another tasty sack lunch awaits you this noon. |
Expand your energy knowledge at Antelope Valley near Beulah, North
Dakota. This area is part of a $4-billion energy complex that includes: The Freedom Mine, the nation's largest lignite coal mine; Antelope Valley Station, coal-based generating station; and The Great Plains Synfuels Plant, the nation's only commercial-size coal gasification plant.
From coal to electricity, Antelope Valley Station was designed as an environmentally sound, coal-based generating station. Production of electricity involves heating water to
make steam. The steam spins a turbine connected to a generator, which produces electricity. This cycle is the same whether a plant gets heat from nuclear energy or burns gas, oil or coal. The largest piece of equipment at Antelope Valley is the boiler, measuring 277 feet tall. Each boiler consumes 350 tons of pulverized lignite per hour to produce superheated steam at 1,005 degrees Fahrenheit and 2,400 pounds per square inch. Steam is used to drive a multi-stage turbine connected to a generator. A major part of the Antelope Valley Station fuel supply is provided by the Great Plains Synfuels Plant in the form of lignite fine-particles of coal too small for use in the gasification process.
The water source for Antelope Valley and the Synfuels Plant is Lake Sakakawea, a large
reservoir on the Missouri River. Water management is another aspect of environmental
protection. Antelope Valley is a "zero-discharge" facility. Water is used efficiently, and
none of it is returned to its source. The only way water leaves the plant site is by evaporation. Of the $1.9-billion construction cost, approximately $322 million more has been invested in environmental equipment and controls for protecting land, air and water. This is a lignite-based electric generating station with a capacity of 900,000 kilowatts.
| Afternoon: ||Learn about another major energy source for our country at the Great Plains Synfuels
Plant near Beulah, North Dakota, the only commercial-scale coal gasification plant in the
United States that manufactures natural gas as an investment to help assure America’s
energy independence. |
The $2.1-billion Synfuels Plant gasifies lignite coal to produce
valuable gases and liquids. The average daily production is about 160 million cubic feet
of natural gas, the majority of which is piped to Ventura and Harper, IA, for distribution
in the eastern United States. The Synfuels Plant has invested approximately $130 million
for environmental systems and facilities upgrades since 2007. One of these features is a
unique flue gas desulfurization unit, or scrubber, that removes sulfur dioxide from the
plant’s flue gases, the scrubber is unusual because it uses anhydrous ammonia as the
scrubbing reagent, producing a valuable fertilizer instead of waste product.
products are also produced and marketed in the United States and worldwide. A portion
of the gas produced is used to make co-products such as anhydrous ammonia and
ammonium sulfate used as crop fertilizers; krypton-xenon used in specialty lighting, such
as halogen headlights, lasers and projector bulbs; liquid nitrogen, used in food processing
refrigeration and enhanced oil recovery; naphtha, gasoline enhancement product; crude
cresylic acid, used for manufacturing numerous chemical products; and phenol, used for
resins for plywood manufacturers and casting industry.
The plant daily consumes about
18,000 tons of lignite coal from the nearby Freedom Coal Mine.
| Afternoon: ||See for yourself the "gigantic" machinery used to extract coal at the Freedom Mine, a strip mining operation in Antelope Valley. The mine was named to highlight the
important role it plays in helping secure America's freedom from dependence on foreign energy sources. |
The coal seams ranging from 13 to 20-foot seams are located 50 to 150-feet below the surface. There are two walking draglines, each weighing 13 million
pounds, that move 150 tons of earth per minute. The bucket itself could hold four 4-wheel drive Suburbans, 27,000 bushels of wheat or 1.5 million golf balls. Other equipment includes electric loading shovels, backhoes, 250-ton dump trucks, and track and rubber-tired dozers. Some of the trucks can haul enough coal in one load to fill three railroad cars.
The mine supplies approximately 5.2-million tons of lignite per year to Antelope Valley Station and The Synfuels Plant alone.
Rock picking, fertilizing and seeding occur immediately after the reclamation topography is approved with the use of global positioning technology. Lands are reclaimed to cropland and rangeland to be
used by local farmers and ranchers. Other reclaimed lands, a 50-acre fishing lake for example, have been donated to the North Dakota Game and Fish Department as an addition to a 640-acre wildlife management area. Reclamation is at the same rate as mining, 700-1,000 acres per year.
North Dakota is one of only 15 states in the nation to meet all of the Environmental Protection Agency's stringent ambient air quality
It is estimated that North Dakota has 25 billion tons of lignite reserves-enoughto last 800 years at today's rate of use.
| Dinner: ||Dinner tonight is on your own. Your director will point out and discuss dining options close to your hotel. Choices range from Red Lobster, sandwich shops, coffee and deli shop, supermarket with a deli department and a neat "50s style" restaurant.
Evening: Free time to swim in the indoor pool, take a walk or just relax after a very busy day.|