Big Stone II makes massive water demands: Plans for the proposed Big Stone II coal plant near Milbank, South Dakota call for using massive amounts of water. In addition to the 3.2 billion gallon surface draw approved last year, co-owners have now filed for another 3.2 billion gallons from groundwater. With concerns about pollution growing and spiraling costs for the proposed coal plant,
excessive water demands add another reason to say no to Big Stone II. This huge demand for water could be
disastrous for the local area and farmers - as well as Big Stone Lake.
Overview of the South Dakota Generation and Transmission Facilities by Greg Rislov, Commission Advisor to the SD Public Utilities Commission, SDEIA Board Educational Meeting June 9, 2006 presentation.
Mercury and Coal Plants: An Overview submitted in Docket EL05-022 before the SD Public Utilities Commission June 2006 in the hearing for the proposed Big Stone II 600-630 MW coal plant to be located adjacent to Big Stone Plant Unit 1 near the shores of Big Stone Lake on the South Dakota Minnesota border in Grant County, SD.
Big Stone II: A Big Mistake by Barbara Freese, Union of Concerned Scientists presented at SoDak Park Supper Club on the South Dakota shores of Big Stone Lake at the September 28th, 2006 Public Education Forum.
IGCC: Asking the Hard Questions: Can Coal Ever Be "Clean"? Mary Jo Stueve, Clean Water Action South Dakota, Denver, CO February 12th 2007
Big Stone II Factsheet, January 2007
Aside from serious environmental and health problems with Big Stone II, consumers and ratepayers face new worries. Can we count on coal? An update from Otter Tail Power filed as evidence last June before the South Dakota Public Utilities Commission for the proposed Big Stone II showed "Drastic Customer Impacts" related to rail issues, coal and transportation costs.
For example, last spring Big Stone Plant Unit 1 had to reduce its generation output to 45% of normal output when coal deliveries could not be met, costing retail customers an estimated three (3) million dollars per month (Stueve Exhibit 1D). These costs however, will seem like peanuts once carbon caps (some even argue for tax) come in to play (Schlissel, Sommer Direct Testimony).
Big Stone II, estimated to emit more than 4.5 million tons of carbon dioxide, better known as CO2 a major greenhouse gas, into the atmosphere every year, appears to have a price tag going in one direction. Up.
Who will pay?
We know it won't be the investor owned utility shareholders. Do you want it to be you? Has your utility explored the alternatives? What about wind to revitalize our rural economies?
Big Stone II SD PUC Docket