Lignite Energy Council to host 33rd annual Teachers Seminar at Bismarck State College

The Lignite Energy Council will host its 33rd annual Teachers Seminar on June 11-14 at the National Energy Center of Excellence on the Bismarck State College campus, Bismarck, ND. More than 100 teachers from North Dakota and surrounding states will learn about lignite and its energy, economic and environmental aspects.

The annual seminar for K-12 teachers began in 1986. More than 3,600 teachers have attended the seminar.

“The lignite industry is important not only to North Dakota but also to surrounding states because our seven power plants provide affordable, reliable power that serves 2 million customers throughout the Upper Midwest,” said Jason Bohrer, president and CEO of the Lignite Energy Council.  “As in the past, teachers will be provided with the information and educational materials they can use in their classroom to teach their students about the region’s lignite industry.”

Teachers come from North Dakota, Minnesota, Montana and South Dakota – all states where electricity produced from the state’s vast lignite reserves is sold to homes, farms and businesses. Teachers earn two graduate level professional development credits for attending the seminar.

“We have an excellent lineup of presenters this year,” said Kay LaCoe, LEC’s director of membership marketing. “The teachers also will have the opportunity to tour a mine, a power plant and the Dakota Gasification Company’s Synfuels Plant.”

The following are the speakers for this year’s seminar:

  • Lignite: The Region’s Best Kept Secret
    • Daryl Hill, retired spokesman for Basin Electric Power Cooperative;
  • North Dakota Geology: Coal‐Bearing Rocks in the Northern Great Plains
    • Kendra Frank – Geological Engineer, The Coteau Properties Co. Freedom Mine
  • Lignite Mining and Reclamation
    • Sarah Flath – Environmental Manager, The Coteau Properties Co. Freedom Mine
  • Electricity Generation Choices
    • John Bauer – Director of North Dakota Generation, Great River Energy
  • Synfuels Production from Lignite
    • Joan Dietz – Communication and Creative Services, Great Plains Synfuels Plant
  • Transmission – Transporting Electricity by Wire
    • Matthew Stoltz – Manager of Transmission Services, Basin Electric Power Cooperative
  • Enhancing Lignite’s Future through Research & Development
    • Mike Holmes – Vice President of Research & Development, Lignite Energy Council
  • Economics and Electricity 101
    • Brian Kroshus – North Dakota Public Service Commissioner
  • Energy and CO2 Management: Carbon Capture and Storage
    • Dan Daly – Research Manager, Energy & Environmental Research Center at the University of North Dakota
  • Plant Level Environmental Compliance
    • Craig Bleth – Plant Engineering and Environmental Manager, Minnkota Power Cooperative
  • Industry Career Choices
    • Kent Ellis – Special Projects Coordinator, Bismarck Public Schools
  • Workforce Issues and Needs Panel
    • Moderator: Jason Bohrer – President & CEO, Lignite Energy Council
    • Dan Dorfschmidt – Operations Manager, Butler Machinery
    • David Farnsworth – Manager of North Dakota Power Generation and Engineering Services, Great River Energy
    • Jay Volk – Environmental Manager, BNI Coal, Ltd.
    • Bruce Emmil – Associate Vice President – National Energy Center of Excellence, Bismarck State College

At the conclusion of the seminar, teachers will take home handouts, videos, coal samples and activities that can be used in the classroom, as well as two professional graduate credits.