Two projects will be evaluated at 1:00 p.m. on Thursday, August 3, in the Judicial Room of the Bismarck Ramada Hotel by the Lignite Research Council (LRC) – a review board comprised of representatives from industry and government organizations. The two projects seeking funding from the state of North Dakota are:
For a project to be considered by the Lignite Research Council, the organizations promoting the technologies have to secure matching funds and/or in-kind contributions from companies actively involved in the lignite industry.
This is the third LRC meeting in 2017 and represents the second special LRC meeting requested by industry. A fourth LRC meeting is scheduled for November.
“The number of proposals and meetings shows the industry is very interested in research and development projects that will enhance, preserve and protect the existing industry,” said Mike Holmes, vice president of research and development for the Lignite Energy Council and technical advisor to the NDIC.
Three separate experts evaluate each of the proposals and their evaluations are given to the members of the Lignite Research Council who will consider each of the projects for approval at the August 3rdh meeting. If the LRC approves a grant proposal, it is then forwarded to the North Dakota Industrial Commission, which is comprised of the governor, the attorney general and the commissioner of agriculture, for consideration of final approval.
The North Dakota Industrial Commission is a partner with the regional lignite industry in the Lignite Research Program, which has funded approximately 200 research projects since the mid-1980s. State dollars are leveraged with industry investments for research and demonstration projects. Since 1987 when the partnership began, the state has invested more than $60 million in lignite research funds. This has resulted in a total investment in excess of $700 million when federal and industry funding is included.
The Lignite Energy Council is a regional trade association representing North Dakota lignite producers, electric utilities and more than 300 businesses providing goods and services to the mines and plants. The lignite industry generates approximately $3.5 billion in gross business volume within the state.