Great River Energy

For more than 10 years, KFI has been performing mechanical and electrical engineering, and commissioning services for Great River Energy (GRE) on over 30 successful projects. These projects, of all different sizes, have varied from new construction to remodels, and have included both maintenance facilities, and offices. KFI has been able to provide GRE with numerous efficient and innovative solutions over the years. GRE strives for energy efficiency in their buildings with a goal of LEED Certification for each new construction project. KFI’s experience with the LEED process, along with a full time commissioning team, has made KFI a great fit for designing and commissioning their building’s systems.

KFI has been involved with projects across Minnesota and North Dakota. These projects include the Elk River Campus, Wadena, Grand Rapids, Maple Grove Headquarters Facility, Big Lake, Cambridge, Bismarck, and Dickinson. KFI has partnered with Dakota Spirit AgEnergy to design the nation’s first waste-heat driven, RFS-2 compliant alcohol plant approved by the EPA, co-located at GRE’s Spiritwood Station near Jamestown, ND. GRE has incorporated numerous sustainable design practices into their buildings, and KFI is proud to continue to work with them side-by-side on the incorporation of these standards within the renovations or construction of their new facilities.

Project details include:

Elk River Campus

Several functions at the Elk River Campus were combined into one new building. The new building includes offices, a warehouse, service garage spaces, a fitness center, and all of the energy efficient HVAC and lighting systems necessary for those facilities. A year after moving in, a new high bay transformer maintenance facility was constructed to replace an existing building. This new 44,000 square-foot building utilizes an existing geothermal well field to assist with their heating needs. Other efficiencies are achieved through ventilation, an energy recovery system, lighting controls, and low flow plumbing fixtures. There are several buildings on the campus which are connected through a heat pump hydronic loop system. KFI discovered that an innovative solution for alternative power was to use waste heat from the refuse derived fuel (RDF) plant boiler system prior to rejecting the water into the Mississippi River. The reuse of the water was approved by the DNR, due to the benefit of removing heat from the water returning to the river. This hydronic loop serves several of the building’s heat pump systems making it one of the most efficient campuses in the upper Midwest.

Grand Rapids Service Center

A stand-alone service center located on the Grand Rapids campus was constructed and has since become LEED certified. The campus is located on a rural site and has no sewer or water, therefore holding tanks were designed for the wash bay. This 42,000 square-foot building is outfitted with radiant floor, an energy recovery unit, low flow plumbing, occupancy sensors, lighting sensors, security system, controlled entry, and a fire alarm system.

Maple Grove Headquarters

KFI also provided mechanical, electrical, and renewable energy commissioning services for the four-story, 166,000 square foot headquarters building located in Maple Grove, Minnesota. The facility includes many new electrical technologies, including a SCADA supervisory system, photovoltaic lighting system, and a wind turbine. The headquarters has since been awarded LEED Platinum certification.

Wadena Service Center

KFI completed the Line Crew Service Facility in Wadena, Minnesota. This project consisted of approximately 25,000 square feet, with about 4,700 square feet of office space, and 20,000 square feet of vehicle storage for their line crews. The HVAC equipment in the facility is run off of a building schedule with optimum start and stop times. Primary heating and cooling is provided by high efficiency ground source water to water, and water to air heat pumps. An energy recovery system recovers energy from the building relief air and exhaust air systems. Occupancy sensors for lighting control, and motion detectors on plumbing fixtures increase the efficiency of the facility.

Bismarck Office Building

GRE needed to create 28,000 square feet of new office space for their staff at the Coal Creek Power Station north of Bismarck. This space was a small portion of a larger shell space being developed and subleased out. A geothermal system is the base mechanical system, providing perimeter in-floor heat for the first six feet around the perimeter of the building to cover the envelope heat loss. Future tenant spaces are provided conduit stubs, pulling power from the electrical room, including data and telephone. GRE’s low voltage system supports their large data room and utilizes a cable tray, and a duct to provide access into the building. This building is the first in North Dakota to receive the Gold LEED Certification.