Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department / School

Construction and Operations Management

First Advisor

Ekaterina Koromyslova


This research is focused on developing a location analysis methodology that can minimize the pollutant exposure to the public while ensuring that the combined costs of electric transmission losses and coal logistics are minimized. Coal power plants will provide a critical contribution towards meeting electricity demands for various nations in the foreseeable future. The site selection for a new coal power plant is extremely important from an investment point of view. The operational costs for running a coal power plant can be minimized by a combined emphasis on placing a coal power plant near coal mines as well as customers. However, this business strategy has produced a detrimental effect on the environment in various nations around the globe. In this new era of rapid urbanization, increased electric utility demand and environmental consciousness; the location analysis for a new coal power plant needs to include both the investment and environmental considerations. To provide a general background of the issue, a detailed literature review was conducted on the topics of Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) pollutant dispersion models, health effects due to exposure to pollutants, coal logistics, electric transmission technical losses, and location analysis models. Next, a methodology, based on dynamic programming, was formulated by combing the EPA’s pollutant dispersion models with the minimum spanning tree algorithm to calculate the combined costs of coal logistics and electric transmission losses for a given set of coal mines and customers present on a network. The subsequent simulation was developed based on the proposed methodology. The simulation successful ly proved that the selection of a site on a grid map provided the minimum of the combined cost of electric line losses and coal transportation, and no customers were exposed to pollutant concentration above the declared threshold for that pollutant. The resultant emission’s data were validated via comparing against the EPA Screen3 and Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry (METI-LIS) models. The minimum spanning tree for electric transmission lines and coal transportation were validated using R-software.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Coal-fired power plants.
Coal-fired power plants -- Environmental aspects.
Coal -- Transportation.
Electric power transmission -- Costs.
Air quality management.


Includes bibliographical references (pages 110-117)



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University



Rights Statement

In Copyright