Energy Efficiency, Generation, Natural Gas, T&D, Transmission

Basin Electric starts up new natural gas plant

Additional megawatts of generation capacity are online and ready to provide much-needed electrical stability in the Williston Basin.

Basin Electric Power Cooperative’s Pioneer Generation Station, a natural gas-based peaking station northwest of Williston, N.D., started commercial operation of Unit 2 on February 1. Pioneer Station Unit 1 started commercial operation in September 2013, and construction of Unit 3 unit will be completed later this month. All three units will have 45 MW of generation capacity.

Basin Electric’s Lonesome Creek Station, a natural gas-fired peaking station west of Watford City, N.D., started commercial operation of Unit 1 on Decemcer 1, 2013. Construction of two additional 45 MW units is targeted for completion in late 2014. All three units will also have 45 MW of generation capacity.

Phase I of both Pioneer and Lonesome Creek stations feature a clutch that allows the turbine to uncouple from the generator, allowing the generator to operate independent of the turbine. This feature, if needed, is used to provide fast-acting reactive power that will stabilize the transmission system in the area.