Basin Electric looks to start summer construction of 45-MW gas unit

Basin Electric Power Cooperative is seeking final government approvals and hopes to start construction of a new 45-MW natural gas power project, called Lonesome Creek plant, this July, a spokesman said April 13.

Completion of the new peaking unit near Watford, N.D., is planned for 2013.

The $64.5m Lonesome Creek plant will support the local transmission system and serve loads developing in the area, according to the cooperative’s website. The Basin Electric board approved the project in February.

Before construction can start, several permits are required, including zoning change and conditional use permits from Alex Township in McKenzie County, and an air permit to construct from the state. A Basin spokesperson said the cooperative is well along in securing the needed permits.

The project will use a General Electric (NYSE: GE) LM 6000 combustion turbine generator. The unit would incorporate a synchronous clutch. If needed, the turbine could be disconnected from the generator, and the generator would act as a motor, thus providing much-needed voltage support to the area.

The power plant will connect to the grid through a 115-kV transmission line.

In late March, Basin announced that it was beginning the start-up process for the 300-MW Deer Creek combined-cycle gas plant near Elkton, S.D., in Brookings County. The $405m Deer Creek project was approved by Basin Electric’s board of directors in October 2007 and is scheduled for completion during June 2012.

On the coal power front, Basin Electric is currently expected to finish construction of two SO2 scrubber systems for the Leland Olds power plant sometime this year. The Leland Olds emissions control retrofit is a $410m project, according to a Basin Electric summary.

About Wayne Barber 4201 Articles
Wayne Barber, Chief Analyst for the GenerationHub, has been covering power generation, energy and natural resources issues at national publications for more than 20 years. Prior to joining PennWell he was editor of Generation Markets Week at SNL Financial for nine years. He has also worked as a business journalist at both McGraw-Hill and Financial Times Energy. Wayne also worked as a newspaper reporter for several years. During his career has visited nuclear reactors and coal mines as well as coal and natural gas power plants. Wayne can be reached at