Basin Electric to add two more 45-MW units at Lonesome Creek

On Nov. 2, Basin Electric Power Cooperative submitted a letter of intent with the North Dakota Public Service Commission to construct two additional 45-MW simple-cycle combustion turbines at the Lonesome Creek Station.

The Lonesome Creek, a 45-MW peaking plant, is currently under construction near Watford City, N.D., with commercial operation scheduled in the summer of 2013. 

The additional natural gas-fueled units will provide peaking capacity to support the increasing loads developing in western North Dakota and eastern Montana’s Williston Basin oil field, Basin Electric noted in a Nov. 2 statement. A study presented Oct. 23 by KLJ on Williston Basin growth over the next 20 years validated Basin Electric’s oil growth forecast.

A letter of intent was filed in July to add the same amount of generation to the Pioneer Generation Station near Williston, N.D. Pioneer is also a two-phased project with 45 MW coming online in 2013, and an additional 90 MW coming online in 2014.

Myron Steckler, project manager, said the additional Lonesome Creek units will be identical to the first unit. “The turbine generators are LM6000s, made by General Electric,” he said. “We are keeping the technology consistent among the units, simplifying operations and maintenance. The plan is to share staff among the generating sites, including Culbertson Generation Station in Montana and Pioneer Generation Station.”

Permitting of the additional units through the North Dakota Public Service Commission should be completed in early 2014, with commercial operation of the additional units slated in early 2015.

Becky Kern, Basin Electric manager of utility planning, said Basin Electric continues to evaluate the load growth in the cooperative’s service area and assess the need for additional infrastructure to ensure reliable power. In addition to the Pioneer and Lonesome Creek units, which will provide 270 MW of peaking generation in the next three years, Basin Electric is undertaking permitting activities for a new 345-kV transmission line. The Antelope Valley Station-to-Neset transmission project will consist of 190 miles of transmission line, two new substations and modifications to three existing substations.

Basin also announced Nov. 2 that a new, BRUSH Turbogenerator-brand generator arrived on site at Pioneer the morning of Nov. 1. Pioneer’s generator was manufactured in the Czech Republic. 

About Barry Cassell 20414 Articles
Barry Cassell is Chief Analyst for GenerationHub covering coal and emission controls issues, projects and policy. He has covered the coal and power generation industry for more than 24 years, beginning in November 2011 at GenerationHub and prior to that as editor of SNL Energy’s Coal Report. He was formerly with Coal Outlook for 15 years as the publication’s editor and contributing writer, and prior to that he was editor of Coal & Synfuels Technology and associate editor of The Energy Report. He has a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University.