Hearing held on Basin’s Pioneer Generation Station air permit

Basin Electric Power Cooperative – May 10, 2013

The North Dakota Department of Health held a public hearing May 7 in Williston, ND, on the Air Pollution Control Permit to Construct for Pioneer Generation Station. The health department is also conducting a 30-day comment period, which ends May 10.

Pioneer Generation Station is located near Williston. Phase I of the project is a 45-megawatt General Electric LM 6000 combustion turbine generator fueled by natural gas. The first phase will go into commercial operation early this summer. Phase II of the project consists of two, 45-megawatt turbines similar to the first, bringing the power plant’s total generation output to 135 megawatts.

Pioneer Generation Station will primarily be used to support the local transmission system and to provide peaking generation to serve loads rapidly developing in the area due to oil development. The first unit will 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.

Myron Steckler, Pioneer Generation Station project manager, testified on behalf of Basin Electric. Others who testified include: Ken Snell, Sargent & Lundy air quality control system expert and Chris Brostuen, Mountrail-Williams Electric, a Basin Electric Class C member.

Curt Pearson, Basin Electric project coordinations representative, said Basin Electric should know the status of the air permit later this month.