Construction on Phase II of the Pioneer Generation Station began in June, with Phase I due for operation this summer, said Basin Electric Power Cooperative in a July 19 update.
Pioneer is a natural gas-fired peaking station being built northwest of Williston, N.D., that will provide system reliability and serve the increasing demand for electricity by member cooperatives in Northwest North Dakota. Named for an abandoned school in the area, the location of the new Pioneer station is near the site of a new natural gas processing plant. The project was approved by the Basin Electric board of directors in November 2011.
The project, using GE LM 6000 turbines, consists of two phases.
- Phase I construction, with a 45-MW turbine, started in June 2012, with commercial operation anticipated this summer.
- Due to unexpected rapid growth in demand for electricity, Phase II was added to the project. Phase II construction started in early June, and will add two turbine generators and 90 MW. Commercial operation of Phase II is targeted for late 2013.