Basin Electric seeks approval for additional 90-MW at Lonesome Creek

Basin Electric Power Cooperative is seeking North Dakota regulatory approval for two additional 45-MW units at the Lonesome Creek gas power plant being developed near Watford City, N.D.

A public hearing on the cooperative’s air permit application was held Aug. 22 before the North Dakota Department of Health.

The site is currently permitted for one unit. Construction of the first unit is scheduled to be complete by late 2013 and on the expansion units by late 2014.

The end result will be a 135-MW natural gas power project with all three of its units in commercial operation in 2015.

“This requested expansion of Lonesome Creek will provide additional reliability benefits during transmission outages, system-wide generation shortfalls and provide for contingency if the load in the Williston Basin region grows even faster than is currently forecasted,” Basin Electric Generation Resource Project Manager Myron Steckler said during his testimony. “The fast start and quick response-capability of these simple-cycle units are required for a peaking application and to respond to transmission upsets.”

The combustion turbines will also be used to supply peak power demand and augment wind-generated power when reduced wind generation occurs, Steckler said.

Erwin Prater, certified consulting meteorologist and analyst from Sargent & Lundy, also testified at the hearing. No members of the public attended the hearing. The public comment period runs through the end of August.

The Basin Electric website places the cost of phase 1 at $68.5m and the cost of phase 2 at $115m. Lonesome Creek will employ General Electric (NYSE:GE) LM 6000 combustion turbine generators. The units will be connected to the grid via a 115-kV transmission line.

Basin Electric is also developing the 180-MW (nameplate) Pioneer in Williams County, N.D.

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 wayneb@pennwell.com.