First unit at Basin’s Lonesome Creek plant achieves first fire

Basin Electric Power Cooperative said Oct. 24 that its newest natural gas-fueled power plant recently achieved a significant milestone on its path to helping meet a sharp increase in electricity demand in the Williston Basin.

The Lonesome Creek Station, located west of Watford City, N.D., achieved first fire at 2:55 p.m. on Oct. 17. The 45-MW plant ran for about 10 minutes before being shut down to check for proper alignment.

According to Myron Steckler, Basin Electric project management and construction director, the next steps are: that the plant will sync to the grid; there will be eight hours of operation to burn out the gas path before loading the catalyst; tuning of the engine: and finally commercial operation, which is slated for November.

Phase I construction was approved by the Basin Electric board of directors in February 2012, and construction began in mid-2012. The board approved Phase II of the project, which will include two additional 45-MW units, in July 2012. Targeted completion of Phase II construction is late 2014.

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.