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.