Basin Electric advances new capacity at Lonesome Creek, Pioneer

Basin Electric Power Cooperative said Jan. 16 that it is making headway on generation projects to help serve members’ needs.

In December 2014, Basin Electric submitted an application for a Certificate of Site Compatibility to the North Dakota Public Service Commission (PSC) for Phase III of the Lonesome Creek Station (LCS) project. Lonesome Creek is a natural gas-based peaking station west of Watford City, N.D. Lonesome Creek Station Phase III will consist of the addition of three 45-MW combustion turbines.

Said the application at the PSC: “Basin Electric proposes to construct, operate, and maintain three additional 45-MW GE LM6000PF SCCTs at LCS (Units 4, 5, and 6), for a total site output of up to 270 MW. The new units would themselves occupy approximately 5.5 acres within the 48.1-acre energy conversion facility area as defined in PU-12-790, in the northern portion of the 160-acre LCS property. The new units would be installed adjacent to the three existing units onsite. An approximately 2.8-acre electrical switchyard would also be constructed on the LCS property.”

The proposed SCCTs are two-shaft/two-spool engines consisting of a high pressure and low pressure compressor, a combustor, and a high pressure and low pressure power turbine. The SCCTs would be designed with a spray intercooled turbine, called “SPRINT” technology. The SPRINT technology reduces the air discharge compressor temperature by injecting atomized water into the low- and high-pressure compressors, allowing for increased air flow through the turbines and increased efficiencies, especially during periods of high ambient temperatures. 

Commercial operation of two of the new LCS units is targeted for June 2016 following receipt of all necessary permits, with the third unit slated to go commercial in 2017. “The staggered start of construction for Lonesome Creek Station Phase III is primarily related to anticipating future generation resource needs in the Williston Basin,” said Josh Rossow, Basin Electric project manager II.

Lonesome Creek Station Unit 1 started commercial operation December 2013, with Units 2 and 3 going commercial on Jan. 1, 2015. Each of the three existing units has 45 MW of generation capacity, giving the station a total current rating of 135 MW.

The Basin Electric board of directors approved Phase III for both Lonesome Creek Station and Pioneer Generation Station, a natural gas-based peaking station northwest of Williston, in July 2014.

Phase III for Pioneer Generation Station will consist of 112 MW of additional peaking capacity, provided by 12 natural gas-based reciprocating engines that each have a generating capacity of 9.3 MW. Commercial operation of Pioneer Generation Station Phase III is targeted for June 2016. The North Dakota PSC will hold a formal hearing to address the Pioneer Generation Station Phase III application in March.

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.