Dairyland, Basin Electric work on gas-fired power project

Dairyland Power Cooperative said in a June 28 optional Integrated Resource Plan filed with the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission that it is exploring with Basin Electric Power Cooperative the development of a natural gas-fired combined-cycle power plant to be in commercial operation in December 2022.

The IRP is optional and relatively short because Minnesota allows generation and transmission cooperatives like Dairyland that lightly serve Minnesota to make this kind of filing.

The IRP has no details on the combined-cycle project, like location. A table in the IRP indicates the project would represent roughly 300 MW of capacity for Dairyland. Dairyland said a decision on the project should be made in 2016.

In a Ten Year Plan filed June 24 at the North Dakota Public Service Commission, Basin Electric wrote: “Basin Electric’s latest forecast has seen an increase in expected member load, especially in the western ND oil producing region. This latest forecast has led to Basin Electric exploring a possible combined cycle unit in the spring of 2024. The size and location of this unit is still being discussed. If and when this project is committed to, a more defined schedule will be developed. Basin Electric will continue to monitor the load growth as it materializes and continue to meet the needs of our membership.” It isn’t clear if this is the same project that Dairyland alluded to.

Dairyland said in the IRP that it has finalized agreements with two solar developers to purchase over 15 MW of new renewable energy. One deal is with groSolar for a 2.5-MW project in Phillips, Wisconsin. The other is with SoCore Energy for 11 small solar projects scattered around Wisconsin. All of these projects are expected in operation this summer and this fall.

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.