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PSC approves expansion of Basin Electric's 'Pioneer Station,' in Williams County

Dave Thompson

The North Dakota Public Service Commission has approved the siting plan for expansion of Basin Electric’s Pioneer Generation Station in Williams County.

The plant – which is 15 miles northwest of Williston -- uses natural gas.

Basin will be adding six 18.8 megawatt "reciprocal internal combustion engines," or "rice," and two simple cycle combustion turbines.

Commissioner Julie Fedorchak called it "an incredible new resource for North Dakota, the region and the Southwest Power Pool."

"I really applaud Basin Electric for investing in dispatchable thermal generation like this," Fedorchak said. "It's great for balancing the wind power on their system, and Basin is projecting significant growth in demand."

The project – with associated power lines – will cost $788 million. Construction is expected to begin later this year. Basin Electric Power Cooperative says this will bring the Pioneer station’s output to 825 megawatts.

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