Expansion Project Reaches Electrical Needs - KMOT.COM - Minot, ND - News, Weather, Sports

Expansion Project Reaches Electrical Needs

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North Dakota needs more electricity to keep up with a growing population. A Basin Electric project has been approved to help support the load in western North Dakota.

The North Dakota Public Service Commission approved Basin Electric's proposal to help meet the growing energy needs of the Bakken region. The Lonesome Creek Station near Watford City will now add two natural gas fired peaking stations.

The two new units at the Lonesome Creek Station can be turned on in an instant to meet the demand for electricity at high usage times during the day.  

"The power is needed in the entire region, northeast Montana and northwest North Dakota. The load is growing so quickly for our electric member co-ops that the peaking generation that these two new units can generate for us are very much needed," says Curt Pearson of Basin Electric.

The Lonesome Creek Station already has one operating unit, and will be leaving room for the two new ones. It is part of the company's plan to expand and meet the energy needs for the future.

"We knew from our load forecast two-to-three-years-ago that we needed one unit. If you're going to buy the land and develop the site, you might as well think ahead," says Pearson.

Basin Electric will be meeting with contractors, and starting construction on the project in May. Pearson says the $102 million project will wrap up at the end of the year.

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