Deer Creek Station, a 300-net megawatt power plant, is the latest addition to Basin Electric's energy resource portfolio.
Basin Electric Power Cooperative
- August 17, 2012
|South Dakota Gov. Dennis Daugaard shakes hands with
Roy Ireland, president of Basin Electric, following a
ribbon-cutting to commemorate the commercial operation
of the Deer Creek Station near Elkton, SD.
A dedication ceremony was held Aug. 16 at the Deer Creek Station, a 300-net megawatt capacity power plant that’s a first in South Dakota and a first for Basin Electric. South Dakota Gov. Dennis Daugaard, the featured speaker, spoke about the impact the plant has on the local economy.
The $405-million Deer Creek Station, located in Brookings County about 15 miles northeast of Brookings, began commercial operation Aug. 1. There are 28 full-time employees at the plant.
"I think this is a win, win, win, win. I think there are four wins here,” Daugaard said. “The Deer Creek Station is providing reliable power for rural electric consumers; they're winners. For Basin Electric, this plant fits into their mix of baseload plants, peaking plants and wind generation. The plant is energy efficient, using a combined-cycle technology. And the fourth win is the South Dakota economy. Basin Electric has brought hundreds of millions of dollars of investment to our state through the construction of Deer Creek Station."
Of the Deer Creek Station employees, 21 are new to South Dakota. “These people brought their families with them. They’ve invested in a new future in South Dakota through their home purchases, their family’s daily purchases and their children’s education,” Daugaard said. “This project is significant because it involved vision, planning and cooperation.”
The Deer Creek Station is a combined-cycle power plant featuring two turbine-generator sets. One turbine is powered by natural gas, the other is driven by steam. Heat from the gas turbine exhaust is captured in a heat recovery steam generator to create steam that is used to power a steam turbine.
Andrew M. Serri, CEO and general manager of Basin Electric, was the emcee of the dedication. He said Deer Creek configuration is very efficient because it uses exhaust heat that would otherwise be released in the air. “This plant has an efficiency of more than 55 percent, which is a significant improvement over traditional power plants.”
Serri said Deer Creek Station is the first application of this technology by Basin Electric for its fleet of generating plants that include baseload coal, wind turbines and natural gas peaking stations. “This plant is a good fit to meet the needs of our member systems,” he said. “The plan is to have it operate during the day, and then shut off during the night. This is a celebration of the successful completion of construction; it was done on time, under budget and safely.”
Kermit Pearson, a Basin Electric director and South Dakota resident, said the upper Midwest is at the epicenter of energy development in this country. “As we move forward, we're going to need more plants like Deer Creek Station, and more wind projects like the Crow Lake Wind Project (a large wind project developed by a subsidiary of Basin Electric north of White Lake, SD). This country needs a comprehensive energy policy that includes all forms of energy: nuclear, coal, renewable, and natural gas."
Jeff Nelson, manager of East River Electric Power Cooperative, Madison, SD, said the Deer Creek Station represents a diversification of power supply for electric cooperatives. “It’s a combined-cycle unit, powered by natural gas. It is added to coal-based generation and wind-based generation,” he said. “This project is going to take that intermittent wind — days when the wind is not blowing — and fill the gap so that those wind resources, combined with projects like this, produce a firm power supply. It diversifies not only this region's, but this country's, source of energy."
Representatives from South Dakota’s congressional delegation also read congratulatory letters signed by U.S. Sen. John Thune, U.S. Sen. Tim Johnson and U.S. Rep. Kristi Noem.
Read the full press release: Deer Creek Station dedication