Wärtsilä Energy to provide engines for Pioneer Generation Station Phase IV

Basin Electric has chosen the technology group Wärtsilä to provide the generating capacity for Pioneer Generation Station Phase IV the cooperative’s largest single-site electric generation project since the 1980s. Pioneer Generation Station Phase IV will generate up to 583 megawatts of natural gas electricity near the existing Pioneer Generation Station, northwest of Williston, North Dakota. The facility currently uses Wärtsilä technology to power its existing units.

Pioneer Generation Station Phase IV will operate with six Wärtsilä gas engines having a combined net output of 108 MW. The fast-starting and stopping ability of this technology allows full output to be reached in just minutes, which ensures a stable and reliable electricity supply regardless of the weather conditions.

“Pioneer Generation Station Phase IV will serve the growing needs of the cooperative’s members with reliable, affordable, and responsible electricity. Load forecasts show member cooperatives will require more electricity by 2025,” said Todd Telesz, Basin Electric CEO and general manager.

“Basin Electric knows our engines from before, and we are pleased to be working again with this advanced cooperative. In addition to their grid balancing capabilities, one of the many benefits of our gas engine solutions is that they require a relatively low gas pressure to sustain full rated capacity. This helps to ensure supply reliability at all times,” said Jon Rodriguez, Wärtsilä Energy’s North America director of engine power plants.

According to Wärtsilä Energy, reciprocating engine power plants based on internal combustion engine technology are being increasingly deployed in the United States to balance renewables. Flexible technologies, such as grid balancing power plants and energy storage, also offer a sustainable means for decarbonizing energy production by allowing higher renewable production by reducing the need to curtail those resources.

The Wärtsilä equipment is scheduled for delivery in the beginning of 2024, and Pioneer Generation Station Phase IV is expected to begin operation by the summer of 2025.