2013 to present

In its first 50-plus years, Basin Electric grew from a one-unit power generation resource to a generation fleet fueled by coal, gas, oil, nuclear, heat recovery and wind; thousands of miles of transmission line; and eight subsidiaries.

Booming growth

Basin Electric began building generation specifically to serve the increasing demand for electricity by member cooperatives in northwest North Dakota.

Northwest of Williston, ND, sits Pioneer Generation Station, a natural gas-fired peaking station which began commercial operation in September 2013. Named for an abandoned school in the area, the location of the new Pioneer Generation Station is near the site of a new natural gas processing plant. The Pioneer Generation Station is used to support the local transmission system and serve loads developing in the area. The unit incorporates a synchronous clutch. If needed, the turbine is disconnected from the generator, and the generator acts as a motor, thus providing much-needed voltage support to the area.

West of Watford City, ND, Basin Electric built Lonesome Creek Station. The Lonesome Creek Station, which began commercial operation in December 2013, is used to support the local transmission system and serve loads developing in the area. The unit incorporates a synchronous clutch. If needed, the turbine can be disconnected from the generator, and the generator acts as a motor, providing much-needed voltage support to the area.

Each of these peaking plants have units online with more being built, growing to serve the growing need.Also, Basin Electric identified the need for additional electric transmission capacity in northwestern North Dakota as a result of increased demand, and to meet reliability and system stability requirements for the region. To resolve these issues, Basin Electric is building a new 345-kilovolt transmission line and associated supporting infrastructure. It is called the Antelope Valley Station to Neset Transmission Project.

Paul Sukut