The first of three 45-megawatt natural gas-fired power plants is operational near Williston.
The unit 15 miles northwest of Williston is owned and operated by Basin Electric Power Cooperative, the company said in a release. The site will be known as Pioneer Station. Construction of the $64.5-million unit began summer 2012.
The unit is part of a power generation plan that includes two more units at Pioneer Station, three units west of Watford City and a transmission line.
Basin Electric will use the unit to produce electricity for Mountrail-Williams Electric.
Staff has been hired to operate the unit. The plant will operate as needed rather than all the time. The technology used to fire up the unit will allow it to be started quickly.
In late November, Unit 1 at the Lonesome Creek Station, about 13 miles west of Watford City should also be operational. Basin also has submitted permits for two additional units at Lonesome Creek.
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