Eye on Energy: Powering the Bakken - KXNet.com - Bismarck/Minot/Williston/Dickinson-KXNEWS,ND

Eye on Energy: Powering the Bakken

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Natural gas is being used to serve the increasing demand for electricity in Northwest North Dakota.

McKenzie and Williams Counties are using natural gas brought in on the Northern Border Pipeline for peak electricity.

While the Lonesome Creek Station will not directly impact flaring, Jennifer Kleen tells us how it is part of the system that could help cut down on waste in the future.

Power lines are cropping up all over Western North Dakota.

But the power behind those lines has a new look.

(Curt Pearson, Basin Electric Power Cooperative Community Relations) "It's like a very large jet engine."

Basin Electric Power Cooperative currently has a solo natural gas fueled turbine located at the Lonesome Creek peak station near Alexander.

The site has been approved for two additional turbines generating roughly a supply for 100,000 homes, all powered by natural gas.

(Curt Pearson, Basin Electric Power Cooperative Community Relations) "If you were to compare natural gas to a coal fueled power plant, natural gas does burn inherently cleaner."

Basin Electric forecasts a need for 1,200-megawatts of additional load growth from member electric cooperatives in the Bakken.

(Curt Pearson, Basin Electric Power Cooperative Community Relations) "There's a tremendous growth in electric demand in this area."

The natural gas turbines are designed for use at peak times, which is becoming more frequent.

(Curt Pearson, Basin Electric Power Cooperative Community Relations) "When there is a demand for electric power, this can be turned on and brought up to speed in approximately 10 minutes."

The two turbines being installed this spring is a $115 million dollar investment in clean energy by Basin Electric.

(Curt Pearson, Basin Electric Power Cooperative Community Relations) "Natural gas looks to be an abundance for many years to come. So a natural gas plant like this seems to be a very good investment for utilities like Basin Electric and others to meet the demand for energy in this area of North Dakota."

Energizing the Bakken with resources generated in the Bakken.

For Eye on Energy near Alexander, Jennifer Kleen, KX News.

The two new turbines will be running by the end of the year.

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