WILLISTON, N.D. (KXNET) — Basin Electric will be constructing its largest single-site electric generation project since the 1980s just northwest of Williston.

“Basin Electric, we exist to serve our members and we did an assessment that came back that there is significant growth in that area,” said Lindsey Chumley, supervisor of communications.

Basin Electric is building this project near its Pioneer Generation Station because of the infrastructure and proximity of natural gas and transmission resources that already exist there.

Now the project will be constructed in two phases.

“The first phase is going to be a 240 megawatts simple-cycle combustion turbine, a series of reciprocating engines totaling 108 megawatts and 15 miles of 345-kilovolt transmission all to be in service in 2025,” said Chumley.

The second phase will also include an additional 240 megawatts simple cycle combustion turbine which is expected to be finished in 2026.

This project was put into motion because load forecasts show co-ops in the Bakken region will require more electricity by the year 2025.

“So, this pioneer generation station phase four along with all the other investments that we have made in the region for the past decade really helps support the Bakken formation and enhances energy security and independence for our nation as a whole,” said Chumley.

Basin Electric CEO and General Manager Todd Telesz stated that the project will serve the growing needs of the co-op members with reliable and affordable electricity in Western North Dakota.

Growth for oil and gas in western North Dakota is no secret, however, there is new growth happening in the state.

“The data storage and the ancillary services that come along with that, that is a part of why we are needing to build this,” said Chumley.

The project was approved by the Basin Electric board of directors at a September meeting.

The co-op submitted an application to the North Dakota Public Service Commission in October. And a public hearing will be held on January 5 for people to attend.