Otter Tail Power Company announces plans for new natural gas capacity in South Dakota

Published on March 30, 2017 by Daily Energy Insider Reports

Otter Tail Power Company recently announced plans to seek regulatory approval for a new gas-fired electricity-generating station in Deuel County, South Dakota.

The natural gas plant, Astoria Station, will be located northwest of Astoria at the intersection of the Northern Border Pipeline and the Big Stone South-to-Brookings County 345-kilovolt electric transmission line.

Astoria Station will be a simple-cycle natural gas combustion turbine with a capacity of approximately 250 megawatts. Its flexible operating options will allow it to act as a backup to the company’s wind generation.

The project will cost approximately $165 million and is expected to enter operation in 2021.

“Astoria Station is part of our company’s plan to reliably, economically, and environmentally responsibly meet our customers’ energy needs, replace expiring capacity purchase agreements, and prepare for the 2021 retirement of the 1950s-era 140-megawatt (MW) coal-fired Hoot Lake Plant in Fergus Falls, Minnesota,” Otter Tail Power Company President Tim Rogelstad said. “We ensure that the mix of resources we use to generate electricity includes enough capacity to reliably serve customers during periods of high demand for power and enough affordable energy to serve customers always.”

Otter Tail also plans to finish constructing a new 150-MW wind farm near Merricourt, North Dakota in McIntosh and Dickey Counties by 2019.

“Today wind energy supplies approximately 19 percent of the electricity we use to serve our customers,” Rogelstad said. “With this addition, customers will receive approximately 28 percent of their energy from wind, which is a low-cost resource. Astoria Station paired with the Merricourt project is a great example of our commitment to providing an optimal mix of energy resources.”