The unit will provide peaking power during periods of high demand, typically when weather is very hot or cold. With the summer months fast approaching, the plant will be ready to respond when called upon.
Finishing work to the project site is still ongoing including fencing, landscaping, paving and some painting. However, all of the electrical upgrades to existing substation, transmission and natural gas pipelines to serve the plant are completed.
The $55 million generating unit joins an existing peaking unit and the expanded site includes a water storage tank, operations and maintenance facility and the new 60MW Pratt & Whitney gas turbine generator. The plant provided work to over 100 people during the course of construction. A dedication ceremony is planned for this summer.
NorthWestern Energy provides electricity and natural gas in the Upper Midwest and Northwest, serving about 673,200 customers in Montana, South Dakota and Nebraska.
This article was originally published on Electric Light & Power/POWERGRID International. It was republished with permission.