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Groton Generation Station Interconnection Project

Basin Electric currently owns and operates the Groton Generation Station in Brown County, South Dakota. Groton Generation Station has two generating units. Each unit is powered by a GE LMS100® simple cycle gas turbine rated at 100 MW at design conditions. Unit 1 went into commercial operation on July 1, 2006, and Unit 2 went into commercial operation on July 1, 2008. Basin Electric currently operates the generating station with a condition in its Large Generator Interconnection Agreement with Western that limits the output of the generating station to 50 average MW.

Basin Electric proposes to modify the LGIA with Western to eliminate the 50 average MW administrative limit on its generating station, so it can produce power above the 50 average MW limit. Western prepared an Environmental Impact Statement addressing its Federal action to modify its LGIA for the Groton Generation Station. 

Basin Electric needs to eliminate the operating limit to help serve increased load demand for electric power in the eastern portion of its service area. Basin Electric’s eastern service area comprises western Nebraska, northwestern and central Iowa, portions of southern Minnesota, all of South Dakota, portions of eastern Montana, and western and central North Dakota. The need for additional generating capacity is driven by the increasing electrical power usage of the Basin Electric membership consumers. Between 1999 and 2006, Basin Electric’s total system peak demand increased 752 MW from 1,195 MW to 1,947 MW, or approximately 107 MW per year. In 2007, Basin Electric prepared a forecast showing load and capability surpluses/deficits through the year 2021. The forecast predicts that, by 2014, there will be a deficit of 800-900 MW for the eastern portion of their service area.

The interconnection of each generating unit with Western’s transmission system was addressed in separate environmental assessments; East Side Peaking Project, South Dakota, (DOE/EA-1524) and Groton Generating Station Project, South Dakota (DOE/EA-1524-S1). Based on these environmental assessments, which included the 50 MW operating limit provision, Western issued separate findings of no significant impact with determinations that the preparation of an EIS was not required on July 25, 2005, and June 20, 2008, respectively.

Record of Decision Issued

Western has issued its Record of Decision for the modification of the Groton Generation Station Interconnection Agreement. Western decided to modify its LGIA with Basin Electric for the Groton Generation Station, eliminating the 50-MW annual average operating limit. Basin Electric can produce additional power up to the limits established in the current Title V air quality operating permit for the generating station.

Project documents

- Groton Generation Station Interconnection Project Final Environmental Impact Statement (11.2 MB pdf)

- Draft Environmental Impact Statement (complete) (2.4 MB pdf)

Notice of Intent to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (53 kb pdf)

- Oct. 7, 2009: Scoping meeting advertisement (36 kb pdf)

Contact information

Erika Walters
NEPA Document Manager
Western Area Power Administration
Corporate Services Office
P.O. Box 281213
Lakewood, CO 80228–8213
Phone: (800) 336-7288
Fax: (720) 962–7263
E-mail: groton@wapa.gov