Basin Electric’s first combined cycle power plant had a big day yesterday. Watch the video.
The Deer Creek Station in Brookings County, SD, achieved first fire just before 11 a.m. That means natural gas flowing into the gas turbine was ignited for the first time. Steam was produced in the heat recovery steam generator and flowed through the piping. As a result, “steam blows” began, which cleans out the pipes before steam is allowed to travel to the steam turbine.
Leading up to first fire, the plant went through several “false fire tests,” which was just like a first fire except the spark plug igniters weren’t hooked up. During each of those, a different system “trip” was initiated, or allowed to trip, to make sure systems were running correctly.
The first fire is another step in the long process of commissioning and testing before the plant begins commercial operation, which is set for this summer. The March-April 2012 Basin Today published a story about commissioning at Deer Creek Station: Stand by for testing