“I told my supervisors we’re going to the plant to get fired up, get charged up, and blow off a little steam.”
Doug Rothe, Basin Electric mechanical engineering supervisor, has been on site at Deer Creek Station, located in Brookings County, SD, throughout commissioning. His joking comment to his supervisors became a true statement in mid-April.
Basin Electric’s first combined cycle power plant achieved major milestones. The 300-net megawatt Deer Creek Station achieved first fire at 10:50 a.m. Apr. 18, and steam blows also began that day. Initial synchronization to the grid occurred at 5:29 p.m. April 19.
First fire at the Deer Creek Station means natural gas flowing into the gas turbine was ignited for the first time. Once first fire on the gas turbine was achieved, the plant continued at full speed, no load at 3,600 revolutions per minute for at least four hours, to follow commissioning and testing procedures.
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.
Initial synchronization to the grid is the first time the Deer Creek Station has sent electricity out of the plant, which occurs when the generator circuit breaker is closed for the first time. The Deer Creek Station is on schedule to go into commercial operation in June.
Watch video from the day both first fire and steam blows happened.