It was a difficult week for residents living in the central and eastern
parts of North Dakota.
However, those water levels have begun to recede, in part, because
the Army Corps of Engineers stopped water releases from the Garrison Dam for the first time in history to help relieve flooding conditions in Bismarck downstream from the dam.
But, with no flow from the dam, on March 26, two days after the
Corps stopped releasing water, Basin Electric was forced to shut
down both units of its Leland Olds Station near Stanton.
Leland Olds depends on river water for cooling and steam production and when intake levels get too low, the plant cannot run.
According to Bob Holzwarth, vice president of plant operations, by
the weekend, the Corps had restarted water releases from the Dam
at 9,000 cubic feet per second (cfs), enough to allow Basin Electric
to start up both units at Leland Olds early Sunday morning.
Normal discharges for this time of year run at approximately 20,000-22,000 cfs.
Unit 1 was limited to 100 megawatts because of low water conditions on the river, but was back to full load in the afternoon on March 30.
Unit 2 was released for full load in the early morning March 31.
To compensate for decreased generation while the Leland Olds units
were shut down, Basin Electric started up its peaking stations at
Groton, SD, as needed.