Deer Creek Station achieves first fire

Deer Creek Station

Basin Electric staff and others gather to watch one piece of evidence the first fire was successful: steam coming from the stack.

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.

Deer Creek Station

Doug Rothe (center), Basin Electric mechanical engineering supervisor, pushes a button to purposely trip a system during false fire tests. Also pictured: Ralph Combs (left), General Electric controls technical advisor, and Gavin McCollam (right), Deer Creek Station project manager.

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

Deer Creek Station

Charlie Look (far right), Bluewater Energy Solutions commissioning manager, holds a briefing before the first fire attempt.

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