Cheyenne Prairie Generating Station Fires Up

Cheyenne Light, Fuel & Power has fired up and synchronized its three new turbine generators up for the first time, a key milestone for its first natural gas power generating station in Wyoming.

“This is the first time energy from the station was placed onto the electrical grid for load testing, and our success marks a key step toward ensuring a long-term source of reliable electricity for Black Hills Power and Cheyenne Light customers in Wyoming and South Dakota,” said Mark Stege, Cheyenne Light, Fuel & Power’s vice president of utility operations.

The 132-megawatt station is five miles southeast of downtown Cheyenne and includes three natural-gas fired combustion turbine generators – one simple cycle combustion turbine generator owned by Cheyenne Light, and one combined cycle block owned by Cheyenne Light and Black Hills Power – two heat recovery steam generators and one steam turbine generator.

The $222 million station will replace Black Hills Power’s Osage and Neil Simpson I plants in Wyoming, and the Ben French plant in South Dakota. Those three coal-fired plants were retired in March 2014 to comply with new Environmental Protection Agency air emissions regulations.

Workers at the site have maintained a commendable safety record, according to Black Hills Power. The project team completed more than 650,000 man hours with a Total Case Incident Rate (TCIR) of less than 1.0. TCIR is defined as the average number of work-related injuries incurred by 100 workers during a one-year period.

“Credit for reaching this critical milestone goes directly to our employees and contractors for their hard work and dedication to safety each and each and every day,” Stege said.

The new power station is expected to be placed into service in October.

Wyoming Business Report Staff September 18, 2014