To protect consumers from rising electricity prices, Basin Creek Power Services, LLC increased Northwestern Energy's reserve capacity with minimal environmental impact by providing a green-field, low-emissions, peaking power plant in Butte, Montana.
Basin Creek provides electricity under a 20-year Capacity and Energy Sales Agreement (CESA) with Northwestern Energy, an investor-owned utility that supplies electricity and natural gas to more than 600,000 customers in the northwest quadrant of the United States.
The turnkey Basin Creek power plant project was completed in nine months. It operates on nine natural gas-fired Cat® G16CM34 generator sets for a total plant output of 51.8 MW. With the use of highly efficient, clean-burn technology and emissions reduction catalysts, the plant is among the cleanest-burning and lowest-polluting energy resources in North America.
The G16CM34 engines are manufactured by Caterpillar Motoren GmbH & Co. KG, in Kiel, Germany, and can reach full engine load in less than ten minutes. Basin Creek also signed a 20-year agreement to provide operation and maintenance for the plant. "With any technology, you know something is bound to go wrong sooner or later, and as plant operator, you must have a quick and reliable solution when those problems come up," said Jim Williams, president of the Basin Creek plant. "With Caterpillar, we have a support system that provides the parts we need and gives us the ability to make repairs as quickly as possible. It's a complete and reliable package."
The Basin Creek plant contributes to the Montana electric power grid capacity. It also plays an important part in supporting the new wind energy resources being implemented in Montana, because wind is a constantly varying energy resource that requires an alternate source of power to meet the system load requirements. Since the Basin Creek plant became commercially operational in January 2006, the plant has accumulated more than 45,000 engine hours run at 97 percent availability. Caterpillar provides total solutions for your business including the equipment, services, knowledge and experience to help meet your power needs.
Basin Creek Power Services
Butte, Montana, USA
Local power need
Nine Cat G16CM34 generator sets