Construction begins on Pioneer Generation Station Phase IV

Contractors perform mass grading and excavation of the reciprocating internal combustion engine laydown and power block areas. The laydown area is where parts and equipment will be delivered and staged until they are ready to be installed.

Construction has begun on Pioneer Generation Station Phase IV (PGSIV), Basin Electric's newest generation project near the existing Pioneer Generation Station northwest of Williston, North Dakota.

Snow removal and earthwork began March 22 and was focused in the area where the combustion turbine and generator will be located. "As they move dirt, they dig what they call a 'bathtub,' which is typically down as far as where the bottom of piping will be located and the bottom of the foundation. Then they work their way back up with gravel," says Darrell Slavick, Basin Electric's North Dakota field coordinator. 

On April 24, they began drilling auger cast piles, which are used for ground stabilization. "Basically, a hole is drilled and filled with concrete, and those piles or pilings will help hold the weight of the turbine foundations," Slavick says.

Slavick says safety is the main focus throughout the project.

Once complete, PGSIV will generate about 600 megawatts of electricity. The new natural gas-fueled generation will be a combination of combustion turbine and reciprocating engine units to provide dispatch flexibility while addressing near-term load growth and long-term grid stability in the Bakken region.

When drilling auger cast piles for ground stabilization, an auger drills down 34-65 feet. As the auger is slowly removed, cement-like grout is pumped down through the center of the auger, backfilling the entire hole. Rebar cages are then installed toward the top of the hole to a set elevation and allowed to cure.


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