It's energy that would otherwise be released and wasted.
But Basin Electric's recovered energy generation units, developed by Oreg 2, a subsidiary of Ormat Technologies, on the Northern Border Pipeline, use "waste heat" energy to produce electricity.
Eight recovered energy generation units are providing 44 megawatts of baseload generation to Basin Electric member consumers. Powered by hot exhaust, these units each generate 5.5 megawatts with no fuel and no emissions.
The recovered energy generation from Oreg 2 brings Basin Electric's total renewable portfolio to 500 megawatts, enough to meet a 10 percent renewable portfolio standard in 2012 if adopted at either the state or federal level.
The power plant equipment for this project was supplied and installed by Ormat Technologies, Inc., headquartered in Israel and Sparks, NV. Basin Electric purchases the electricity under terms of a purchase power agreement with an Ormat subsidiary, who owns and operates the plants.
the project involves the use of hot exhaust gases from existing compressor stations located along the Northern Border Pipeline to generate electricity. The compressors are driven by natural-gas fueled turbines. "The heat in the compressor exhaust is recovered using heat exchangers. The recovered heat is then used to vaporize a fluid to drive a turbine/generator set," he said. "The exhaust temperature ranges from 850 to 950 degrees F."
In addition, a total of more than 15 miles of 69-kilovolt (kV) transmission lines and substation interconnections were constructed to distribute the power from the generators to Basin Electric's members. The lines were constructed and are owned by Basin Electric members, East River Electric Power Cooperative, Madison, SD, and Mor-Gran-Sou Electric Cooperative, Flasher, ND. The ability to interconnect with these members is an essential element of the project. Because the new generators will run almost continuously, they are considered to be baseload generation.
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