Commissioners visit S.D. power plant

NEW ULM – Brown County commissioners Andrew Lochner and Dennis Potter reported Tuesday to the County Board about their recent visit to a new South Dakota power plant that uses natural gas to produce electricity.

Deer Creek Station, a $405 million, 300-net megawatt facility, is located near Elkton, S.D.. It uses two turbine generators, one fired by natural gas, the other by gas turbine exhaust steam, a heat-recovery steam generator and an air-cooled condenser to cool and convert steam to water for re-use.

Owned by Basin Electric – a non-profit, generation and transmission cooperative serving nine states – the plant operates 12 to 16 hours a day, five days a week, or more during peak load periods.

Natural gas for the station comes form Dakota Gasification Company, a Basin Electric subsidiary that produces natural gas by gasifying lignite coal at the Great Plains Synfuels Plant near Beulah, N.D.

The facility includes 18 miles of welding in its heat recovery steam generator and air-cooled condenser, 3,000 tons of structural steel, 10 miles of pipe installed in the power plant able to supply 240,000 homes with electricity for one hour.

“This plant with a large, cooling tower is out in the middle of nowhere, but it employs 28 people,” Lochner said.

In other action, commissioners approved:

One-year, 3.2 On Sale Licenses effective July 1, for the Sleepy Eye Golf Club; Stark, Searles, Sigel and Leavenworth Baseball Associations; Church of Japanese Martyrs and Flying Dutchmen Motorcycle Club, Cottonwood Township; plus a 3.2 On/Off Sale License for the Essig Baseball Association.

One-year, On/Off Sale Liquor and Sunday Liquor Licenses at Carl’s Corner, Essig and Searles Bar & Grill were tabled to research county ordinance and state statutes for possible requirements of food sales to total sales.

A $1,250 Electronic Certificate of Real Estate Value Fund payment to the Minnesota Department of Revenue for using online filing in the County Recorder’s Office. The service, used by 39 of 87 Minnesota counties, can be used by public and professional users.

(Fritz Busch can be e-mailed at

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