Black Hills Corp. subsidiaries Black Hills Power and Cheyenne Light, Fuel & Power have achieved another key milestone in the construction and commissioning of the Cheyenne Prairie Generating Station.

Spokeswoman Sharon Fain said the first-fire and synchronization of three natural gas-fired combustion turbine generators have positioned the project to be placed into service in October. She added that this is the first time energy from the station was placed onto the electrical grid for load testing.

Fain added that workers at the site have maintained a commendable safety record. The project team has 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.

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 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.

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