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US-based diversified energy company Black Hills Corporation has begun construction of its new 132MW gas-fired Cheyenne Prairie Generating Station, located five miles (8 km) southeast of Cheyenne, Wyoming. The plant will include one simple-cycle combustion turbine unit and one combined-cycle unit and is scheduled to begin commercial operation in the fourth quarter of 2014.
Construction of the new plant will help Black Hills Power replace 82MW of older coal-fired installed capacity which the company says cannot be economically retrofitted to meet new air emissions regulations issued by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). This capacity must be retired before March 2014.
Cheyenne Light, Fuel & Power expects to face growing electricity demand due to an increase in economic development in the region, and is required to replace 40MW from a power supply agreement, which is due to expire in 2014.
Unlike Black Hills Power, Cheyenne Light, Fuel & Power underlined that its Wygen III and Neil Simpson 2 coal-fired plants are "well positioned to continue operations into the future" as they meet EPA regulations. Wygen III is already fitted with "the best available control technologies" while Neil Simpson 2 may require some modifications in the future.
The electricity generated at the facility will be sold to customers of Cheyenne Light, Fuel & Power and Black Hills Power, both subsidiaries of Black Hills Corporation. Cheyenne Light, Fuel & Power will wholly own the single cycle unit, while the combined-cycle unit will be jointly owned by both companies.