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SD commission approves gas-fired power plant

PIERRE, S.D. (AP) -- South Dakota regulators have approved two permits allowing Basin Electric Power Cooperative to build a $400 million gas-fired, combined-cycle power plant near Brookings.

The Public Utilities Commission approved permits for the Deer Creek Station power plant and a natural gas pipeline to bring fuel to the plant. Basin Electric, which is based in Bismarck, N.D., still has an environmental impact study under way.

The company then hopes to begin construction in July and have the plant operating by 2012.

The plant would use natural gas to fire one turbine. Heat from the gas turbine's exhaust would be used to create steam to run the second turbine.

The PUC's three commissioners voted unanimously to approve the permits.