Otter Tail Power Company’s Astoria Station project is in full swing in Deuel County, South Dakota, where you’ll find approximately 250 people working on site. While the company and contractors are working to ensure everyone is following safety protocols and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines related to the COVID-19 pandemic, thirteen people working on the Astoria Station project recently tested positive for COVID-19.
“Awareness is critical in helping to ensure the health and safety of our employees, customers, and communities,” said Stephanie Hoff, Otter Tail Power Company Director of Communications. “It’s important for the people living, working, and spending time in this area to recognize that this is close to home.”
Multiple safety professionals for the Astoria Station project are dedicated to monitoring and implementing workplace safety programs recommended by the CDC.
“We are working with all companies on site—and those coming and going from the site—to mitigate further cases,” said Hoff. The company also is working with local emergency management and state resources to ensure an informed and collaborative effort.
“We're proud to be a critical service provider. As everyone faces uncertainties surrounding COVID-19, the health and safety of our employees, customers, and communities continues to be our primary concern. We appreciate the trust people have in us as we navigate this pandemic and reliably operate our generating facilities, power lines, and other critical functions needed to produce and deliver electricity.”
Astoria Station will be a simple-cycle natural gas combustion turbine in Deuel County, South Dakota, with 245 MW of capacity and will provide energy during periods of high demand. The station will complement Otter Tail Power Company’s wind generation by providing a reliable backstop when the wind isn’t blowing and will have flexible operating options and low emissions. Astoria Station paired with the Merricourt Wind Energy Center is an example of the company’s commitment to providing an optimal mix of energy resources. The company will invest approximately $158 million in the project, which is expected to be commercially operational in 2021.