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Stellar Begins Work on Two Inlet Air Chiller Systems for Black Hills Corp

Inlet air chiller systems to boost output at new power plants in Colorado

CONTACT: Allison Korman Shelton at 904-899-9818 or

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (April 16, 2010) -Stellar, a leading supplier of turnkey modular inlet air chiller solutions and modular utility plants, has begun work on two inlet air chiller projects for subsidiaries of Black Hills Corp., a diversified energy company based in Rapid City, S.D. When completed, the inlet air chiller systems will deliver increased output for two new power generation projects which are expected to be constructed in Colorado, pending approval of the Company's air permit. The plants will be owned by Black Hills Energy - Colorado Electric and Black Hills Colorado IPP. Stellar will provide engineering, procurement and fabrication services for the two generation projects.

Inlet air chilling will be a key feature in boosting energy output for the two generation projects. Stellar's Energy Systems Division will develop chiller modules for the new inlet air chiller systems, which deliver cold glycol to coils at the inlets of combustion gas turbines in order to cool the air entering the compressors of the turbines. The cool, dense air improves turbine heat rate and output on a new or existing plant.

"Both Black Hills projects are ideal examples of high-demand operating plants where the use of inlet air chilling can offer significantly increased power productivity," said Kurt M. Liebendorfer, vice president, Stellar Energy Systems. "We look forward to once again working for Black Hills and helping them serve their customers."

The BHE - Colorado Electric plants will be "peakers" - facilities designed to generate power during periods of high electricity demand, such as the summer months. Stellar's inlet air chiller system will provide cooling capacity for the utility's two General Electric (GE) LMS100 combustion gas turbines, and is the first project to utilize inlet air chillers on the newly developed GE LMS100 turbine. Black & Veatch Corp. is the general engineer for the utility plant construction.

The two Black Hills Colorado IPP plants will be base-load combined-cycle plants. The inlet air chiller systems for the IPP plants will provide cooling capacity for four GE LM6000 combustion gas turbines. An enhanced tube metal material - superior to the standard copper traditionally employed - will be used within the modules, allowing the system to withstand varying water quality over a long period of time. Zachry Engineering Corp. will provide general engineering services for the Black Hills Colorado IPP generation project.

"We feel confident working with Stellar on these two important projects knowing that they guarantee the performance of their inlet air chiller systems," said Mark Lux, vice president and general manager of power delivery for Black Hills Corp. "Stellar's Energy Systems Division offers an excellent combination of efficiency, cost-effectiveness and industry experience."

Stellar has completed its design and engineering, and is currently in the procurement phase for both inlet air chiller projects. Module fabrication is anticipated to be complete in late 2010. A total of eight York centrifugal chillers will provide inlet chilling for the Black Hills projects; the BHE - Colorado Electric plants will be served by two chillers, while the Black Hills Colorado IPP plants will be served by six chillers. Each inlet air chiller system will deliver 3,800 tons of refrigeration. Stellar previously provided an inlet air chiller system for a Black Hills Corp. power plant project in Las Vegas.

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