Kincaid Power Plant is about four miles south of Columbus, North Dakota, in Burke County, about seventeen miles southwest of Flaxton. It reached the end of its journey and was abandoned in 1966.
The 1971 Burke County and White Earth Valley Historical Society book describes this plant as follows.
The Kincaid Power Plant had it’s beginning in 1925 when the small d.c. plant at Kenmare and the a.c. plant at Crosby, together with an isolated plant at Noonan were consolidated at Kincaid as the United Power Company. Two skinner uniflow engines, capable of carrying 250 kw each, were installed.
In 1926, the property was purchased by Mr. Heskett and made a part of the Montana – Dakota Power Company. The demand for electric power increased steadily and in 1927 a new brick building was constructed to house a 2500 KVA turbo-generator unit. The old boilers were in use until 1932 when a new boiler room addition was built in which two Springfield boilers of 408 HP each were installed. In 1935 a 500 KW Allis-Chalmers turbo-generator unit was installed as an emergency unit. The total installed capacity is 2500 KW but on occasions the plant has carried a peak load of 3100 KW.
This plant is the key station for the workings of the Baukol-Noonan Lignite, Inc., and the Truax-Traer Coal Company, who operate two of the largest lignite open-pit mines in the country. Each company operates huge stripping shovels and load from 50 to 60 carloads of coal daily.
The plant is located less than 300 feet from the Truax-Traer loading tipple thus affording us easy access by bulldozer and dragline to the screenings piles from which we use 70 – 90 tons a day as fuel. Despite the fact that it is a coal-fired plant and is located in the midst of coal mining operations, the Kincaid plant is always kept scrupulously clean. A recent improvement at the plant was the installation of a Marley cooling tower in the fall of 1945 to replace the old spray pond. Elmer Brenno was the chief engineer at the plant twenty years and was until the plant shut down August 31, 1966.
Tom Pence contributed these photos of the plant in 2010 with the following comments:
I met the current owner of the property and he stated that he is slowly attempting to further reclaim the land, using it for cattle grazing. He was very friendly and offered a little of his history of purchasing the land and building. There were workers “dorms” across the highway but they are nothing more than foundations, barely. Kincaid 32 gives you a view from the highway, showing water filled trenches from the strip-mining.
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More of the Kincaid Power Plant
Photos by Tom Pence. Original content copyright Sonic Tremor Media
Troy Larson is an author, photographer, gentleman adventurer (debatable) from Fargo, North Dakota, and co-founder of Ghosts of North Dakota. @NorthDakotaTroy