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Regulators OK special Otter Tail wind charge

North Dakota regulators have granted Otter Tail Power Co.’s request for a special charge to cover the utility’s investment in a wind farm.

The “renewable resource adjustment” will be listed on the bills of Otter Tail’s North Dakota customers beginning in June. It will add about $1.45 to the monthly electric bill of a ratepayer who uses 750 kilowatt-hours of power, said Stephanie Hoff, a utility spokeswoman.

Otter Tail owns part of a new wind farm south of Langdon in northeastern North Dakota. The project is capable of generating 159 megawatts of electricity. Otter Tail gets 40.5 megawatts of the wind farm’s output.

Otter Tail asked for a special renewable energy charge to cover its share of the wind farm

North Dakota’s Public Service Commission voted Wednesday to grant the request.

Otter Tail, which is based in Fergus Falls, Minn., has about 57,000 North Dakota electric customers. It serves the cities of Wahpeton, Devils Lake and Jamestown.

Commissioner Tony Clark said he believed the charge would benefit Otter Tail’s customers, because the utility will have to buy less wind power on the open market.

It is less expensive for ratepayers if Otter Tail generates its own wind power, rather than buying the energy from other providers, Clark said.

The Associated Press


22 May 2008