Thursday evening’s severe weather has resulted in prolonged outages for more than 24,000 of our customers primarily in Minnesota and South Dakota. With significant damage to equipment, including more than 250 broken poles, we anticipate that it may take most of the day before crews are able to complete repairs. Some customers could be without power for three to four days.
Despite the cool and wet weather, it’s been a busy spring for our company. This week we marked a historic milestone, beginning construction at our first large-scale solar project, the 49-megawatt Hoot Lake Solar. We also continue deconstruction of buildings at Hoot Lake Plant, which we retired in May 2021.
In 2016 we began the multi-year process of relicensing our five hydroelectric plants along the Otter Tail River. On February 17, 2022, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued its order for a new 40-year license.
The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (MPUC) approved changes to our rates to reflect major shifts in our company’s generation fleet. The approval also marks changes to operating costs and revenues that occurred since our last Minnesota rate review, filed in 2016. The MPUC set our return on equity at 9.48%, which is an increase from the 9.41% return approved in 2017.
Thanks to instant rebates on LED bulbs, we make it easy and affordable to switch to energy-efficient LED lighting. To learn more and receive instant savings on LEDs, stop by Fergus Home and Hardware on Saturday, October 9, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Thanks to the recent installation of a radar-activated aircraft detection lighting system (ADLS) at our newly operational 150-megawatt Merricourt Wind Energy Center, North Dakota skies are a little darker—without compromising safety.
Today we submitted our Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) to regulatory commissions in each of the three states we serve: Minnesota, North Dakota, and South Dakota.
We retired Hoot Lake Plant on May 27 this year, marking the end of 100 years of coal-fired energy generation at the site. On July 21, 2021, we commemorated the plant’s legacy of safe, reliable generation—and its dependable, innovative employees.
On May 27, 2021, we retired Hoot Lake Plant, marking the end of 100 years of coal-fired energy generation at the site.
We continue our investments in grid reliability to provide affordable electricity you can count on. “Our commitment to providing low-cost, reliable service throughout our rural area involves a combination of efforts,” said System Infrastructure and Reliability Manager Michael Riewer. "We're planning the future of our generation mix, making improvements to our delivery system, and investing in new transmission projects and technology, all to maintain excellent service for every customer."
After years of planning and two years of construction and testing, Astoria Station now is part of the Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO) energy market, allowing MISO to economically dispatch the unit. Located in Deuel County, South Dakota, this 245-megawatt (MW) simple-cycle natural gas combustion turbine stands ready and able to generate reliable electricity our customers can count on.
As we plan to meet our customers’ energy needs both now and into the future, we’re making significant changes to our energy generation fleet.
In 2020 the Otter Tail Power Company Foundation provided donations that helped local organizations fund medical and safety supplies, build homes for those in need, offer student scholarships, provide meals for those who are hungry, educate young minds, and support local art, recreation, and nature facilities. And it prioritized charitable giving to organizations supporting those affected by COVID-19.
Volunteers are the heart of our communities and our employees are always finding ways to lend a helping hand. Otter Tail Power Company Edgeley Service Representative Steve Powers and Network Engineer Cody Lehmann make an Otter Impact through volunteering as firefighters.
We encourage our employees to be a part of their communities in ways that matter most to them. Every summer Otter Tail Power Company’s Fergus Falls Relay for Life team participates in the West Otter Tail Relay for Life event to raise money for the American Cancer Society, which funds cancer research and Hope Lodge stays for those impacted by cancer.
Ongoing cold temperatures in our region and throughout the nation are causing high demand for electricity. Some electric utility customers are experiencing rolling outages as a result. Otter Tail Power Company, serving approximately 70,000 square miles in parts of North Dakota, South Dakota, and Minnesota, is still producing and delivering energy to its more than 130,000 customers.
Our service area is home to incredible beauty—from thick forests and open prairies to rushing rivers and serene lakes. We’re good stewards of our surroundings and those who inhabit them, helping create vibrant and vital communities.
Frost on power lines in North Dakota has resulted in outages for hundreds of Otter Tail Power Company’s customers. With ongoing ice and frost, and wind picking up, customers may continue to experience intermittent outages over the next few days.
Now, more than ever, it's important to unite our communities and give back to those in need. United Way plays an integral role in this, focusing on the education, financial stability, and health of our community members. We continue to be one of United Way's largest supporters in Otter Tail and Wadena Counties
Community is a force for good. And for more than a century our company and employees have partnered with the communities we serve to create meaningful impact.
It’s hard to believe, but 2021 is just around the corner! Our week-eight challenge is to pause and reflect on 2020, celebrate the good, and continue to look for ways to bring light to life in 2021.
Over the past several weeks, Otter Tail Power Company focused on bringing light to life through a series of fun and impactful challenges.
After years of planning and 17 months of construction, Otter Tail Power Company’s Merricourt Wind Energy Center is operational.
During our week-two #BringLightToLife challenge of giving artfully, we introduced our festive Ollie the Otter coloring page so kids, and kids at heart, could take a moment to color the season with cheer. We sent the page out in some happy mail to elementary schools throughout our three-state, 70,000 square-mile service area and asked for kids to share their pages by December 2 for the chance to be featured in a local newspaper.
“We appreciate the Commission’s input on our initial request and their decision to approve our updated interim rate request as filed,” said Otter Tail Power Company President Tim Rogelstad. “With this decision, we’re able to recover on our prudent investments in necessary infrastructure and technology to provide our customers with electric service that’s increasingly clean, safe, and reliable while maintaining rates among the lowest in the nation.”
“It’s great to see an organization dedicated to science take advantage of the latest in lighting technology by installing LEDs,” said Otter Tail Power Company Energy Management Representative Roger Garton. “Helping with the cost, the center received a $4,800 rebate from Otter Tail Power Company combined with a Clean Energy Resource Teams (CERTs) Seed Grant of $8,200.” The switch will save Headwaters Science Center an estimated $2,000 per year.
As we close out 2020, let's all do what we can to bring light to life. Over the next eight weeks we'll help through a series of fun—and impactful—weekly challenges! This week we expressed appreciation for our veterans.
“We’re creating a cleaner energy future while keeping the prices our customers pay among the lowest in the nation,” said Otter Tail Power Company President Tim Rogelstad. “Making this request now better prepares us for long-term success in providing safe, reliable, low-cost electricity to our customers.”
Otter Tail Power Company is proud to support electric transportation and recently proposed an electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure pilot program—among the first by an electric utility in the rural United States.
Otter Tail Power Company plans to build a nearly 50-megawatt (MW) solar farm on land around the soon-to-be-retired Hoot Lake Plant in Fergus Falls, Minnesota. Hoot Lake Solar will include around 170,000 solar panels, generating enough energy to power approximately 10,000 homes every year.
Otter Tail Power Company continues doing all it can to assist customers facing financial hardships—especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.
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.
Minnesota Governor Tim Walz has issued a Stay-at-home Order effective March 27 at midnight through April 10 to help slow the spread of COVID-19. The company takes seriously its role as a critical service provider. “Rest assured your Otter Tail Power Company team remains hard at work,” said President Tim Rogelstad. “We value the privilege we have in providing you with safe, reliable electric service always—and certainly through difficult times like these.”
Otter Tail Power Company is aware of recent scam activity in parts of its service area. Scammers are taking advantage of potentially heightened anxiety around the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s important for our customers to know that we’ll never pressure you to make immediate payments.
Otter Tail Power Company recently installed a 50-kilowatt (kW) electric vehicle fast charger, commonly known as a direct current (DC) fast charger, in downtown Fergus Falls, Minnesota.
With the help of rebates from Otter Tail Power Company, Valley Queen Cheese recently completed several energy-efficient upgrades.
The city of Bemidji, owner of the newly constructed Bemidji First City Liquor building, recently received a $25,351 rebate for participating in Otter Tail Power Company’s Integrated Building Design Plus program.
With the help of rebates from Otter Tail Power Company, Norman County East School recently completed an energy-efficient lighting retrofit project.
With the help of rebates available through Otter Tail Power Company’s Minnesota Conservation Improvement Program, West Central Area Secondary School recently completed an energy-efficient geothermal heat pump retrofit project.
Otter Tail Power Company's new sustainability website, otpsustainability.com, is live. This interactive and mobile-friendly site is a one-stop shop for the whats, whens, and whys driving the company’s sustainability. It supplements its customer-focused website, otpco.com.
Harvest is one of the busiest times of the year. Otter Tail Power Company reminds farmers to stay safe by paying as much attention to what’s above their heads and within reach of their machinery as they do to their harvesting and tillage work, says Greg Overland, the company’s Safety Services Manager.
We project that by 2022 our customers will receive 30 percent of their energy from renewable resources and our carbon emissions will be at least 30 percent below 2005 levels—all while keeping rates nearly 30 percent below the national average,” said Rogelstad. “The Merricourt Wind Energy Center and Astoria Station are catalysts of these 30 percent trajectories.”
Nice weather frequently brings outdoor construction, yard work, and planting projects. During National Electrical Safety Month, Otter Tail Power Company reminds customers and neighbors that, before digging, they need to notify utilities that have lines or cables buried in the area.
Otter Tail Power Company is aware of recent scam activity throughout its service area. “Scammers are targeting both our residential customers and business customers,” said Collin Kremeier, Customer Care Supervisor. “And they’re increasingly convincing, requiring urgent payments to avoid disconnection. We’ll never pressure you to make immediate payments, especially through services like MoneyPak, MoneyGram, or pre-paid credit cards.”
Since 1909 Otter Tail Power Company has touched the lives of customers by providing reliable electricity and energy services. The company served its first customer—Northern Light Electric Company of Wahpeton, North Dakota—in April 1909. It now provides electricity to more than 132,500 customers in 422 communities.
Today Otter Tail Power Company President Tim Rogelstad announced Steve Schoeneck as Vice President, Customer Service, effective April 9. In this role Schoeneck will be accountable for field operations, customer relations, economic development, sales and implementation, and operational support. Schoeneck will succeed Mark Helland who, prior to his retirement, led the company’s customer service team for nearly two decades.
High water levels and flooded areas could increase the potential for accidental contact with electricity. Otter Tail Power Company’s Safety Services Manager Greg Overland advises residents and visitors to the area to stay away from water that may be in contact with any electrical component, such as a pad-mount transformer or a downed power line.
"The team completed construction on time, under budget, and with a stellar safety record," said Project Manager Al Koeckeritz from Otter Tail Power Company. “I’d like to extend a special thanks to communities and residents throughout the project area. Your partnership has brought us to the finish line. Thank you.”
Most snowmobilers do some riding in road ditches. A lot of right-of-way for electrical facilities borders road ditches, and Otter Tail Power Company’s Safety Services Manager Greg Overland urges special emphasis on safety. “Watch for electrical equipment such as substations, poles, guy wires, junction boxes, and pad-mounted transformers that often are located near road ditches.”
With the help of rebates from Otter Tail Power Company, Headwaters Science Center recently completed several energy-efficient upgrades.
With the help of rebates from Otter Tail Power Company, Fertile-Beltrami School recently completed several energy-efficient upgrades.
With the help of rebates from Otter Tail Power Company, Ulen-Hitterdal Public School recently completed several energy-efficient upgrades.
Many people use portable heaters to add warmth to select areas in their homes rather than increase thermostat settings. To help ensure efficiency and safety, Otter Tail Power Company offers tips for buying and using portable electric space heaters.
The Otter Tail Power Company Electrify Your Ride Sweepstakes winner was Terry Peoples, an Otter Tail Power Company customer and resident of Gilby, North Dakota. He found out about the contest while scrolling through Twitter.
Have you upgraded to light-emitting diode (LED) holiday lights? If not, consider making the switch this year. On Wednesday, November 28, and Thursday, November 29, Otter Tail Power Company will host holiday light exchanges in Bemidji and Fergus Falls, Minnesota.
With the help of rebates from Otter Tail Power Company, Canby High School recently completed an energy-efficient lighting retrofit project.
While every month is energy awareness month at Otter Tail Power Company, this October the company challenges its customers to find new ways to save during National Energy Awareness Month.
With the help of a $6,000 rebate from Otter Tail Power Company, Strand Kjorsvig Community Rest Home completed a recent upgrade to a new energy-efficient heating and cooling system.
Otter Tail Power Company, Great River Energy, Lake Region Electric Cooperative, and Midwest EVOLVE (Electric Vehicle Opportunities: Learning, eVents, Experience) are partnering to host an Electric Vehicle Ride & Drive event on Thursday, September 13, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Minnesota Motor Company.
With the help of a rebate from Otter Tail Power Company, Lakeland Public Television recently installed a 39.6-kilowatt (kW) rooftop solar photovoltaic (PV) system.
The Edison Electric Institute (EEI) announced today that it is launching an environmental, social, governance, and sustainability-related (ESG/sustainability) reporting template to benefit electricity customers and to help EEI’s member electric companies provide the financial sector with more uniform and consistent
With the help of rebates from Otter Tail Power Company, Lake Benton Resort recently completed an energy efficient lighting retrofit project.
Severe weather in the region has resulted in widespread outages for approximately 6,000 of Otter Tail Power Company’s customers in North Dakota and Minnesota.
With the help of rebates from Otter Tail Power Company, Mahnomen Health Center recently completed a two-year energy-efficiency project.
Otter Tail Power Company presented a $6,600 rebate check to the Watermark Art Center for including cost-effective, energy-efficient strategies in its recent remodel.
During National Electrical Safety Month, Otter Tail Power Company reminds customers and neighbors to call 811 before digging to prevent unintentionally hitting underground utility lines.
“As the second smallest investor-owned utility in the country, our size gives us unique perspective into the small, rural communities we serve,” said Otter Tail Power Company President Tim Rogelstad. “With those communities and customers in mind, we’ve made smart, innovative business decisions to ensure the prices they pay for reliable energy and top-notch customer service will continue to be among the lowest in the country.”
As Earth Day approaches, Otter Tail Power Company reminds consumers to review their habits and make earth-friendly changes. An easy change to make is switching incandescent lightbulbs to light-emitting diode bulbs (LEDs).
Otter Tail Power Company presented a $52,750 rebate check to the city of Red Lake Falls for upgrading interior and exterior lighting to energy efficient light-emitting diode (LED) bulbs.
Otter Tail Power Company partnered with the University of Minnesota, Morris to provide an electric vehicle (EV) charging station for campus students, professors, visitors, and guests. Drivers can find the Level 2 32-Amp charging station in the North Parking Lot, near the campus Welcome Center.
Otter Tail Corporation (Nasdaq: OTTR) and Otter Tail Power Company announced today that Stephanie Hoff will assume the role of director, corporate communications, and director, public relations, respectively beginning April 15.
As spring approaches, construction, yard work, and spring cleaning soon will be in full swing. Otter Tail Power Company’s Safety Services Manager Greg Overland encourages customers and neighbors to follow these tips from the National Safety Council to avoid slips, trips, and falls as we become more active with warmer weather.
Otter Tail Power Company President Tim Rogelstad announced Todd Wahlund as Chief Financial Officer (CFO) effective May 1. In this role Wahlund will be accountable for business planning and regulatory accounting; sourcing; and financial reporting, accounting, tax, and payables. Wahlund will succeed George Bell who, prior to his retirement, led the company’s financial team for ten years.
Jamestown now has two electric vehicle (EV) charging stations available to city residents and visitors. Otter Tail Power Company partnered with the National Buffalo Museum, University of Jamestown, Scotts Electric, and Williams Construction to provide the charging stations and related equipment.
Otter Tail Corporation (Nasdaq: OTTR) today announced that Jennifer O. Smestad will assume the roles of Vice President, General Counsel, and Corporate Secretary beginning January 1, 2018. For the past 17 years, Smestad has served in roles of increasing responsibility for the corporation’s manufacturing and electric utility platforms. "Jennifer came aboard initially as an attorney for our manufacturing companies, then transitioned to support renewable and transmission expansion projects at the utility, and for the past four years has excelled as the General Counsel of Otter Tail Power Company,” said Otter Tail Corporation President and CEO Chuck MacFarlane. “Jennifer is a proven leader with deep knowledge of Otter Tail Corporation. I have every confidence in Jennifer and look forward to her becoming a key member of our executive team.”
This month Otter Tail Power Company completed a year-long project to help Potlatch Corporation reduce its energy consumption.
Tomorrow Otter Tail Power Company will file a request with the North Dakota Public Service Commission (NDPSC) to increase its rates. The filing starts a nearly year-long process, often referred to as a rate case, during which the NDPSC first reviews the costs the company incurs to provide customers with energy and related services and then determines how much customers should pay for those services.
Today Otter Tail Power Company President Tim Rogelstad announced two executive-level changes for an orderly succession related to the retirement of Jan Rudolf, vice president of energy supply. Both changes will be effective October 6.
Otter Tail Power Company is mindful of the hardship posed for the many people without electricity and is sending crews to assist with power restoration efforts. At 6 a.m. on Wednesday morning 22 of our linemen, service representatives, and mechanics left in a convoy for Tampa, Florida, taking three digger derricks, 11 bucket trucks, a mechanic repair truck, and one pickup. The team travelled throughout the day and remained in close contact with local crews and mutual aid personnel. By the end of the day lead utilities on the scene asked us to stand down, which is common in these situations.
Otter Tail Power Company provided a rebate of $30,400 to Norman County East Secondary School for completing the third major phase of their energy-efficient upgrades.
Thanks in part to a rebate from Otter Tail Power Company, the Lancaster School has finished removing all fluorescent and metal halide light fixtures, replacing them with low-watt LED fixtures.
The electric power industry supports more than 7 million American jobs, equivalent to about 5 percent of all jobs in the United States, according to a detailed analysis of the role that electric companies play in the nation’s labor force and economy.
The Edison Electric Institute (EEI) presented Otter Tail Power Company with the association’s Emergency Recovery Award for its outstanding restoration efforts after a snow and ice storm hit South Dakota on Christmas Day.
Today the Big Stone South-Ellendale (BSSE) 345-kV Transmission Line project began using helicopters to assist in stringing conductor (transmission line) nine miles west of Big Stone City. The helicopters will work their way west toward Aberdeen, South Dakota, then northwest toward Ellendale, North Dakota. The project team expects to complete stringing in October 2018.
Unpredictable summer storms can cause electrical outages. To help our customers and neighbors prepare for severe summer weather, Otter Tail Power Company has storm readiness information on our website at otpco.com. The information includes tips for developing a family disaster plan, suggestions for assembling a storm kit, and procedures to follow during a storm. We also suggest that customers follow us on Twitter for updates during significant outages.
Otter Tail Power Company began the five-year process to relicense its five hydroelectric plants along the Otter Tail River in 2016. For more than a century the Fergus Falls community has grown and thrived alongside the plants. Dayton Hollow (1909), Hoot Lake (1914), Pisgah (1918), Wright/Central (1922), and Taplin Gorge/Friberg (1925) are valued for their longevity, reliability, and ability to create electricity from water, which is a renewable resource. The company has proposed to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to relicense the plants as they are today because relicensing is more cost effective for Otter Tail Power Company’s customers than other options—and because doing so would maintain reservoirs near where customers and community members have built their homes. “Fergus Falls is our headquarters community,” said Cris Oehler, Vice President, Public Relations. “It’s with that hometown knowledge and understanding of the people we serve that we’re navigating this relicensing process. We’re balancing our community, economic, and environmental commitments in our own backyard.”
Bemidji Fire Station #1 on 5th Street Northwest has a brighter look. They’ve converted all interior building lights to light-emitting diode (LED) bulbs. Otter Tail Power Company provided a rebate of $2,500 for this energy efficiency upgrade. “It’s encouraging to see our public service agencies leading our communities in efficiency,” said Otter Tail Power Company Energy Management Representative Roger Garton.
On April 10 Otter Tail Corporation hosted 214 shareholders and guests at its Annual Meeting of Common Shareholders at the Bigwood Event Center in Fergus Falls. This was the corporation's 107th annual meeting. Represented by proxy or present in person were shareholders who held 81% of the corporation's total shares outstanding.
Otter Tail Power Company President Tim Rogelstad announced today that Bruce Gerhardson will serve as director, regulatory affairs and compliance, effective immediately.
“Astoria Station is part of our company’s plan to reliably, economically, and environmentally responsibly meet our customers’ energy needs, replace expiring capacity purchase agreements, and prepare for the 2021 retirement of the 1950s-era 140-megawatt (MW) coal-fired Hoot Lake Plant in Fergus Falls, Minnesota,” said Otter Tail Power Company President Tim Rogelstad.
Central Cass Schools received a $48,000 rebate from Otter Tail Power Company for upgrading to a new geothermal heating system.
On March 2, 2017, the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (MPUC) granted Otter Tail Power Company a revenue increase to help pay for environmental technologies, infrastructure improvements, and rising costs associated with providing safe, reliable, environmentally responsible electricity.
Otter Tail Power Company added a Chevrolet Volt to its fleet this week. The hybrid electric vehicle operates on an electric charge and uses a gas-powered generator when the battery runs out.
Two Norman County East schools received rebates from Otter Tail Power Company for upgrading to new energy-efficient technologies.
The Falls Inn and Suites turned their lighting upgrade into big savings when they received a $15,000 rebate from Otter Tail Power Company for making energy-efficient improvements to their outdoor and pool area lighting.
Two Red Lake Falls schools received rebates from Otter Tail Power Company for upgrading to new energy-efficient technologies.
Otter Tail Power Company President Tim Rogelstad announced today that Don Redden will serve as vice president, information technology, effective December 1.
Cass Lake Indian Health Service received a $22,800 rebate for using Otter Tail Power Company’s Commercial Design Assistance (CDA) program to implement energy conservation strategies.
Otter Tail Power Company’s resource plan identifies the most affordable and reliable combination of energy resources for meeting its customers’ needs during the next 15 years. “The wind energy addition is part of our company’s plan to meet our customers’ growing energy needs, replace expiring power purchase agreements, and prepare for the 2021 retirement of the aging 140-MW coal-fired Hoot Lake Plant in Fergus Falls, Minnesota,” said Otter Tail Power Company President Tim Rogelstad. Hoot Lake Plant Unit 2 has been on line since 1959. Unit 3 has been on line since 1964. The company also plans to add 250 MW of natural gas-fired generation in the next five years.
The Minnesota Department of Commerce (DOC) named the cities of Pelican Rapids and Fergus Falls, in partnership with our company, one of eight winners of the 2016 Clean Energy Community Award
Through the program, Otter Tail Power Company provides incentives of $1,250 per kilowatt (kW) of installed nameplate capacity, up to 50 percent of project costs, for solar PV systems not exceeding 20 kW. “Before a public entity can take advantage of the solar rebate program, we require the facility to meet certain energy-efficiency standards,” said Grenier. “That’s really to the benefit of the customer. Solar installations and energy-efficiency projects are beneficial to customers and the environment. But energy-efficiency projects generally cost less and have a quicker pay back, so we want to be sure customers take those steps first.”
The Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe (LLBO) received a rebate from Otter Tail Power Company for incorporating energy efficiencies into its new Tribal Justice Center.
JT Properties, LLC, owner of the first University Heights apartment building near Bemidji State University (BSU), received a $17,800 rebate for using Otter Tail Power Company’s Commercial Design Assistance (CDA) program during the building’s design and construction.
Enemy Swim Day School earned a rebate check for more than $4,200 from Otter Tail Power Company for an energy-efficient lighting upgrade.
Sisseton High School earned a rebate check for $49,450 from Otter Tail Power Company for their recent lighting upgrade. In total, the Sisseton School District has used our company’s South Dakota Energy Efficiency Plan to receive more than $105,000 for district-wide upgrades over the past several years.
Otter Tail Telcom earned a rebate check for $6,300 from Otter Tail Power Company for their recent lighting project. Although the project cost $8,400, Otter Tail Telcom’s $6,300 rebate through our company’s Minnesota Conservation Improvement Program means they’ll be able to pay back the project fully in under a year.
Lake Region Healthcare partnered with Otter Tail Power Company to implement energy conservation strategies throughout its main clinic expansion project. As a result, they will realize significant savings in long-term energy and maintenance costs.
Today the 163-mile Big Stone South-Ellendale (BSSE) 345-kilovolt transmission line project kicked off construction during an event in Webster, South Dakota. When complete, the line will connect the new Big Stone South Substation near Big Stone City, South Dakota, to the new Ellendale Substation near Ellendale, North Dakota. “This transmission resource is a major supplement to the existing grid in northeastern South Dakota, providing critical reliability improvements through capacity and geographic diversity,” said South Dakota Public Utilities Commission Chairman Chris Nelson.
Bemidji Mayor Rita Albrecht said the effort demonstrated planning for the future. “While there might not be many electric vehicles around right now, we know that the number of electric vehicles is increasing every day,” said Albrecht. “As a community we want to be prepared for that, whether that’s for our citizens or for our visitors.”
On June 1 we filed our 2017-2031 Resource Plan with the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission. By June 15 we'll file the plan with the North Dakota Public Service Commission and South Dakota Public Utilities Commission. “Our resource plan identifies the most cost-effective combination of resources for meeting our customers’ needs for reliable service during the next 15 years,” said Brian Draxten, manager, resource planning, Otter Tail Power Company. “We selected our proposed plan based on reliability, affordability, achievability, and environmental responsibility. We believe this plan is a win-win for our customers and the environment.”
The plants generate approximately 1 percent of the electricity with which we serve our customers. Two of the plants have been in service for more than a century. “Hydroelectric plants are valued for their longevity, reliability, and ability to provide renewable energy,” said Otter Tail Power Company Principal Engineer Michael Olson.
Kenny’s Candy participated in our Industrial Process Efficiency program, starting with an energy audit to discover the most cost-effective projects. Energy-efficiency improvements, which will save 1.4 million kilowatt-hours and $105,000 of electricity annually.
“While we’ve been diligent in managing expenses and selecting low-cost options to meet customer needs, the cost of providing service is more than we’re able to recover through our current rates, which went into effect in 2011 based on 2009 costs,” said Tim Rogelstad, Otter Tail Power Company president.
The three-year $384 million project helps plant owners balance their commitments to environmental stewardship with cost-effective service for their customers by enabling them to responsibly generate base-load electricity from coal at Big Stone Plant. The new system reduces nitrogen oxides and sulfur dioxide emissions by approximately 90 percent and mercury emissions by approximately 80 percent.