On January 3, 2023, we closed on the purchase of Ashtabula III Wind Energy Center. The 39-turbine site in Barnes County North Dakota delivers a total combined capacity of 62 megawatts (MW), harnessing some of the nation’s best wind resources to generate clean, cost-effective energy.
On Monday, July 25, the Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO) Board of Directors approved $10.3 billion in transmission projects focused on its Midwest Subregion, which includes our service area. These projects are the first group of four in MISO’s Long-Range Transmission Planning process that aims to integrate new generation resources outlined in MISO member and state plans and increase resilience in the face of severe weather events. We’ll work on projects in this first group as well as the second.
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.
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 1, 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.
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.
After years of planning and 17 months of construction, Otter Tail Power Company’s Merricourt Wind Energy Center is operational.
“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.
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 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.
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.”
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.
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.
With the help of rebates from Otter Tail Power Company, Lake Benton Resort recently completed an energy efficient lighting retrofit project.
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.
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.
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.
This month Otter Tail Power Company completed a year-long project to help Potlatch Corporation reduce its energy consumption.
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.
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.
“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.
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.
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.
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 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
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.
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.
Enemy Swim Day School earned a rebate check for more than $4,200 from Otter Tail Power Company for an energy-efficient lighting upgrade.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.”