Otter Tail Seeks SD Rate Boost For Plant Upgrade

PIERRE, S.D. (AP) — Otter Tail Power Co. has asked South Dakota regulators for a rate increase to help pay for reducing pollution at the Big Stone Power plant on the South Dakota-Minnesota border.

Otter Tail, Montana-Dakota Utilities and Northwestern Energy own the plant jointly and will share the $490 million cost of reducing pollution that causes haze.

Otter Tail, which also has customers in North Dakota and Minnesota, wants to boost rates by 2 percent in South Dakota beginning in October to cover first-year costs. The eventual rate increase could reach 15 percent by the time construction is completed in 2016.

Otter Tail and MDU officials say they may seek a rate increase in North Dakota if regulators there approve the environmental upgrade. Minnesota has no mechanism for rates related to environmental upgrades.

(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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