Minnesota PUC approves Otter Tail’s interim rate request

Published on December 07, 2020 by Dave Kovaleski

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The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (MPUC) approved Otter Tail Power Company’s request to implement interim rates on Jan. 1, 2021.

The interim rates would reduce previously proposed rates by about 3.2 percent, recognizing the economic impact on customers of the ongoing pandemic.

“We appreciate the Commission’s input on our initial request and their decision to approve our updated interim rate request as filed,” Otter Tail Power Company President Tim Rogelstad said. “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.”

In November, Otter Tail filed a request to increase rates to support investments in cleaner energy and smarter technologies and adjust for rising costs. Investments included the Merricourt Wind Energy Center, a 150-MW wind generation facility in southeast North Dakota, and Astoria Station, a 245-MW simple-cycle natural gas combustion turbine in east central South Dakota. The company is also preparing for the retirement of its 1950s-era coal-fired Hoot Lake Plant in 2021.

In addition, Otter Tail implemented a Customer Information System that allows customers more access and options related to their energy use and services.

Otter Tail officials said the goal is to move toward cleaner energy while keeping rates among the lowest in the nation. The MPUC will hold a public hearing on this filing.