BISMARCK, N.D. – August 29, 2019 – Montana-Dakota Utilities announced today that it has filed an application with the North Dakota Public Service Commission for an advance determination of prudence to construct, own and operate an 88-megawatt simple cycle combustion turbine.
The natural gas-fired electric generation facility would be located next to an existing company-owned combustion turbine near Mandan, North Dakota. The facility is needed to meet the capacity requirements of Montana-Dakota’s electric customers served by the company’s integrated system. The facility can generate enough electricity to serve about 86,000 Montana-Dakota residential customers.
“This new facility will add to our generation portfolio and provide our customers with a cost-effective capacity resource for many years into the future,” said Nicole Kivisto, president and CEO of Montana-Dakota Utilities. “We think this a great opportunity to construct on land we already own, next to company-owned generation, which translates into the best-cost option for our customers.”
The type of generation and the location were chosen as part of the company’s integrated resource plan, which was filed with the PSC on July 1. The site, home to a similar 88-megawatt combustion turbine, has the natural gas supply, land and transmission interconnection facilities in place, making it a cost-effective option.
Adding the combustion turbine to the company’s generation fleet, coupled with power purchased from the market, is expected to be about half the cost of continuing to operate two aging coal plants. Montana-Dakota announced in February that it plans to retire the Lewis & Clark Station in Sidney, Montana, around the end of March 2021 and both coal-fired units at the Heskett Station in Mandan around the end of March 2022.
If the ADP is approved by the PSC, the facility is expected to be in operation by the first quarter of 2023. The estimated cost of the project is $73 million.
An advance determination of prudence request asks the PSC to determine if a generation project is reasonable and prudent for use in providing utility service to the public. The North Dakota PSC has up to seven months from the filing date to issue a decision on the ADP request.
Montana-Dakota Utilities Co. distributes natural gas and generates, transmits and distributes electricity and provides related services in the northern Great Plains. The company serves approximately 143,000 electric customers and 275,000 natural gas customers in 262 communities in North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana and Wyoming. Montana-Dakota is a subsidiary of MDU Resources Group, Inc., a member of the S&P MidCap 400 index and the S&P High-Yield Dividend Aristocrats index and is Building a Strong America® by providing essential products and services through its regulated energy delivery and construction materials and services businesses. For more information about MDU Resources, see the company’s website at www.mdu.com. For more information about Montana-Dakota, visit www.montana-dakota.com.
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