MDU electric customers could see lower rates, one-time bill credit

That bill reduced corporate tax rates from 35 percent to 21 percent. And in a settlement with PSC staff, MDU is planning to reduce rates by about $5 a month on average for a residential customer using 980 kilowatt hours of electricity. That would take effect October first. In addition, MDU will give customers a one-time bill credit for rates charged after the tax bill became law, and before the new rates kick in. MDU says that would be around $28 for the average residential customer.

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Public Service Commission Approves Wind Farm Decommissioning Plans

Public Service Commission Approves Wind Farm Decommissioning Plans

The North Dakota Public Service Commission has approved the first set of wind farm decommissioning plans following new rule changes approved in 2017.

The Commission has overseen reclamation of coal mining in North Dakota since 1970 and used that experience in developing the new rules.  The rules ensure that wind farms are removed and the land reclaimed when operations cease.  With wind generation expanding in the state and the projects growing in size, the PSC has expressed concern about the potential for abandoned projects in the future.

According to Commission Chairman Randy Christmann, “A half century ago our ancestors made a commitment to ensure our coal mines would be reclaimed when the prairie became quiet again.  These decommissioning rules demonstrate a renewed commitment by our generation to ensure that North Dakota’s beautiful landscape will be returned to its splendor when these giant wind turbines reach the end of their useful lives.”

The new rules were approved by the PSC in May of 2017, effective July 1, 2017.  The Commission requested that existing facilities submit plans by July 1, 2018.  Projects sited before July 1, 2017 must submit financial assurances for decommissioning after their tenth year of operation.  Projects sited after July 1, 2017 must submit financial assurances before commencing construction.

Christmann Receives GOP Endorsement For North Dakota Public Service Commission

Christmann Receives GOP Endorsement For North Dakota Public Service Commission

BISMARCK, N.D. – Public Service Commissioner Randy Christmann today received the North Dakota Republican Party’s endorsement to serve another term in the North Dakota Public Service Commission (PSC). The convention took place at the Alerus Center in Grand Forks where Christmann received unanimous support from the convention delegates.

In his acceptance speech to the delegates­, the Christmann highlighted the PSC’s leadership in regulating and expanding crucial services in the state of North Dakota, including gas and electric utilities.

“We all like low rates, but we also need to make sure the providers have the necessary resources to provide safe and dependable service,” said Christmann. “Well, I am glad to report that in North Dakota our regulated utilities have excellent reliability statistics and some of the lowest residential electric rates in the nation.”

Among the greatest responsibilities of the PSC the past five years has been its work in siting and permitting major transmission lines and energy conversion facilities. The PSC has approved more than $9 billion in energy infrastructure projects, or an average $150 million per month since 2012.

“These projects take trucks off the road, reduce flaring, move our products more safely and more efficiently, enhance revenue for mineral owners, create thousands of jobs, grow our economy and enhance America’s energy independence,” said Christmann. “This part of our job has been almost overwhelming at times these past five years, but we have made sure these investments are built to North Dakota’s high safety standards.”

“I am excited to continue this important work of making our processes even more efficient and effective and to growing this great state of North Dakota.”


ND regulators approve pipeline upgrade, new gas plant

ND regulators approve pipeline upgrade, new gas plant

By Amy Dalrymple / Bismarck Tribune

BISMARCK—Two major oil and gas projects approved Wednesday by the North Dakota Public Service Commission aim to improve pipeline safety, meet local demand for diesel and reduce natural gas flaring in the state.

Commissioners approved a project from Cenex Pipeline LLC that will upgrade a portion of a refined fuels pipeline in northwest North Dakota that was built in 1960. However, the company does not have easement agreements to begin construction along 22 percent of the pipeline route.

Also Wednesday, commissioners approved the Arrow Bear Den gas plant near Watford City to process growing volumes of natural gas in the core of the Bakken.

Commission Chairman Randy Christmann said the two projects combined total more than $250 million in economic activity for the state.


Article: ND regulators approve wind farm, natural gas plant

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — State regulators on Wednesday approved construction of a wind energy project and a natural gas processing plant in western North Dakota that will represent about $360 million worth of new construction.

A subsidiary of Oneok Inc., an energy company based in Tulsa, Okla., intends to build a factory capable of processing about 100 million cubic feet of natural gas daily, the state Public Service Commission said.

Oneok already operates two natural gas processing factories in northwestern North Dakota, and has two more already under construction. The fifth, called Garden Creek II, will be located about six miles northeast of Watford City, in McKenzie County.

The commission approved the plant’s siting application Wednesday, clearing the way for construction to start. An Oneok spokeswoman said the company hopes to finish the project by the fall of 2014. To continue reading, click here.