Montana-Dakota Utilities files to build generation facility

Bismarck, N.D., July 8, 2011 — Montana-Dakota Utilities Co. filed an application with the North Dakota Public Service Commission for an advance determination of prudence to construct, own and operate an 88-MW simple cycle combustion turbine, as well as the related infrastructure needs for the project.

The natural gas-fired electric generation facility would be located on existing company-owned land next to the company's R.M. Heskett Generating Station near Mandan.

The facility is needed to meet the capacity requirements of Montana-Dakota's electric customers served by the company's integrated system. At capacity, the facility would generate enough electricity to serve about 86,000 Montana-Dakota customers.

The type of generation and the location were chosen after a thorough evaluation of generation and site options. The project includes a 24-mile natural gas pipeline to serve the generation station, as well as transmission interconnection facilities.

If the ADP is approved by the PSC, the facility is expected to be in operation by the first quarter of 2015. The estimated cost of the project is $85.6 million. North Dakota's share of that cost is $58.2 million, which equates to an estimated increase of $4 per month for residential customers.

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.

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