April 7, 2010
Source: Black Hills Corp.
Black Hills Corp. (BKH) said it has reached agreement with the Department of Energy for smart grid funding through grants totaling $20.7 million for its electric utility units, Black Hills Energy - Colorado Electric, Black Hills Power and Cheyenne Light, Fuel & Power. The funds are made available under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 and, combined with matching investments from the Black Hills electric utilities, enable the installation of about 149,000 smart meters and related infrastructure investments.
Specifically, the DOE award agreements provide Black Hills Energy - Colorado Electric with approximately $6.1 million in matching funds for the installation of up to an additional 42,000 smart meters and communications infrastructure that will automate meter reading and enable a direct load control pilot program in its southern Colorado service area. Black Hills Power will receive approximately $9.6 million in matching funds, which is approximately $4 million more than the amount initially reported, for the installation of 69,000 smart meters, along with communications infrastructure, IT software and equipment necessary to initiate an advanced metering system in its western South Dakota and eastern Wyoming utility service areas.
Cheyenne Light will receive approximately $5 million in matching funds for the installation of 38,000 smart meters and communications infrastructure in and around its Cheyenne, Wyo., service area. Black Hills Power and Cheyenne Light will begin AMI implementation throughout their service territories this year and Black Hills Energy - Colorado Electric will begin phase three of its AMI implementation, having already installed more than 56,500 smart meters and associated infrastructure in its service territory in 2009.
In Colorado, South Dakota and Wyoming, the Black Hills Corp. subsidiaries were the only investor-owned electric utilities selected to receive the DOE funding.