Utility Resource Plan Has 100 MW Renewables Carve-Out


Black Hills Corp. says its South Dakota Electric and Wyoming Electric utilities have filed a 2021 Integrated Resource Plan for their two electric systems, including a proposal for the addition of 100 MW of renewable generation.

The IRP, the result of a comprehensive data analysis and stakeholder input process, outlines a range of options for the two electric utilities over a 20-year planning horizon to meet long-term forecasted energy needs while strengthening reliability and resiliency of the grid. The analysis focused on the least-cost resource needs to best meet customers’ future peak energy needs while maintaining system flexibility and achieving the company’s generation emissions reduction goals.

The plan’s preferred options for the near-term planning period through 2026 propose 100 MW of renewables, the conversion of the 90 MW Neil Simpson II coal-fired power plant to natural gas at the end of its original engineered life in 2025, and consideration of up to 20 MW of battery storage.

The preferred scenarios are the least-cost options for customers and would also support the company’s greenhouse gas emission intensity reduction goal of 70% by 2040 from a 2005 baseline for its electric operations.

The resource plan also supports continued analysis of the customer benefits of investing in additional transmission in Wyoming to support growing demand, integrate more renewables into the grid and enhance reliability of supply.

“We are committed to delivering safe, reliable and cost-effective energy to our customers while sensibly achieving a cleaner emissions profile,” says Linn Evans, president and CEO of Black Hills Corp. “Our plan looks to meet the growing needs of our customers and communities and address the challenges of the evolving energy grid through existing technologies.”

Although there is no formal process for resource planning in South Dakota or Wyoming, the company expects that a procedural schedule will be created in Wyoming for comments and commission consideration. In South Dakota, the IRP was not formally filed, so a procedural schedule will not be established.

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