Colorado PUC Approves Black Hills Energy’s Wind Project

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Black Hills Energy – Colorado Electric, the utility subsidiary of Black Hills Corp., has announced that it has received approval from the Colorado Public Utilities Commission (PUC) regarding the utility's proposed 29 MW wind project.

The PUC approved a settlement that allows Black Hills Energy to construct and own 50% of the wind project, which will require an investment of $26.5 million. The commission has also authorized Black Hills Energy to conduct a competitive solicitation for ownership of the other 50% of the project.Â

A written order is expected by Aug. 12, and Black Hills Energy expects to issue a request for proposals (RFP) no later than Aug. 15.

Currently, the 50% of the project subject to the RFP is owned by a wind developer and is subject to a renewable energy purchase agreement (REPA) with Black Hills Energy. If Black Hills Energy determines that a new REPA with more favorable terms is available based on proposals gathered during the upcoming solicitation process, then a replacement REPA may be executed with the alternative wind developer no later than Jan. 1, 2012, according to the utility.

The project, planned for completion in late 2012, is expected to qualify for the U.S. Department of Treasury's Section 1603 cash-grant program. It will include 16 Vestas wind turbines, of which components will be manufactured in Pueblo and at other Vestas facilities in Colorado.

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