South Dakota's Public Utilities Commission has ruled against an alternative energy producer seeking to force rural electric cooperatives to buy the wind power it plans to generate.
Wisconsin-based Prelude LLC tried to use the federal Public Utility Regulatory Policy Act, or PURPA, to get six co-ops to purchase its electricity. PURPA requires utilities in specific circumstances to buy alternative energy and applies to rate-regulated utilities.
Under South Dakota law, however, rural electric co-ops aren't rate-regulated. Commissioners say the state Legislature doesn't allow that.
The cooperatives involved in the dispute were Moreau-Grand Electric in Timber Lake, Rosebud Electric in Gregory, Butte Electric in Newell, Rushmore Electric in Rapid City, Grand Electric in Bison, and North Dakota's Basin Electric.