S.D. regulators approve NorthWestern Energy’s economic development efforts

Capitol News Bureau
KELO Pierre map locator South Dakota

NOTE: Amounts in the third paragraph have been corrected.

PIERRE, S.D. (KELO) — The state Public Utilities Commission gave its blessing Tuesday to NorthWestern Energy’s latest reports and plans for economic development in South Dakota.

The commission approved the investor-owned company’s 2019 reports and 2020 plans for its electricity and natural gas services.

NorthWestern reported spending $130,855 to protect and promote growth of electricity sales last year. Another $97,801 was spent to encourage use of natural gas.

Rick Edwards is the company’s director for community connections. He told commissioners that NorthWestern’s flagship program, Advantage South Dakota, focuses on workforce development and business attraction and expansion. It works with Aberdeen, Webster, Milbank, Redfield, De Smet, Mitchell, Chamberlain, Kimball, Wagner, Yankton and Huron.

Edwards said NorthWestern has “a very good relationship” with the Governor’s Office of Economic Development.

The company traditionally served customers in more than two dozen South Dakota counties. It is looking to expand delivery of natural gas in Tea and Harrisburg and is working on a gas franchise for Sioux Falls, he said.

Said Gary Hanson, the commission chairman: “We appreciate the service that you do and the quality that you provide to the citizens.”

The commission requires the annual plans and reports from the six investor-owned electricity providers and three investor-owned providers of natural gas that operate in South Dakota.

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