Xcel Energy electricity customers in South Dakota could face higher monthly charges

Capitol News Bureau

PIERRE, S.D. (KELO) — Electricity customers of Xcel Energy in South Dakota could be asked to pay more starting January 1, 2021.

The investor-owned company, officially known as Northern States Power, has asked the South Dakota Public Utilities Commission to approve an infrastructure rider of $24.9 million for the coming year.

The revenue would offset costs of wind-electricity projects and decommissioning biomass projects.

That $24.9 million would be an increase of nearly $5.7 million from what South Dakota customers are now paying Northern States Power in infrastructure rider costs.

For a South Dakota residential customer using 750 kilowatt-hours of electricity per month, the new charge would be $8.92 per month, a $2.27 increase. The rider is in addition to NSP’s rates.

The South Dakota commission decided Tuesday to assess up to $250,000 of actual costs to the NSP to review the application. The commission allowed the NSP rider through several previous decisions. NSP wants to apply the proposed additional revenue toward its costs for these three sets of projects:

Dakota Range I and II. The 302-megawatt wind project is approximately 20 miles north of Watertown. It is scheduled to go into service in December 2021. The company is shifting some turbine components into the project from other locations, to qualify for 100% of the production-tax credit from the federal government, up from the expected 80%.

Jeffers Wind and Community Wind North. NSP is purchasing them from Longroad Energy and expects them in-service again in November 2020 after repowering. Jeffers Wind is a 50-megawatt site in Cottonwood County, Minnesota. Community Wind North is a 30-megawatt site in Lincoln County, Minnesota. NSP currently gets power from the projects.

Mower Wind is in Mower County, Minnesota. The current owner, NextEra Energy, plans to repower the 43 turbines that currently have 2.3-megawatt generators and then sell it to NSP, which currently buys power from the project. It would return to service in December 2020.

NSP’s South Dakota electric customers are allocated approximately 5.72% to 6.83% of each individual project, depending on the type of system component, according to the company’s filing. The full docket is here.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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