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Energy company asks South Dakota PUC to charge customers with power generation facilities

File photo.
File photo.(KCRG)
Published: May. 6, 2021 at 9:30 AM CDT
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PIERRE, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - The South Dakota Public Utilities Commission is dealing with a request from Black Hills Energy to add extra charges to customers who have their own power generation facilities.

Chairman Chris Nelson says its part of the changing mix of electricity production. Companies are moving away from traditional power sources like coal, and many individuals are developing their own power sources to either save money or live greener.

Nelson says there are fixed costs to maintain the electric grid for all customers, even if they generate all or most of their own electricity. As long as the customer is connected to the grid, there is a cost to maintain that connection.

WNAX Radio reports this case could be the first of a rising wave.

“Part of the thing that’s going to be looked at, obviously in the Black Hills case, and others moving forward, is ‘what’s fair?’” Nelson said. “What’s fair to the person generating the electricity, and what’s fair to the utility? If the utility has additional cost, those get spread out to all the other consumers.”

The commission has allowed more parties to intervene in the hearing, which will be held later.

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