Blacks Hills Power seeks renewable status for wind farm

Black Hills Power is seeking an approval from the Montana Public Service Commission to have the Silver Sage wind farm in Laramie County, Wyo., certified as an eligible renewable resource.

Black Hills, under the Montana Renewable Power Production and Rural Economic Development Act, asked the commission for an approval in a March 22 petition. The docket indicates no action taken on the petition as of April 5.

The Silver Sage wind farm is located in close proximity to the Happy Jack wind farm and is interconnected with the same electric transmission line as the Happy Jack wind farm. The commission has previously certified the Happy Jack wind farm is an Eligible Renewable Resource under the Renewable Act, as it is delivering electricity from Wyoming into Montana which is generated by one of the renewable sources covered by the Act.

Black Hills, a unit of Black Hills Corp. (NYSE: BKH), entered into a Renewable Energy Sales Agreement (RESA) with its affiliate, Cheyenne Light, Fuel and Power, dated Oct. 1 , 2009, for the purchase of unit contingent electric power, and the associated renewable energy credits, from the 42-MW Silver Sage wind farm. Cheyenne Light buys the renewable power from the Silver Sage wind farm, and resells it at cost to Black Hills.

“Under the Renewable Act, Black Hills is entitled to an Order or Notice of Commission Action which certifies that the Silver Sage wind farm is an Eligible Renewable Resource under the Renewable Act,” said the Black Hills petition. “Although physically located in Wyoming, it delivers electricity from Wyoming into Montana which is generated by one of the renewable sources enumerated in the Act.”

Black Hills Power is an electric utility that provides service to about 68,000 customers in the Black Hills region and sells surplus power in wholesale markets. Cheyenne Light serves 39,300 electric customers and 34,500 natural gas customers in the greater Cheyenne, Wyo., area.

About Barry Cassell 20414 Articles
Barry Cassell is Chief Analyst for GenerationHub covering coal and emission controls issues, projects and policy. He has covered the coal and power generation industry for more than 24 years, beginning in November 2011 at GenerationHub and prior to that as editor of SNL Energy’s Coal Report. He was formerly with Coal Outlook for 15 years as the publication’s editor and contributing writer, and prior to that he was editor of Coal & Synfuels Technology and associate editor of The Energy Report. He has a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University.