Black Hills updates progress on gas plant, wind power and transmission projects

Black Hills (NYSE:BKH) said Nov. 2 that construction is on budget and ahead of schedule for subsidiary Colorado Electric’s $109m, 60-MW Peak View Wind Project.

Black Hills Chairman and CEO David Emery discussed infrastructure projects and other issues during a quarterly earnings call following release of the earnings report.

“We are on budget and ahead of schedule on two Colorado Electric generation projects that will help us meet expectations under Colorado’s Renewable Energy Standards mandate and the Clean Air-Clean Jobs Act,” Emery said in a news release.

 The project is being built approximately 30 miles south of Pueblo, Colorado. It was initially developed by Invenergy Wind Development. The project, originally expected to be serving customers by year-end 2016, may be placed in service earlier than planned, Black Hills reported. Under Colorado’s Renewable Energy Standard, Black Hills must deliver 30% of retail energy sales from renewable resources by 2020.

Colorado Electric continued construction of a $65m, 40-MW natural gas-fired turbine at the Pueblo Airport Generating Station. The project will be completed under budget and serving customers by year-end 2016. Colorado Electric’s new 40-MW gas turbine will both be serving customers on or before year-end, Emery said.

“In addition, we energized the first segment of South Dakota Electric’s 144-mile electric transmission line from northeast Wyoming to Rapid City, South Dakota. The second segment of the line is projected to be serving customers during the first half of 2017,” the CEO added.

South Dakota Electric continued construction of a $54m, 144-mile transmission line from northeast Wyoming to Rapid City, South Dakota. The first segment of the project was energized and began serving customers Aug. 31, with the remaining segment expected to be completed and serving customers during the first half of 2017.

In September, the company began construction of line from Osage, Wyoming, to South Dakota state line.

On May 3, Colorado Electric filed a request with the Colorado Public Utilities Commission for a rate review to increase its annual revenue by $8.9m to recover investments in the new turbine.

Hearings were held in October and Black Hills expects new rates to be effective Jan. 1, 2017.

Two Black Hills’ subsidiaries Wyoming Electric and Colorado Electric set new records for all-time peak load this summer.

Net income available for common stock for the third quarter of 2016 was $14m or 26 cents per diluted share, compared to net loss available for common stock for the third quarter of 2015 of $(9.9)m, or (22 cents) per diluted share.

Results for the third quarter of 2016 included 15 cents per diluted share for a noncash impairment of crude oil and natural gas properties and 7 cents per diluted share related to acquisition costs. The same period in the prior year included 80 cents per diluted share for a noncash impairment of crude oil and natural gas properties and 6 cents per diluted share related to acquisition costs.

About Wayne Barber 4201 Articles
Wayne Barber, Chief Analyst for the GenerationHub, has been covering power generation, energy and natural resources issues at national publications for more than 20 years. Prior to joining PennWell he was editor of Generation Markets Week at SNL Financial for nine years. He has also worked as a business journalist at both McGraw-Hill and Financial Times Energy. Wayne also worked as a newspaper reporter for several years. During his career has visited nuclear reactors and coal mines as well as coal and natural gas power plants. Wayne can be reached at wayneb@pennwell.com.