Energy

Xcel Energy is proposing to use the money it will be saving because of the federal tax cut to clean up a site of a former manufactured gas plant in Fargo.

The plant operated from the early 1900s to 1960.

"Back in the day, coal used be manufactured into gas that was used to light streetlights and be distributed to homes and businesses, much like natural gas is today," said Xcel Senior Regulatory Consultant Dave Sederquist. "There are some residual materials left underground."

Dave Thompson / Prairie Public

A new record for North Dakota oil production.

State mineral resources director Lynn Helms made that announcement Friday during his monthly "Director's Cut" briefing. The numbers come from July production.

"We're at 1.27 million barrels a day," Helms said. "To be exact, 1,269,366 barrels per day – a new all-time high."

Helms says the state also set a record in natural gas production – up 4.3 percent from the previous record.

MDU to replace streetlights with LEDs

Sep 11, 2018

MDU is preparing to make a switch in streetlights.

Over the next year or so, MDU is planning to replace the halogen lights with LED lights.

"They're more efficient and cost effective," said MDU spokesman Mark Hanson.

Hanson did say it is an expensive switch.

"That means the rent amount to each city will go up dramatically," Hanson said. "But the energy savings will reduce that cost dramtically."

Dave Thompson / Prairie Public

Members of the North Dakota Public Service Commission got a look at how MDU electric customers will benefit from the federal “Tax Cut and Jobs Act.”

Grand Forks to host new bio-fuels plant

Aug 23, 2018
T.McDonald / Prairie Public

As Reporter Todd McDonald tells us, the Red River Biorefinery is expected to open in late 2019 or very early 2020...

Dave Thompson / Prairie Public

Otter Tail Power Company wants the authority to give new or expanding industrial customers a break on their electric rates, to spur economic development.

Otter Tail has asked the North Dakota Public Service Commission for the right to offer up to a five year discount for a new customer using at least 500 kilowatt hours of electricity, and for expanding customers who would be using at least 1500 kilowatt hours

Commissioner Brian Kroshus said he likes the concept.

More natural gas processing plants are coming on-line in the Bakken.

State pipeline authority director Justin Kringstad said two are being completed this year, and four others are scheduled next year.

"The two plants in 2018 are scheduled to come on-line in the September-October time frame," Kringstad said. "They will add 400 million cubic feet (mcf) of gas processing."

Kringstad said the total investment in those two facilities is $300 million.

Dave Thompson / Prairie Public

Natural gas service could be coming this fall to the Bobcat plant in Gwinner.

MDU Resources has been working to bring natural gas to Gwinner from the Alliance Pipeline.

"We expect to be using natural gas in September, although the line won't be completed until probably November," Rich Goldsbury said in an interview.

Goldsbury said he’s also excited about having a broader discussion with communities in that region who haven’t had natural gas service before.

"I call it 'tapping the brakes.'"

That’s how state mineral resources director Lynn Helms described June oil and gas production numbers.

Afer oil production set a new record in May -- at 1,246,355 barrels a day, production in June dropped to 1,225,510 barrels a day.

"Natural gas production also dropped slightly.

"There's a record number of wells producing," Helms said. "But they're restricting production from wells."

Helms said companies are voluntarily restricting production because of gas capture issues.

Energy Secretary Perry tours ND Coal Country

Aug 14, 2018
Dave Thompson / Prairie Public

US Secretary of Energy Rick Perry is praising North Dakota for its innovations in energy.

Perry toured coal fields and power plants during a visit to the western part of the state Monday. Perry told a roundtable discussion following the tour – at the University of Mary in Bismarck – he was very impressed with the Coal Creek Station power plant and its co-located Blue Flint ethanol facility, which uses steam from the power plant to produce ethanol.

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