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MDU seeks electric rate increase

Montana Dakota Utilities has filed for an electric rate increase.

It’s asking the North Dakota Public Service Commission for a 12.3 percent increase, or $25.4 million. For a residential customer, using 800 kilowatts of power per month, the increase would be $14.94.

In 2017, MDU was granted a 3.7 percent increase.

"The biggest reason (for the rate increase) is the investment we've made since that case," said MDU spokesperson Mark Hanson. "And 2023 will bring the 88 megawatt simple-cycle combustion turbine, the Heskett Four unit."

The Heskett plant, north of Mandan, used to be a coal-fired power plant — but MDU has been converting it to natural gas.

"We've also had increases in software maintenance expense, insurance, and labor for our continued operations," Hanson said. "Then there's inflation."

MDU has also filed for an interim rate increase of $11.4 million, meaning the typical customer would see their monthly bills rise by $5.33. State law allows an interim increase, subject to refund if the final increase authorized by the PSC is less than the interim rate.

MDU serves 93,500 electric customers in 119 North Dakota communities.

The rate case could take up to seven months to decide.

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