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Sidney Herald
Sidney , Montana
May 26, 2019     Sidney Herald
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May 26, 2019

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SIDNEY HERALD. SUNDAY, MAY 26. 20l9 AIS FROM PAGE 1 expansion in North Da- kota serves customers in Montana and South Dakota. “The electrons don’t stop at the state lines,” Hanson said. The wind farms in North Dakota were built as the lowest cost answer to future ener- gy demands, according to Hanson. The statements signed by city council and county commission said, “No uncontested information has been provided comparing the total consumer cost of electric power gener- ated by wind farms in North Dakota versus electric power generat- ed from coal. . While the statements issued locally infer a connection between rate increases for wind farm expansion and the projected closing of the Lewis and Clark Station, MDU’s Hansen said the two topics were unrelated. MDU as a fin" " ’3 22019 s ‘BEFRESHERoNiTHEISSUE? - ’ ' “‘nperatingandtém dmg'se'Vke’MDU ' officials said, and“ ‘ it close Um“ 2020' MDU officials; when they were in Sidney j'fe‘r a=¥i5tening ‘sessionaboutthemte ' j ' '.ifi£f§a$€;_'$tf§$ed;th§t theme intrearle . ’ a .i,eand.the“coa'l mainstream? arenot: ; , . lefédly related. v . company has no stance in favor of or against coal generated power. “There’s not a push for anything specif- ic. We are not pro or against any type of [energy] generation,” Hansen said. “Our basic philosophy going through this planning process is we look at all our existing facilities, what our future de- mand is, what kind of options are out there to meet that demand and the best cost possible for our customers.” " ealsfireid Stationeatfsidneg-if7 d '3 “i'ti'pmli’et’S‘lévaf islet Siéiiénis’st‘li! Therzornpanyis séeki rig to recoup the“: ',.Loc'ai mmmiSSie c, sof'exnanding anind farmMpu‘. . H .-‘::;£zursfiased-31:291-53tHartman»north ‘ i. .“vflak'ota atheism? :cmpany added“: r: MDU has coal plants in North Dakota that remain competitive with wind energy, that’s just not the case for all coal locations. Hansen said it’s diffi- cult to compare wind- and coal- generated power because individ- ual facilities must be considered. Commissioner Shane Gorder said he and his fellow commissioners felt compelled to take a stance on the topic not only to raise pub- lic awareness, but be- UMMER CAMP mm,maawmgameemamadn... TEEN CAMP June 3rd-8th Entering 9-12 Grade Registration Mon 9-11 am '2 Camp ends Sat. Noon $150 JR HI GAMP June 10m-15th Entering 7-8 Grade Registration Mon 1‘! am JUNIOE CAMP June 17th-213t . V Entering 5-6 Grade " Registration Mon 9-11 am Camp ends Fri. 12 noon $135 Noon PiONEER CAMP June Zulu-June 28th Entering 3-4 Grade Registration Mon 911 am Camp was (Fri. 12 noon $1 Linnaeucs DAY CAMP Tues. July 16m Entering 1-2 Grade Registration Mon 9 am Camp ends after supper 5:30 pm $50 “Parent may accompany child $10 9M-yywee-oereutec-a».oa-recon-onloooIo-cuolnaeouu-soeotxasses)”a.“ Smith, Lange 8: Halley, BC. I Certified Public Accountants "1060 S. Central Ave, Ste: 1 Sidney, M'I‘ 406-433-451 0 Fax: 406-433—45 18 E—‘mail: vi'Muu: said the: plant and the ra. ,_ 'Whetherthere w _,,,thfe tihieOf the. , westward their . w, fiting'srelatedw the closure, and that . therearyé a tot of "their things going on as .. weft in that. timeE‘Qa'me. ’ * The two natural gas ngines installed , .' there a coople ofyears ago will remain to 'preyide peaking power. They will require bear 310 empinyees. ,- e, of the local coal crEase are unreiated. and city council .. . saffidals’donft-agree. : ' ‘i in response toqiiestions about a rate increase at closure, company uld be additional cause of the direct‘local impact. “It’s a big thing to our county. The rates are getting increased due to a wind farm in Hettinger, North Da- kota, when knowing the future plans were already addressed to close our coal fire MDU plant,” Gorder said. “We could sit back and not comment and let the rate in- crease take place, but I think it’s important for people to know.” Civil attorney Tom Halvorson said it’s the second greatest eco- nomic threat to the county in the last five years. “The closing of the plant is the same thing as closing the coal mine which is the same thing as taking the coal away from the sugar factory,” Halvor- son said. “It’s a domino effect.” Commissioners and councilmembers point out the Westmorland Savage Mining compa- ny pays taxes that ben- efit area schools, Rich— land County and the airport. Without those tax dollars, those enti- ties stand to lose a total of $294,046. While MDU did say they took local impact into consideration, it couldn’t be their only deciding factor. “It’s purely econom- ics,” Hansen said. “Part of our obligation is to provide customers with safe, reliable and low- cost service.” Hansen said retiring the Sidney plant was not an easy decision, but such facilities sim- ply don’t last forever. MDU is still planning on investing locally and keeping a pres- ence in the area. Some employees will be kept on operating the gas engines at the Lewis and Clark Station. Other employees will be trained for different jobs at MDU. Those promises ar— en’t enough for com- missioners and city councilmembers, who are looking to the Pub- lic Service Commission to stop the rate increas- es until a more com- plete study of consumer costs and consumer. in- terests is available. Sidney Mayor Rick Norby said the decision to support the commis- sioners was an easy one and the city shares their concerns. “People would under- stand rate increases if they were going to improve the local coal plant,” he said. “For us to survive, we need that coal. There has to be other ways to look at this.” RLEY'S “FIELD SERVICE Office: 406-742-531 z . Dispatcher 701 -844-1234 Fairview, Montana