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Minnesota Public Utilities Commission approves Otter Tail rate request

Last week, the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission approved a proposed rate increase by Otter Tail Power Co. submitted late last year.

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BEMIDJI -- The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission has approved Otter Tail Power Company's proposal to increase rates for electric services but at a lower level.

The company had filed a petition on Nov. 2, 2020, asking for an increase in rates of about $14.5 million, or 6.8% . On Thursday, Nov. 4, the commission approved an annual increase of $100,000, or about 0.05%. The move will result in an increase of about $0.04 per month for consumers.

Otter Tail Power requested the increase in order to generate revenue for several projects. The company is working on a new wind energy center in North Dakota, installing a new customer information system to manage data, and has retired its Hoot Lake Plant.

"Our employees continue our tradition of operational excellence and execute well on transformational projects," Tim Rogelstad, Otter Tail Power president said in a release. "The commission's rate approval allows us to recover the cost of significant investments, which is great news for our investors. And that this is occurring without a material change to our rates is great news for our customers."

In the time since Otter Tail Power Co. filed its petition, the PUC did allow the electric provider to temporarily raise its rates by $6.9 million. Once the full financial impact of the PUC's decision is calculated, if the adjusted rates are lower than the temporary increase, customers will receive a proportionate refund of the difference.

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