Black Hills Corp. Natural Gas Utility Receives Approval for Consolidation and Rate Increase in Wyoming
Source: Nasdaq GlobeNewswire / 11 Dec 2019 16:30:11 America/New_York
CHEYENNE, Wyo., Dec. 11, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Black Hills Corp. (NYSE: BKH) today announced that its Wyoming natural gas utility, Black Hills Wyoming Gas, LLC, doing business as Black Hills Energy, received approval from the Wyoming Public Service Commission of a settlement agreement allowing the company to consolidate its base rates and tariffs and for a general rate increase.
This approval is the final step in Black Hills’ utility jurisdiction consolidation process for Wyoming. Previously, Black Hills received approval and legally consolidated its four natural gas utilities in the state. This settlement agreement allows Black Hills Energy to establish statewide customer rates and consolidate general tariffs, gas cost adjustments, and certain riders and adjustment clauses.
“This settlement approval is an important step toward simplifying how we operate our natural gas utilities in Wyoming,” said Linn Evans, president and CEO of Black Hills Corp. “Our consolidation effort will improve customer service and reduce the complexity and number of rate reviews and other regulatory filings.”
Black Hills Energy has invested approximately $150 million since 2018 in safety, reliability and system integrity for its nearly 6,000 miles of Wyoming transmission and distribution pipeline to serve its 129,500 customers.
The new rates will generate an estimated $13.3 million in new annual revenue starting March 1, 2020, to recover Black Hills Energy’s investment in utility infrastructure and increased operating expenses. The new revenue is based on a return on equity of 9.4 percent and a capital structure of 50.23 percent equity and 49.77 percent debt.
The settlement agreement also allows Black Hills Energy to establish the Wyoming Integrity Rider to recover the costs of investments for integrity management programs designed to improve system reliability and safety.
Black Hills Corporation
Black Hills Corp. (NYSE: BKH) is a customer focused, growth-oriented utility company with a tradition of improving life with energy and a vision to be the energy partner of choice. Based in Rapid City, South Dakota, the company serves 1.27 million natural gas and electric utility customers in eight states: Arkansas, Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, South Dakota and Wyoming. More information is available at www.blackhillscorp.com.
Jerome E. Nichols
24-Hour Media Relations Line
Caution Regarding Forward Looking Statement
This news release includes “forward-looking statements” as defined by the Securities and Exchange Commission, or SEC. We make these forward-looking statements in reliance on the safe harbor protections provided under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. All statements, other than statements of historical facts, included in this news release that address activities, events or developments that we expect, believe or anticipate will or may occur in the future are forward looking statements, including anticipated revenues from the new rate increase and our ability to deliver an appropriate return to investors. These forward-looking statements are based on assumptions which we believe are reasonable based on current expectations and projections about future events and industry conditions and trends affecting our business. However, whether actual results and developments will conform to our expectations and predictions is subject to a number of risks and uncertainties that, among other things, could cause actual results to differ materially from those contained in the forward-looking statements, the risk factors described in Item 1A of Part I of our 2018 Annual Report on Form 10-K filed with the SEC, and other reports that we file with the SEC from time to time.
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