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Published March 06, 2010, 10:46 PM

North Dakota Utility Ratepayers May Pay Part Of Power Plant That Won't Be Built

North Dakota utility ratepayers may end up paying part of the cost of a power plant that will never be built.

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - North Dakota utility ratepayers may end up

paying part of the cost of a power plant that will never be built.

Montana-Dakota Utilities Co. and Otter Tail Power Co. say they

spent more than $20 million developing the Big Stone II power plant

in northeastern South Dakota.

They'll be asking regulators in four states for electric rate

increases to help them get their money back.

North Dakota's Public Service Commission ruled more than a year

ago that the project was a prudent investment. That decision will

make it easier for MDU and Otter Tail to recover the North Dakota

share of their development expenses.

Commissioner Tony Clark says the North Dakota commission's

preapproval would have allowed the project to be financed more

cheaply.

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