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Associated Press, Published August 06 2010

Otter Tail electric bills rise with wind power

BISMARCK – Otter Tail Power Co.’s North Dakota customers will see higher electric bills as the utility adds more wind power to its energy sources.

Starting next month, Otter Tail will be increasing a charge that customers pay for wind energy projects. It means a $1.40 increase for a residential customer who uses 750 kilowatt-hours of power each month.

The charge is now $2.76 a month. It’s going up almost 50 percent to $4.13.

North Dakota Public Service Commissioner Tony Clark says the charge is a bit misleading.

He says if Otter Tail ­didn’t have the wind power, it might have to pay more for electricity on the open market during periods of high demand. But Clark says customers can’t see those savings.

Otter Tail has about 57,000 North Dakota customers.

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