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Associated Press, Published July 31 2013

ND electric consumers still paying defunct plant

BISMARCK — North Dakota customers of Otter Tail Power will continue to foot the bill for a power plant that was never built.

The Big Stone II electric power plant in northeastern South Dakota was abandoned in 2009 before construction began.

The Public Service Commission in June 2010 approved a plan to have and Montana-Dakota Utilities and Otter Tail customers in North Dakota pay a share of Big Stone's $13.7 million development costs over three years. The PSC on Tuesday extended the payments eight months for Otter Tail customers.

Commissioner Brian Kalk says the extended payments will go toward a transmission line that was separate from development costs.

An average Otter Tail residential electric customer has been paying 62 cents more per month. MDU customers have paid about $1.50 extra each month.