RAPID CITY, S.D. - Oct. 29, 2018 - Black Hills Corp. (BKH) announced it has received approval to combine two of its natural gas utility distribution companies in Colorado and to extend the recovery period of its system safety and integrity rider for one of its natural gas utilities in Nebraska.
Colorado Gas Simplification
On Oct. 10, Black Hills received approval from the Colorado Public Utilities Commission for its request to consolidate its two Colorado natural gas distribution utilities into a new public utility entity. The request is part of a corporate-wide effort to simplify state utility structures in Colorado, Nebraska and Wyoming, states where Black Hills owns and operates more than one natural gas distribution utility. The Colorado portion of Black Hills Gas Distribution, LLC, will be combined with Black Hills/Colorado Gas Utility Company, LP, into a new company named Black Hills Colorado Gas, Inc. The two companies being merged currently serve 182,000 Colorado customers doing business as Black Hills Energy.
Legal consolidation of the two companies is expected to be completed by year-end 2018. A filing to consolidate the base rate areas, tariffs, terms and conditions and adjustment clauses is expected to be made during the first quarter of 2019, with a goal of receiving approval in the fourth quarter.
"We are encouraged by the support from the Colorado regulators in our efforts to simplify and improve how we serve customers," said David R. Emery, chairman and CEO of Black Hills Corp. "Combining our gas distribution companies within the state, which are already centrally operated under a common brand, makes sense for our customers, regulators and shareholders. We are now working through the process of combining rates and standardizing practices to improve efficiencies, reduce costs and improve the value we deliver to customers and shareholders."
Nebraska Gas Rider Recovery Extension
On Sept. 5, Black Hills received approval from the Nebraska Public Service Commission to extend the recovery period of its existing system safety and integrity rider from Oct. 31, 2019 to Dec. 31, 2020, for its Nebraska natural gas distribution utility, Black Hills Gas Distribution, LLC. The rider provides approximately $6 million of revenue annually on investments made prior to Jan. 1, 2018, with investments after that date to be recovered through other methods. If a base rate review is filed prior to expiration of the rider, that rate request will include the remaining investment to be recovered.
"This recovery extension allows us to continue delivering safe and reliable service to our customers in Nebraska," said David R. Emery, chairman and CEO of Black Hills Corp. "We appreciate the support from our Nebraska regulators of the need to make timely investment in key safety and integrity requirements for customers. Additionally, this rider extension aligns well with our current plan to pursue consolidation of our natural gas distribution companies in Nebraska in 2020."
Black Hills Corporation
Black Hills Corp. (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 1.25 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.
Black Hills Gas Distribution, LLC
BH Gas Distribution serves approximately 269,000 customers in Colorado, Nebraska and Wyoming through approximately 10,500 miles of distribution pipeline. In Colorado, the company serves approximately 99,000 residential, commercial, industrial and agricultural customers. The utility was acquired when Black Hills Corp. acquired SourceGas in 2016.
Black Hills/Nebraska Gas Utility Company, LLC
Nebraska Gas Utility provides retail sales and transportation services to approximately 83,000 customers in eight counties in eastern central Colorado. The utility was acquired as part of the acquisition of Aquila gas utilities in 2008.
Jerome E. Nichols
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Source: Black Hills Corporation via GlobeNewswire