- Associated Press - Friday, September 25, 2015

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) - NorthWestern Energy says it has reached a settlement with South Dakota Public Utility Commission staff on a pending electric rate case, and it has completed its acquisition of an 80-megawatt wind farm near Tripp.

If a majority of PUC commissioners approve the increase, NorthWestern would be allowed to increase base rates by $20.2 million annually, less than the company’s original request of $26.5 million.

Thursday’s settlement agreement would also place the wind project into the company’s South Dakota rate base. NorthWestern bought the project from BayWa r.e. Wind LLC for $143 million.

The settlement agreement would result in an annual rate increase less than the July 2015 interim increase. NorthWestern says it will refund the difference between the interim rate and final approved rate through customer bills by March.

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