RAPID CITY, S.D. – May 31, 2022 – Black Hills Corp. (NYSE: BKH) today announced plans for its Colorado Electric utility subsidiary, doing business as Black Hills Energy, to achieve a 90% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 based on 2005 levels. This milestone, and the journey to 2030, is outlined in the company’s Clean Energy Plan, “2030 Ready Plan,” submitted to the Colorado Public Utilities Commission on May 27, 2022.
The plan establishes a roadmap and preferred resource portfolio for Black Hills Energy to cost-effectively achieve the state of Colorado’s “80 x 30” requirement calling upon electric utilities to reduce GHG emissions by a minimum of 80% by 2030.
“Leadership in emissions reduction is nothing new for Black Hills Energy,” said Linn Evans, president and CEO of Black Hills Corp. “Our 2030 Ready Plan builds on a clean energy journey that began over a decade ago, when we began transitioning our fleet to lower emissions natural gas generation and emissions-free renewable generation, while maintaining system safety and reliability.”
“As proposed, our plan will achieve a 90% reduction in emissions and result in 79% of our Colorado customers’ electricity being generated by carbon-free sources by 2030,” Evans added. “We’ll get there by adding 450 megawatts of new renewable energy and battery storage to our Southern Colorado system.”
The preferred resource portfolio recommends the addition of 149 MW of wind and 258 MW of solar generation and 50 MW of battery storage to its Colorado electric system. The final composition of resources will be determined during a competitive solicitation process to be held in 2023, with new renewable energy resources coming online between 2025 and 2030. In accordance with Colorado state statute, Black Hills Corp. and its affiliates would have the ability to own up to 50% of the energy and capacity associated with the clean energy resources developed for a Clean Energy Plan.
“Our ability to serve our customers with more renewable energy is possible in large part due to the flexibility provided by our Pueblo Airport Generating Station,” stated Evans. “The power supplied by our modern, highly-efficient natural gas-fired generating units provides critical operational flexibility and the firm, dispatchable, quick-start resources essential for integrating higher levels of variable renewable resources.”
Black Hills Energy’s 2030 Ready Plan will undergo an extensive review process before the Colorado PUC to evaluate the company’s modeling assumptions and preferred resource portfolio recommendations. This Phase I proceeding will occur over the next several months, with a decision anticipated by April 2023 after which time a request for proposals for renewable resources would commence.