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Published April 12, 2012, 10:05 AM

North Dakota utility takes step on natural gas power plant

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — North Dakota regulators say a proposed Montana-Dakota Utilities Co. power plant is a reasonable way of providing more electricity.

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — North Dakota regulators say a proposed Montana-Dakota Utilities Co. power plant is a reasonable way of providing more electricity.

MDU wants to build the plant near its Heskett power station north of Mandan. It would have a natural gas-powered turbine and be capable of generating 88 megawatts of power.

North Dakota's Public Service Commission says the project is prudent.

The finding means MDU should have an easier time later getting commission approval to charge ratepayers to pay for the project.

Utility spokesman Mark Hanson says the plant could add another $4 monthly to electric bills, but the number isn't final.

Hanson tells Prairie Public radio the utility still needs siting and air quality permits before construction can start next year.

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