Laramie, WY – Instead of buying 23 megawatts of electricity from Black Hills Power, the city of Gillette will buy 23 percent ownership in the output of the new WyGen III power plant.
City officials say a 14 percent to 18 percent electric rate hike was expected if the city kept its current contract with Black Hills Power. But they say the $68 million investment into the 100-megawatt plant means rates will increase only about 5 percent next year.
City Attorney Charlie Anderson said the investment is the cheapest option in the long run for the city, since rates will continue to increase in the future.
City leaders voted Monday night to make the investment.
The Black Hills Power Corp. plant is expected to go online for commercial operation April 1.