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MILBANK, SD-Otter Tail Power Co. has entered a two-year business development study to look at the feasibility of another electric generating plant on the site of the existing Big Stone Plant. As energy consumption in the region is expected to go up by 15% to 25%, studies point to a potential energy shortfall in the region, according to Otter Tail officials.

The study also points to a highly efficient coal-fired plant in the 600-megawatt range as being the most cost-effective choice for helping to meet the anticipated need for increased generation. If the decision is to proceed, construction could begin in 2003 with commercial operation in the spring or early summer of 2007.

“The decision is not to proceed with construction, but rather to perform further due diligence regarding the project and the region’s anticipated energy needs,” says Otter Tail CEO John MacFarlane.

Otter Tail Power Co. provides electricity and energy services to nearly 250,000 in Minnesota, North Dakota, and South Dakota, and is a unit of Otter Tail Corp., which isheadquartered in Fergus Falls, MN, and Fargo, ND.

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