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Black Hills Energy sets net zero by 2035 target; plans to add 650 MW renewable energy, storage capacity by 2030


CASPER, Wyo. — Black Hills Energy, which operates electric and natural gas utilities in Wyoming and seven other states, said Thursday it has updated its clean energy targets to achieve further reductions in greenhouse gas emissions.

The updated target aims to achieve net zero natural gas emissions by 2035, doubling its previous goal of reducing natural gas emissions by 50% by then, Black Hills Energy said. Black Hills Energy’s current portfolio includes 760 MW of natural gas generation capacity, 394.7 MW of coal capacity, 288.8 MW of wind capacity and 38 MW of oil capacity.

The company is planning to add over 570 MW of wind and solar energy and battery storage by 2030, which is in addition to an 80 MW Fall River solar project set for 2023. The company is also planning to convert the Neil Simpson II coal plant in Gillette to natural gas and plans to retire three diesel plants by 2030.

“We will be positioned to achieve our GHG reduction goals without reliance on future technologies through the conversion of our Neil Simpson II coal plant to natural gas, retirement of three diesel plants, expiration of the Wygen I coal plant purchased power agreement and added renewable energy resources and storage,” Black Hills Energy said in its 2021 Sustainability Report released Thursday.

On the electric utility side of its business, Black Hills Energy has a goal of reducing greenhouse gas emission intensity by 40% by 2030 and 70% by 2040. The company has achieved about a 10% reduction toward these goals since 2005, Mark Stege, Black Hills Energy’s vice president of operations in Wyoming, said in the company’s press release.

Further information is available in the company’s 2021 Sustainability Report: