Advances Sustainability Strategy and Announces New Net Zero Target for Gas Utilities
RAPID CITY, S.D., Sept. 13, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Black Hills Corp. (NYSE: BKH) today announced the release of its 2021 Sustainability Report highlighting the company’s environmental, social and governance achievements and plans to further decarbonize its electric and natural gas utility systems.
“We are committed to creating a cleaner energy future that builds on our responsibility to provide the safe, reliable and cost-effective energy that improves our customers’ lives,” said Linn Evans, president and CEO of Black Hills Corp. “We are enabling the energy transition through the addition of low or zero carbon generation sources, power plant fuel conversions, new technologies and a new commitment to achieve Net Zero emissions by 2035 for our natural gas distribution system.”
“Our Net Zero target by 2035 builds on our natural gas system safety and integrity initiatives and expands upon strategies underway to strengthen our system such as advanced leak detection and expanded damage prevention efforts,” continued Evans.
The new target doubles and replaces the company’s previous commitment of a 50% reduction of greenhouse gas emissions intensity for mains and services by 2035 and expands the scope of the goal to include all sources of methane emissions in the company’s distribution system. This includes pipeline mains and services, damages, blowdowns, transfer stations, meters and pressure relief valves. The goal boundary of the target is defined as Scope 1 by the Environmental Protection Agency.
“For our electric utilities, we have already achieved over a one-third reduction in greenhouse gas emissions intensity since 2005, reaching a nearly 10% reduction since announcing our goal in 2020,” said Evans. “We have plans in place today, without reliance on future technologies, to achieve our corporate climate goals calling for a 40% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions intensity from our electric utility operations by 2030 and 70% by 2040.”
Report highlights include:
Advancements in renewable natural gas (RNG): In 2021, the company developed a voluntary RNG and carbon offset program to help residential and small business natural gas customers offset 100% or more of the emissions associated with their own natural gas usage. The company filed for approval to launch these programs in three states and seeks to offer the program to all customers by 2023.
Caring for the community: In 2021, the company’s community support totaled $5.3 million, including over $644,000 in employee giving to United Way and more than $768,000 from the company’s expanded energy assistance fund, which matches customers’ and employees’ contributions dollar-for-dollar.
Creating value: The company’s investment in the safety, reliability and sustainability of its extensive utility systems delivers meaningful growth and sustains jobs, families and communities. In 2021, Black Hills Corp.’s direct economic impact totaled $1.3 billion.
Energy efficiency – Black Hills Corp. provided over $10 million in energy efficiency rebates in 2021 to residential and business customers, leading to annual energy savings of about 16 million kilowatt-hours of electricity and 380,000 dekatherms of natural gas – enough energy to power over 2,050 homes with electricity and about 4,500 homes with natural gas for one year.
Learn more at www.blackhillsenergy.com/sustainability.
About Black Hills Corp.
Black Hills Corp. (NYSE: BKH) is a customer focused, growth-oriented utility company with a tradition of improving life with energy and a vision to be the energy partner of choice. Based in Rapid City, South Dakota, the company serves 1.3 million natural gas and electric utility customers in eight states: Arkansas, Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, South Dakota and Wyoming. More information is available at www.blackhillscorp.com.
Jerome E. Nichols
24-Hour Media Relations Line
Caution Regarding Forward Looking Statement
This news release includes “forward-looking statements” as defined by the Securities and Exchange Commission, or SEC. We make these forward-looking statements in reliance on the safe harbor protections provided under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. All statements, other than statements of historical facts, included in this news release that address activities, events or developments that we expect, believe or anticipate will or may occur in the future are forward looking statements. This includes our ability to meet our carbon reduction goals through new generation resources and retirements of existing power plants. These forward-looking statements are based on assumptions which we believe are reasonable based on current expectations and projections about future events and industry conditions and trends affecting our business. However, whether actual results and developments will conform to our expectations and predictions is subject to a number of risks and uncertainties that, among other things, could cause actual results to differ materially from those contained in the forward-looking statements, the risk factors described in Item 1A of Part I of our 2021 Annual Report on Form 10-K filed with the SEC, and other reports that we file with the SEC from time to time.
New factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those described in forward looking statements emerge from time-to-time, and it is not possible for us to predict all such factors, or the extent to which any such factor or combination of factors may cause actual results to differ from those contained in any forward-looking statement. We assume no obligation to update publicly any such forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.