Otter Tail Power is constructing a $60 million solar farm near Hoot Lake plant

By Tom Hintgen

Otter Tail County Correspondent

Otter Tail Power Company President Tim Rogelstad, a native of Pelican Rapids, told company retirees on July 20 that OTP’s residential rates are among the lowest in the nation.

“We take pride in delivering affordable, safe and reliable energy,” Rogelstad said.

He also talked about the construction of a $60 million, 49-megawatt solar farm near the site of the former Hoot Lake coal-fired plant just east of Fergus Falls.

The solar farm, when it becomes operational, will tap into an existing transmission interconnection from the retired coal-fired plant. This will allow Otter Tail Power Company to add renewable energy to its grid without investing in additional and costly infrastructure.

Rogelstad said the company is in the process of upgrading 174,000 electric meters in its service area of Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota. 

“Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) lays the groundwork for improved outage response and communications,” said Rogelstad, “including telephone-based integrated voice response.”

Otter Tail Power customers, he adds, will have more visibility into their energy usage and account information. This topic also was reviewed recently by Chuck MacFarlane, President and CEO of Otter Tail Corporation in comments to members of Minnesota Utility Investors.

The corporation’s annual indicated dividend per share for 2023 is $1.75, a 6.1 percent increase over 2022. On July 20 the corporation’s stock price was $84.42.

Otter Tail Corporation is based in Fergus Falls and Fargo. Its subsidiaries include Otter Tail Power Company, BTD Manufacturing Inc., T.O. Plastics Inc., Northern Pipe Products Inc., and Vinyltech Corporation.

More about Tim Rogelstad

Rogelstad was named president of Otter Tail Power Company in April 2014.

After graduating from Pelican Rapids High School in 1985, Rogelstad earned his bachelor of science degree in electrical and electronics engineering in 1989 from North Dakota State University, Fargo. He also is a graduate of the University of Idaho’s Utility Executive Course. 

Rogelstad is a Registered Professional Engineer.

He joined Otter Tail Power Company in 1989 as an engineer in the system engineering department. Rogelstad later served in system planning, transmission planning, and delivery planning. He was vice president of asset management from 2012 to 2014.