Black Hills Energy highlights progress toward a cleaner energy future in newly released sustainability report
Black Hills Energy today announced the release of its 2020 Corporate Sustainability Report, showcasing the company’s environmental, social and governance performance and its progress on major projects and climate goals. The report also highlights how in 2020 – during a historic and challenging year – the Black Hills Energy team worked together to quickly adapt to the uncertainty of the pandemic, to safely serve its communities and reliably supply essential energy to customers.
“Whether delivering energy to homes and businesses, helping customers in times of need, providing resources to our employees or partnering with communities, we recognize we are much more than a utility, we are an engaged corporate citizen,” said Linn Evans, president and CEO of Black Hills Energy. “We consider it a privilege to provide electricity and natural gas to nearly 1.3 million businesses and families across our eight-state service territory and we are committed to doing so in a way that supports our values and responsibility to our customers, communities and planet."
“Our sustainability report and disclosures provide transparency and insight into our performance and actions on issues that are important to our business, customers and stakeholders,” continued Evans. “We’re pleased to share our progress over the past year.”
Throughout 2020, Black Hills Energy advanced its climate goals, achieving a 30% reduction in corporate greenhouse gas emissions intensity since 2005 for its electric operations and a 33% reduction in natural gas emissions. The company’s sustainability strategy calls for a 40% reduction in GHG emissions by 2030 and 70% by 2040 for its electric operations, and a 50% reduction in natural gas emissions by 2035.
Key achievements include:
- Expanded clean energy offerings: The successful construction and on-time delivery in 2020 of the company’s newest wind energy facility, the Corriedale Wind Energy Project in Cheyenne, Wyoming, added 52.5 megawatts of renewable energy to the power grid. Today, 25% of the company’s total owned or contracted generation is made up of renewable wind energy.
- Advancements in renewable natural gas: With the fourth renewable natural gas interconnection project placed into service in 2020, up to another 400 mmBtu per day of biogas has been added to the company’s natural gas supply.
- Community impact: The company’s direct economic impact totaled $1.38 billion in 2020 - a result of the company’s charitable giving, compensation for more than 3,000 employees, franchise fees, payments to suppliers, and property, sales and use taxes paid to communities within Black Hills’ eight-state service territory.
- Customer support: The company provided $813,000 in funding through its Black Hills Cares program to respond to increased customer needs due to the impact of COVID-19, helping more than 2,500 families in need.
- Energy efficiency and conservation: Over $9.5 million in energy efficiency rebates to residential and business customers, leading to annual energy savings of over 30 million kilowatt-hours of electricity and 330,000 dekatherms of natural gas – enough energy to power nearly 3,900 homes a year with electricity and natural gas.
Black Hills Energy also published new disclosures for the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board and Natural Gas Sustainability Initiative and updated its disclosures for the Edison Electric Institute and American Gas Association’s ESG/Sustainability Quantitative disclosures. Learn more at www.blackhillsenergy.com/sustainability.