New solar array begins supplying commercial energy to southwest Montana
A new utility-scale solar array near Dillon powered up and began supplying commercial energy this month. The new facility doubles Montana’s solar energy potential.
The 600-acre solar project, located along I-15 near Dillon, began providing power to NorthWestern Energy’s regional infrastructure on Aug. 4. Clenera, the Boise-based company that built the project, said its capacity of 80 megawatts is enough to power over 13,000 homes in southwest Montana.
The only other utility-scale solar project in Montana, the MTSUN array near Billings, has the same capacity.
Clenera has a 20-year contract to provide power to NorthWestern, Montana’s largest monopoly utility.
The contract was agreed under provisions of a federal law that requires regulated utilities to offer long term contracts to alternative energy providers.
A third solar project, to be located near Trident in Broadwater County, is currently seeking a contract with NorthWestern Energy.