Montana Public Radio

CSKT Signs 15-year Contract With Washington Utility

Mar 30, 2020

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — Energy Keepers Inc., owned by the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes, has signed a contract to sell hydroelectric power to a Washington state utility.

The 15-year contract allows Puget Sound Energy to draw 40 megawatts of power from the Seli’š Ksanka Qlispe’ hydroelectric project, according to the Billings Gazette. That project includes a Flathead River dam.

The deal will supplant Puget's delivery of coal-fired electricity from the Colstrip Power Plant after 2025. The deadline, shared by all Washington utilities, is set by the state’s Clean Energy Transformation Act. The law requires all electricity to be free of greenhouse gas emissions by 2045.

Puget is working to cut all coal ties, and has agreed to sell its 25% share of Colstrip Unit to NorthWestern Energy, pending regulatory approval.

The move away from coal has benefitted Energy Keepers: The company finalized the deal with Puget in February and began supplying energy in March. An official said Energy Keepers is also picking up several large Montana customers who previously bought electricity from Talen Energy, the company selling the Colstrip plant's power.