Montana Public Radio

energy

Sen. Fred Thomas On Deregulation, Term Limits And Three Decades In The Capitol

Jan 22, 2020
Senate Majority Leader Fred Thomas (R) - Stevensville
Mike Albans / Montana Public Radio

Last week, state lawmakers gathered in Helena for the first-ever Legislative Week, a five-day series of training sessions, interim committee meetings, and social gatherings aimed at maintaining connections between legislators during the 20-month break they typically take between legislative sessions.

Hearing sessions across Montana over the last month have given ratepayers of the state’s largest electric utility the chance to sound off on the company’s 20-year-plan for sourcing energy. While many people have lashed out against the fossil fuel heavy plan, a minority of supporters in Billings and Colstrip last week stepped up.

 

Two of the Colstrip power plant’s four units ceased operation last week. Residents in Colstrip voiced shock and sadness Saturday about the long-planned but still surprising shutdowns.

What NorthWestern Energy's Supply Strategy Could Mean For Customers

Dec 19, 2019

This story was originally published by the Montana Free Press on Dec. 19, 2019.

At a cramped meeting before the Montana Public Service Commission in Helena Dec. 9, a crowd of climate activists radiated suspicion as a bearded economist flipped through a slide deck.

Montana’s largest electricity provider on Tuesday announced it plans to buy a larger share of the Colstrip power plant a day after protesters rallied the company to increase its renewable energy portfolio.


Amid constantly changing closure dates for a power plant majority owned by out-of-state companies, a town that found success through coal is coming to terms with the plant’s partial retirement. Kayla Desroches spent a day in Colstrip in southeast Montana to talk with some of the people who live and work in the community.

One of the owners of the Colstrip power plant Thursday agreed to financially withdraw by 2025.

The Montana Department of Environmental Quality is seeking public comment on a proposal to remediate pollution from wastewater facilities at Units 1 and 2 at the Colstrip Steam Electric Station.


NorthWestern Energy is asking state utility regulators to sign off on the company’s request to increase their customers’ electric bills by $23.8 million for one year. This surcharge is in addition to a $6.5 million rate increase commissioners approved late last month.

NorthWestern Energy building in Butte, Montana.
Nora Saks / Montana Public Radio

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — The Montana Public Service Commission has approved a $6.5 million rate increase for NorthWestern Energy customers, less than 20 percent of the increase the utility initially sought.

Pages