Montana Regulators Drill Down On NorthWestern's Proposed Colstrip Purchase
In the latest step of a long pre approval process, the commission that regulates electric utilities in Montana wants to know how big a share NorthWestern Energy intends to purchase in the Colstrip coal fired power plant.
'Zoombombing' Shuts Down Montana Public Service Commission Meeting
Editor's Note April 21, 2020: PSC counsel Zack Rogala's name was mispelled in a previous version of this article and has since been corrected.
A Montana regulatory body on Apr. 14 fell victim to an instance of teleconference hijacking, also called “zoombombing,” which interrupted public comment and delayed commissioners’ decision making.
The Montana Public Service Commission turned to remote teleconferencing in late March to maintain social distancing during the coronavirus. The commission has been using the popular Zoom platform to hold public meetings.
NorthWestern Responds To Consumer Advocate Criticisms Over Colstrip Buy-In Plan
NorthWestern Energy has filed to buy an extra 25 percent of Colstrip Unit 4 from Washington State’s Puget Sound Energy for $1. The Montana Consumer Counsel criticized NorthWestern for the level of information disclosed in the public plan the utility filed with state regulators last month.
The state’s largest utility has warned the public about the potential likelihood of an electricity blackout while talking about how it intends to build up its energy portfolio.
As Yellowstone Public Radio News reports, a 2019 analysis shows the region could face potential shortages as coal-fired power plants retire in coming years, but doesn’t factor in new power projects likely to come online.