MTPR

NorthWestern Energy

6/17/14: This week on "Home Ground Radio:" If second chances are rare, it's even rarer to have a chance to buy back something valuable that you sold. Montana's electricity-generating dams are for sale.  Should we buy them back? NorthWestern Energy's Bob Rowe and John Hines think so. 

Dan Boyce

The price of solar panels continues to drop, making them a more reasonable option for households.

Montanans are taking notice; solar adoption rates have been rising in the last five years.

A solar project just switched on in January at Helena’s River Rock Residences, a low-income senior housing complex operated by the nonprofit Rocky Mountain Development Corporation.

Northwestern Energy

Northwestern Energy announced last fall it wants to purchase eleven hydroelectric dams from PPL Montana.
      It's now in the process of proving to regulators that the $900-million-dollar deal is in the best interest of consumers.
     Northwestern is the state's largest electricity provider.

C.E.O Bob Rowe was in Missoula today and stopped by Montana Public Radio's studio to talk with Edward O'Brien about the deal.

At least two candidates have already stepped forward saying they intend to run for the Public Service Commission seat being vacated by Chairman Bill Gallagher at the end of the year.

Gallagher announced this week he would not be seeking re-election to the seat he has held for the last three years after learning pancreatic cancer he had been diagnosed with last Summer had spread to his liver.

NorthWestern Energy continues to work on plans to purchase 11 hydroelectric dams from PPL Montana.

The approximately $900 million dollar deal will have to be approved by the state Public Service Commission.

Capitol Reporter Dan Boyce says NorthWestern updated members of the Montana Legislature on their plans.

Federal law requires utility companies like NorthWestern to buy power from small renewable energy projects at the price it would cost the utility company to generate it or buy it from somewhere else.
Flickr user jabzoog

Renewable energy advocates are blasting a new proposal from the Montana Public Service Commission.

The PSC is looking to change the rules for which small power production facilities qualify for certain standard rates.

Opponents say the change could significantly hinder expansion of renewable energy production.

Capitol Reporter Dan Boyce says supporters of the change say it would prevent cost increases for ratepayers.

    

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