Montana Public Radio

NorthWestern Energy

Windmill at the Judith Gap, MT wind farm.
David J. Laporte (CC-BY-2) https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

A new study says that Montana’s potential for wind energy production is better than that of the Columbia River Gorge, between Oregon and Washington.

Solar Energy Advocates Ask Feds To Reverse Price Suspension
(PD)

This week, Montana’s Environmental Information Center and solar energy advocates asked federal authorities to reverse a state regulator's decision earlier this year that advocates say is killing clean energy jobs.

Mountain Water Company.
Cherie Trusler

The private company that owns Missoula’s city water system got slapped with a financial penalty today.

Our Capitol reporter has details on that, as well as efforts to change how much renewable energy companies can charge customers. Reporter Corin Cates-Carney followed the action and joins us now to fill us in.

Solar panels.
(PD)

A North Carolina solar energy company says it’s prepared to sue Montana if state utility regulators stick by their decision on how much they can charge for electricity.

NorthWestern Energy is warning customers in the Bitterroot Valley of scam calls requesting immediate payment on overdue bills. 

Solar panel installation.
Wayne National Forest (CC-BY-2)

Montana’s utility regulators took unprecedented action Thursday when they suspended price rates for solar energy. It's a win for NorthWestern Energy, but it could slow growth in Montana’s solar energy industry.

Windmill at the Judith Gap, MT wind farm.
David J. Laporte (CC-BY-2) https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

A federal law from the 1970s is pushing Montana’s Public Service Commission to act as mediator between large utility companies and small renewable energy providers as they debate the price of electricity.

Coal with the town of Colstrip in the background
Amy Martin

On Monday the operator of the Colstrip power plant said it wants out of its contract to run the coal-burning facility. Pennsylvania-based Talen Energy owns part of the plant and operates the entire facility. The company says it is losing millions of dollars there. Governor Bullock talked with MTPR’s Corin Cates Carney Wednesday.

Governor Steve Bullock met with utility companies and advocates for energy efficiency and low-income Montanans in Missoula Wednesday. It was the second in a series of roundtable discussions on energy Bullock is hosting across the state.

Northwestern Accepts Governor's Colstrip Invitation

Apr 6, 2016

  The CEO of Northwestern energy has accepted Governor Steve Bullock’s offer to be part of a working group on the future ownership of the Colstrip coal-fired power plant.

Bullock made the invitation yesterday, the same day he announced the working group. He says he’s concerned about the future of Colstrip as there’s talk lately about two of the power plant’s out of state co-owners perhaps selling their shares or shutting parts of Colstrip down.

Northwestern CEO Bob Rowe told the Governor his company is willing to participate in the working group.

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