Montana Public Radio

NorthWestern Energy

Colstrip power plant, Montana
Courtesy Montana AFI-CIO

Today Governor Steve Bullock said he wants to convene a "working group" to explore alternative ownership of most of the Colstrip coal-fired electricity plant.

NorthWestern Energy Ordered To Refund Montana Customers $8.2M

Mar 29, 2016
NorthWestern Energy truck.
Sue Ginn / Montana Public Radio

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — Montana regulators on Tuesday ordered NorthWestern Energy to refund customers $8.24 million that the state's largest power company charged when it had to buy electricity on the open market following a 2013 outage of the Colstrip coal plant.

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Tuesday’s Supreme Court vote to temporarily block the Obama Administration's climate change regulations is receiving praise and criticism in Montana.

Wind, Flooding Problems Across Western Montana

Dec 9, 2015
National Weather Service Missoula, MT

Severe wind and flooding was reported from all across the western parts of the state today. Helena seemed to be hit the hardest with wind.

NorthWestern Energy officials say they won't appeal a big increase in the company's Montana property taxes after last year's $900 million purchase of 11 hydroelectric dams.

Instead, the company's customers will pay for most of the nearly $23 million tax hike.

Colstrip power plant as seen in the early 1980s.
David T. Hanson (CC-BY-SA-2)

A study released Wednesday says that complying with President Obama's Clean Power Plan will cost Montana more than 7,000 jobs and more than $2 billion in wages and sales. Those numbers were quickly trumpeted by Montana elected officials who oppose the nationwide plan to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, including Attorney General Tim Fox, who has joined Montana to a multi-state lawsuit to halt the plan.

A University of Montana study funded by the state’s largest electric utility predicts dire economic consequences to the state because of the president’s plan to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. The study is drawing sharp criticism from advocates of alternative energy.

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

    

A startup that wants to build a 25 megawatt wind farm near Greycliff in Sweet Grass County claims it’s been frustrated at every turn by resistance from NorthWestern Energy and the state’s all-Republican Public Service Commission.

Veteran Democratic lawmaker Pat Noonan has entered the race for a seat on the state’s currently all-Republican Public Service Commission, the board that oversees Montana’s utility and transportation companies.

NorthWestern Energy truck.
Sue Ginn / Montana Public Radio

Northwestern Energy says its remaining Missoula customers without power should be back in service by late tonight. That includes residents of the city's South Hills, Linda Vista and Miller Creek neighborhoods. Thousands of residents have been without power since a destructive and powerful thunderstorm toppled trees and powerlines on Monday night.

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