[ exact phrase in "" • results by date ]

[ Google-powered • results by relevance ]


Add NWW headlines to your site (click here)

when your community is targeted

Get weekly updates

RSS feeds and more

Keep Wind Watch online and independent!

Donate via Stripe

Donate via Paypal

Selected Documents

All Documents

Research Links


Press Releases


Campaign Material

Photos & Graphics


Allied Groups

Wind Watch is a registered educational charity, founded in 2005.

News Watch Home

Construction to proceed on wind farm in northcentral Montana 

Credit:  Written by KARL PUCKETT, www.greatfallstribune.com 21 March 2012 ~~

NorthWestern Energy Corp. has given the green light to Compass Wind of Denver to begin construction of a 40-megawatt, 25-turbine wind farm on private rangeland between Geyser and Raynesford, an area known for exceptional wind.

NorthWestern, Montana’s largest public utility, will take ownership when the wind farm begins turning out electricity by the end of the year, company spokeswoman Claudia Rapkoch said.

NorthWestern announced Tuesday that it had issued a “notice to proceed” to Compass Wind to move ahead with construction of the wind farm, named Spion Kop after an early settlement in the area.

Chris McCall, president of Compass Wind, said preliminary work, such as construction of roads, will begin next week. Foundations will be poured in early May and delivery of General Electric turbines will begin in July. The project is scheduled for completion in October.

The wind farm is being constructed north of U.S. Highway 87 in Judith Basin County, about 40 miles southeast of Great Falls.

“It’s exceptional, actually,” McCall said of the area’s wind.

Compass Wind’s niche is constructing smaller wind farms that can quickly be integrated onto the transmission system in areas with low environmental impact, McCall said.

The company also has other projects in Montana in the works.

“We hope to have another 30-, 40-, 50-megawatt project in three or four years, maybe two,” McCall said. “It just depends on the demand side.”

Rapkoch said electricity produced at Spion Kop will enable the utility to meet the state’s 15 percent by 2015 renewable energy standard. The project was submitted to NorthWestern by Compass Wind in response to Northwestern’s requests for renewable energy projects as part of its attempt to meet renewable energy requirements.

The utility is regulated by the Montana Public Service Commission. The PSC approved the placement of the $86.1 million wind farm into the company’s regulated rate base in February, allowing NorthWestern to pass on the cost of building the wind farm to ratepayers.

Currently, about 13 percent of the utility’s energy portfolio is made up of renewable energy sources, with the rest coming from hydroelectric and coal-fired power sources, Rapkoch said.

McCall said utilities historically have purchased power, often produced at coal-fired plants, via contract, but a shift is occurring, with utilities investing more in their own wind projects.

“You are going to see more and more utilities owning it just to diversify their portfolios at the end of the day,” McCall said.

Rapkoch said investing in wind lowers the “environmental risk” because of the possibility of a tax on carbon emissions, such as those from coal-fired power plants, being enacted in the future.

Source:  Written by KARL PUCKETT, www.greatfallstribune.com 21 March 2012

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

The copyright of this article resides with the author or publisher indicated. As part of its noncommercial educational effort to present the environmental, social, scientific, and economic issues of large-scale wind power development to a global audience seeking such information, National Wind Watch endeavors to observe “fair use” as provided for in section 107 of U.S. Copyright Law and similar “fair dealing” provisions of the copyright laws of other nations. Send requests to excerpt, general inquiries, and comments via e-mail.

Wind Watch relies entirely
on User Funding
   Donate via Stripe
(via Stripe)
Donate via Paypal
(via Paypal)


e-mail X FB LI M TG TS G Share

News Watch Home

Get the Facts
© National Wind Watch, Inc.
Use of copyrighted material adheres to Fair Use.
"Wind Watch" is a registered trademark.


Wind Watch on X Wind Watch on Facebook Wind Watch on Linked In

Wind Watch on Mastodon Wind Watch on Truth Social

Wind Watch on Gab Wind Watch on Bluesky