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Wind Power News: Montana


These news and opinion items are gathered by National Wind Watch to help keep readers informed about developments related to industrial wind energy. They do not necessarily reflect the opinions of National Wind Watch. They are the products of and owned by the organizations or individuals noted and are shared here according to “fair use” and “fair dealing” provisions of copyright law.

December 18, 2021 • Montana, OpinionsPrint storyE-mail story

Protesting non-union, out-of-state labor on wind farm project

As most in our community know, the Colstrip coal-fired power plant has been dismantling equipment and preparing for closure. With the plant winding down, that leaves a number of Montanans that have lost, or will soon lose, their jobs and livelihoods. To replace the old energy source, NextEra Energy has been selected by power purchaser Puget Sound Energy to build the first phase of the Clearwater Wind Farm. Unfortunately, the workers in Montana are being left behind on this project, . . . Complete story »

September 28, 2021 • Idaho, Montana, Oregon, WashingtonPrint storyE-mail story

More renewable energy, less energy efficiency in new Northwest power plan

More renewable energy development and less room for energy conservation are two of the biggest changes in the draft of the new regional power plan. The Northwest Power Plan guides the electricity demand decisions of the Bonneville Power Administration over the next 20 years. Energy experts say the draft of the 2021 Northwest Power Plan is dramatically different from previous versions. “A lot of things are changing right now because of people’s concern about carbon emissions and greenhouse gas emissions that . . . Complete story »

April 17, 2021 • MontanaPrint storyE-mail story

Colstrip operator eyeing wind farm in southeast Montana

Colstrip Power Plant operator and co-owner Talen Energy is eyeing a wind farm on the southeast Montana plains just outside the community where the coal-fired generator is located. Documents obtained by The Billings Gazette show a targeted project area of roughly 14 square miles in Rosebud and Treasure counties where Talen Energy, in a joint venture with Pattern Energy, is pursuing lease agreements for a wind farm of unspecified capacity. Both companies have energy interests in Montana currently. Talen has . . . Complete story »

April 10, 2021 • MontanaPrint storyE-mail story

Avista eyes Montana wind energy

Colstrip Power Plant owner Avista Corp. is eyeing 300 megawatts of Montana wind power over the next seven years as it determines where its future energy will come from. The Spokane-based utility included Montana wind energy in its preferred strategy for resources, with 100 megawatts of the capacity coming online in 2023, plus an additional 100 in 2024, and another 100 megawatts of capacity in 2028. Details were disclosed April 2 in the utility’s 2021 Integrated Resource Plan, which gives . . . Complete story »

March 1, 2021 • MontanaPrint storyE-mail story

PSC sets terms for small renewable energy projects

The Montana Public Service Commission is starting to unwind renewable energy policies ruled unlawful by the state Supreme Court. Commissioners last week set 20-year contracts for renewable energy projects that qualify for favorable treatment under the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act. More often referred to as PURPA, the policy requires that alternative energy projects smaller than 80 megawatts in capacity receive favorable prices and contract lengths from utilities. It’s the PSC that sets the terms. Previously, the court ruled the . . . Complete story »

February 11, 2021 • MontanaPrint storyE-mail story

Trifecta: Missoula, Bozeman, Helena team up in push for green tariff

With parallel goals of addressing the climate crisis and reducing carbon emissions, the city and county of Missoula, along with the cities of Bozeman and Helena, have formally adopted a joint agreement to work with NorthWestern Energy in developing a green tariff. The agreement, now approved by all four governments, authorizes them to hire a national consultant with expertise in designing utility rates and green tariffs. The consultant will collaborate with NorthWestern in developing the tariff – a move intended . . . Complete story »

January 19, 2021 • MontanaPrint storyE-mail story

Roaring speeds meant little wind energy in Montana on Jan. 13

NorthWestern Energy’s energy portfolio that serves Montana customers includes 450 megawatts of wind energy, a piece of the diverse 67% carbon-free energy mix. Wind is a good clean energy resource, the company said in a news release, but it is not a capacity resource available 24/7. Because it is a variable resource, it creates unique challenges to operating the energy grid reliably. The windstorm that ripped across Montana on Jan. 13 is an example of that challenge. Gusts ranged from . . . Complete story »

December 10, 2020 • MontanaPrint storyE-mail story

$500 million Rapelje wind farm wins lawsuit against PSC

Another renewable energy project has won a lawsuit against Montana’s Public Service Commission. District Judge Kathy Seeley of Helena threw out most of the commission’s work on Caithness Beaver Creek, a $500 million wind and battery storage project located near Rapelje. The judge, in her ruling, said the terms set by the PSC underpaid Caithness for the electricity it’s to sell to NorthWestern Energy, the state’s largest monopoly utility. It was the third time this year a court has ruled . . . Complete story »

December 9, 2020 • MontanaPrint storyE-mail story

As coal taxes decline, Republicans eye renewables

Citing a need to “level the playing field” on energy taxes, Montana’s majority Republican Legislature will consider raising taxes on wind and solar developments as the coal industry struggles. The tax increase on renewables isn’t likely to replace all of the revenue lost to coal’s decline, but it would help, said state Sen. Duane Ankney, a Republican from Colstrip, home to a large, but struggling, coal-fired power plant and coal mine. “I see it as a backfill for a lot . . . Complete story »

August 16, 2020 • Letters, MontanaPrint storyE-mail story

Is wind farm the beginning of the end?

This Billings Gazette subscriber, born and educated in Montana and now a resident of Texas, has read with disturbing interest the construction of a wind farm south of the town of Bridger overlooking the Pryor Mountains. Montana, with its stunning landscapes, from mountain scenery, to tranquil lakes, roaring rivers and lush prairies, is considered one of the best places to visit by visitors from all over the world. Now, its idyllic view of the Pryor Mountains is being disturbed by . . . Complete story »

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