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 are the products of the organizations or individuals noted and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of National Wind Watch.
A wind farm developer is suing the Montana Public Service Commission and NorthWestern Energy, alleging discriminatory pricing for small renewable energy developers, a charge they denied. Martin Wilde developed two wind projects near Fairfield and sold the power to NorthWestern, and is planning additional wind farms as well. The PSC regulates public utilities including rates. Wilde argues in a civil lawsuit filed Tuesday in state district court in Great Falls that Montana’s renewable energy industry has come under attack from . . .
GREAT FALLS – NaturEner, a company that operates wind farms in Montana, says it wants to start a community discussion to help improve the safety of their employees. NaturEner is concerned about the safety of their employees after two of their wind turbines were shot in May. The shooting happened in north Toole County. The FBI and state officials are investigating. It is the second shooting of NaturEner wind turbines in the last five years. NaturEner has asked for a . . .
Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks is leading a study of how a NorthWestern Energy-owned wind farm called Spion Kop is affecting bats and birds east of Great Falls. One of the initial findings is that the project has been harder on bats than a pre-construction study predicted, with bats possibly mistaking the turbines for trees. But no raptor carcasses have been discovered, with NorthWestern crediting upfront investigation into the location of raptor nests prior to the siting of giant turbines . . .
The Missoulian recently (July 16) published an anti-hunting tirade by the AP mentioning that 38 out of 336 bald eagle deaths over a 15-year period in New York were due to lead poisoning blamed on hunters. The hit piece goes on to discuss banning lead ammunition. All one has to do is google “number of bald eagles killed by wind turbines” to get a more complete story. Wind farms, according to a government study, will kill “only” 1.4 million birds . . .
As the vigorous pace of wind and solar energy development continues, the ability of renewable projects to obtain Qualifying Facility status under the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act of 1978 can be critical to a renewable project’s financing options – and thus its viability. It can also have important implications for the interconnected utility purchasing the project’s output and the rates of that utility’s customers. A pending application before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) sets the stage for the . . .
On June 9, 2017, Beaver Creek Wind II, LLC and Beaver Creek Wind III, LLC (together, “Beaver Creek”) responded to a deficiency letter from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC or the “Commission”) staff seeking further information on Beaver Creek’s calculation of the “one-mile” rule in its applications for certification as qualifying small power production facilities (QFs). At issue is Beaver Creek’s proposed “weighted geographic center” methodology used to calculate the distance between wind projects consisting of multiple pieces of . . .
Montana wind energy advocates have been dealt a blow by the Bonneville Power Administration, which has refused to kill a transmission fee that inflates the cost of renewable energy. Keeping the fee on the books may hurt the prospects of the Clearwater Wind farm near Forsyth. Wind farm developers plan to sell their power into Washington state. The transmission fee will make the power more expensive. The Montana Environmental Information Center and the Sierra Club have petitioned Bonneville Power to . . .
At first glance this may seem like a simple story of corporate largesse; an international company with deep pockets helping out when financial times get tough in small-town America. Peel back the onion’s layers and the truth is that a large component of the Sunburst School District’s current financial woes can be directly attributed to NaturEner’s objection to paying the full appraised value of its property taxes.
Two separate wind farm developers are both trying to build in Big Timber. Ranch owner Jan Engwis has battled four different wind farm developers in court over construction adjacent to his ranch over the last ten years. He says building wind farms in this spot would take away one of the last untouched landscapes attracting tourists to Montana. “This pristine nature. They come to float the river, they come to do fly fishing. It is a world class fly fishing . . .
BIG TIMBER, Mont. – “I welcome these folks to come,” Sweet Grass Rancher Chuck Rein said. “I have no problem with the wind farm. I just want them to pay their fair share of taxes upfront and be a good neighbor to all of us that have served this county for so many years.” Not all residents are happy about the tax abatement BayWa renewable energy is seeking for the construction of the Sweet Grass County wind farm. In public . . .