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Wind Power News: Montana

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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.


November 10, 2017 • MontanaPrint storyE-mail story

Montana now makes wind farms put up bonds to ensure towers are taken down

New rules will require big wind farm owners to post bonds with the state of Montana to ensure decommissioning including the removal of giant towers. Draft decommissioning rules were published Thursday by the state Department of Environmental Quality detailing the process and requirements. Public comment is being accepted. “It’s the old story, they’re great now but 15 years from now maybe there’s going to be a whole change in who owns the things,” said Rep. Jim Keane, D-Butte. Keane was . . . Complete story »


November 10, 2017 • MontanaPrint storyE-mail story

Wind farm picks up speed

In the near future, tall, sleek wind turbines will become a part of the landscape of western Stillwater County. Those turbines are expected to bring in about $18 million of taxes into the county. Michael Thompson, the project developer, visited Columbus Tuesday to give a presentation to the public about the Stillwater Wind project prior to a public hearing. The project began in 2001 and was acquired in July by Stillwater Wind LLC, owned by Pattern Energy. Pattern is based . . . Complete story »


October 14, 2017 • MontanaPrint storyE-mail story

Wind developer sues PSC, NorthWestern over pricing

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 . . . Complete story »


August 3, 2017 • MontanaPrint storyE-mail story

Energy company offers outreach after shooting of Montana wind turbines

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 . . . Complete story »


July 22, 2017 • MontanaPrint storyE-mail story

Bat, bird deaths focus of wind farm study

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 . . . Complete story »


July 19, 2017 • Letters, MontanaPrint storyE-mail story

Eagle deaths from wind farms OK?

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 . . . Complete story »


June 22, 2017 • Montana, U.S.Print storyE-mail story

How calculating FERC’s 1-mile rule could affect renewable energy projects

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 . . . Complete story »


June 22, 2017 • Montana, U.S.Print storyE-mail story

FERC staff questions wind farms on calculation of PURPA’s one-mile rule

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 . . . Complete story »


June 16, 2017 • MontanaPrint storyE-mail story

Federal regulators decide to keep fee that inflates cost of Montana wind energy

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 . . . Complete story »


April 4, 2017 • MontanaPrint storyE-mail story

Wind farm tax feud leads to financial crisis in Toole County

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. Complete story »


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