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.
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 . . .
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 . . .
A state program that requires utilities to buy from small-scale, locally owned renewable energy projects in Montana is facing a do-or-die moment in Helena Sen. Keith Regier, R-Kalispell, is pushing Senate Bill 78, which would eliminate the Community Renewable Energy Projects program. The bill passed a final vote last week in the Senate 30-19 and now moves into the House of Representatives. If there’s one thing people on both sides agree on, it’s that the program isn’t working. Begun in . . .
A Minnesota company is proposing to build a nine-turbine wind farm in eastern Teton County in 2017. According to an application, “Form 556,” filed May 31 with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Teton County Wind LLC plans to construct a nine-turbine wind farm, known as a “qualifying facility,” for regulatory purposes that will generate 19.98 megawatts of electricity via a new substation in the vicinity of Interstate 15 and 11th Road Northeast. No landowners were named in the proposal and . . .
Renewable energy’s losing streak in Montana continued Tuesday, as state regulators set power rates too low for a Big Timber wind farm to be built, developers said. Wind farm developer Greycliff Wind Prime told The Gazette the Montana company’s proposed 25-megawatt wind project east of Big Timber was likely dead following Tuesday’s rate action by the Public Service Commission. The PSC set the price Greycliff could charge NorthWestern Energy at $45.49 per megawatt hour, about 16 percent lower than the . . .
HELENA – The Montana Public Service Commission on Tuesday established contract terms and conditions between Greycliff Wind Prime LLC. and NorthWestern Energy, for a 25-megawatt wind farm in southcentral Montana. The two primary points of dispute resolved by the PSC are that the project will move forward with a contract length of up to 25 years at $45.49 per megawatt-hour for the full length of the contract. And NorthWestern has the right to curtail purchase of Greycliff’s power during light load . . .
Gov. Steve Bullock, D-Mont., has announced a new blueprint for Montana’s energy future. According to the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA), which is praising the governor’s plan, the blueprint recognizes the value of a stronger electricity grid and the expansion of wind power in the state. In recent weeks, Bullock says he met with wind and solar developers, energy efficiency advocates, small businesses and coal workers in order to gather input and perspective from all sectors of the energy industry. . . .