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Montana Regulators Delay Listening Session On Colstrip Acquisition

Colstrip power plant
Kayla Desroches
Yellowstone Public Radio
The Colstrip Steam Electric Station

The commission that regulates electric utilities in Montana is postponing a public listening session on a company’s proposal to acquire a greater share in the Colstrip coal fired power plant.

The Montana Public Service Commission is rescheduling the third listening session on NorthWestern Energy’s proposed purchase of an additional 12.5 percent share in Colstrip Unit 4 after Washington state administrators recommended denying pre approval of the sale agreement.

The Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission is considering Puget Sound’s request to sell its share in the Colstrip plant and some transmission infrastructure to NorthWestern and Talen Energy.

Washington commission staff reference concern about the cost benefit to the Washington public. It also believes that the state may still need the transmission lines Puget wants to sell for future access to renewable energy. The state plans to transition away from coal by 2025.

The Montana Public Service Commission says any future or additional public listening sessions will depend on the outcome of Washington regulators’ pre approval of the sale.

Kayla writes about energy policy, the oil and gas industry and new electricity developments.