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Talen Energy, operator of Colstrip plant, files for bankruptcy

Colstrip power plant
Kayla Desroches
Yellowstone Public Radio
The operator of a coal-fired power plant in Colstrip has filed for bankruptcy.

The operator and part-owner of the coal-fired power plant in Colstrip filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy this week.

In a statement Tuesday, representatives with the Texas-based Talen Energy say the company’s choice to file for reorganization bankruptcy will allow it to pay off more than $3 billion dollars in debt.

Chapter 11 bankruptcy differs from other bankruptcy filings in that it helps a corporation to secure financing to pay off its debts rather than liquidize its assets.

Talen representatives say they don’t expect restructuring to affect operations at the Colstrip coal-fired power plant, which the company owns a 30% share in. Majority owners Avista Corporation, Pacificorp, Portland General Electric and Puget Sound Energy are based in the Pacific Northwest and are transitioning away from coal-fired generation over the next few years.

A lawyer with Talen is scheduled to speak to Montana lawmakers on the state Energy and Telecommunications Interim Committee next week.

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