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Talen Energy Wants In On Colstrip Unit 4 Purchase

The Coalstrip coal fire power plant's four stacks
Kayla Desroches
Yellowstone Public Radio
NorthWestern Energy announced Apr. 10 Talen Energy is exercising its first right of refusal to acquire a greater share of the Colstrip coal fired power plant.


Montana’s largest electric utility says another company is hedging in on its plan to purchase a greater share of the Colstrip coal-fired power plant. 

NorthWestern Energy’s application to buy an added 25 percent share of Colstrip Unit 4 is currently before the Public Service Commission, which regulates energy in the state. 

Colstrip operator, Pennsylvania-based Talen Energy, now wants to claim half of the buy-in. 

Talen Energy spokesperson Taryne Williams writes the purchase is appealing because Talen would be able to sell energy back to Washington-State-based Puget Sound over several years.

She also writes that the added buy-in would give Talen more representation in the power plant and the company is invested in Colstrip’s continued economic viability.

NorthWestern Energy spokesperson Jo Dee Black says this deal is beneficial even though the utility will  secure at most half of what it initially proposed.

“We’re disappointed that Talen Energy at the end of a lot of work by NorthWestern Energy and Puget Sound Energy has decided to exercise this right because it cuts the value in half of what would have gone to Montanans,” says Black.

NorthWestern Energy writes instead of buying 185 megawatts from Puget Sound for $1, it will now be able to buy only 93 megawatts for $0.50.

It writes it’ll file added paperwork with the Montana Public Service Commission by the end of the month.

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