Colstrip Power Plant

Keystone Pipeline pumping station in Nebraska.
shannonpatrick17 / Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Like many other essential industries in Montana, the state’s energy sector continues the daily grind amid concerns over the COVID-19 illness. YPR News’s Kayla Desroches has been reporting on oil, gas and coal production and she shares her reporting with us now.

The power plant in the distance.
Kayla Desroches / Yellowstone Public Radio

 Edit 3/18: The article has been corrected to reflect the full name of the Montana Environmental Information Center.

Montana utility regulators say they need more information from NorthWestern Energy before considering the company’s request to buy an additional share in the Colstrip coal-fired power plant.

State utility regulators have agreed with NorthWestern Energy’s request to block details on its new coal supply contract from becoming public — at least for the moment. This comes as Montana’s biggest utility moves to buy a larger share of the coal-fired power plant in Colstrip. 

Coal stacks at Colstrip Power plant
Kayla Deroches / Yellowstone Public Radio

 

A Montana agency on Feb. 11 released a cleanup plan for waste ponds at two of the Colstrip power plant’s four units.

John Hines stands in front of a podium and microphone against a blue screen that reads "Finding Good Workers"
Kayla Desroches / Yellowstone Public Radio

 

The state’s largest utility filed its intent to purchase an added share of the Colstrip coal-fired power plant in eastern Montana on Wednesday.

NorthWestern Energy filed paperwork with the Montana Public Service Commission Feb. 6 asking for approval to buy an added 25 percent share of Colstrip Unit 4 from Puget Sound energy for $1. 

Patrick Barkely at a BBER meeting in Billings.
Kayla Deroches / Yellowstone Public Radio

 


Montana’s most populated county may be reaching an economic equilibrium following a drop in oil prices in 2014 thanks to a strong base of manufacturing support services. 

Four stacks from the Colstrip power plant stick up into a blue sky
Eric Dietrich / Montana Free Press

Montana regulators say they expect to have $400 million in bonds in place by July to cover future cleanup costs at the Colstrip power plant.

 

But state lawmakers expressed skepticism over that time frame after regulators failed to meet previous deadlines to secure the money.

The power plant in the distance.
Kayla Desroches / Yellowstone Public Radio

 

Two of the Colstrip power plant’s four units ceased operation last week. Residents in Colstrip voiced shock and sadness Saturday about the long-planned but still surprising shutdowns.

The Colstrip Steam Electric Station's four stacks
Kayla Desroches / Yellowstone Public Radio

 


A part owner of the Colstrip coal-fired power plant in eastern Montana confirmed Thursday that two of the plant’s four units are closing this week.

Power transmission lines against a blue sky
Karim D. Ghantous / Flickr

A state board late Friday announced it will allow Montana’s largest utility to increase rates by $6.5 million-dollars.

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