NorthWestern Energy

NorthWestern Energy

The Montana Public Service Commission has approved a $6.5 million rate increase for NorthWestern Energy customers, less than 20 percent of the increase the utility initially sought.

Northern Plains member Ed Gulick speaks to a crowd at renewable energy rally at the Yellowstone County Courthouse October 4.
Kayla Desroches / Yellowstone Public Radio

Montana’s largest utility company is reviewing its electric rates for the first time in 10 years and one provision has people worried that the new rates could hurt clean energy progress in the state.

As fire season starts to heat up in Montana, the threat of electrical power lines igniting dry forests is raising concerns. Power lines started the deadliest and most expensive fire in California history last November, the Camp Fire, which destroyed the town of Paradise and killed 85 people.

The threat of vegetation falling on Montana power lines has increased in recent years due to the rising number of beetle-killed trees.

A set of four smoking power plants stacks
Jackie Yamanaka / Yellowstone Public Radio

In the wake of Talen Energy’s announcement that it plans to close units 1 and 2 at the Colstrip Power Plant by the end of the year - 3 years earlier than planned - NorthWestern Energy Wednesday warned Montana legislators of the potential for power shortages and higher electric bills. Green energy advocates pushed back against the dire outlook.

NorthWestern Energy

NorthWestern Energy says its customers in Montana are being targeted by scam phone calls threatening to shut off utilities if they do not pay immediately.

Flickr Creative Commons/(https://flic.kr/p/o1heoP)

New terms for small solar projects across Montana might have been knowingly set to discourage development. That's based on a conversation caught on a hot mic last week during a mid-session break for a Public Service Commission meeting.


Montana’s largest utility provider announced Wednesday it is looking for small-scale renewable energy projects that it’s required by law to buy. But utilities and their regulators in Montana say that requirement is outdated, and that the law should be repealed.

madcotreasurer.com

The arrival of property tax bills may be delayed in some of the counties affected by the settlement reached between the state of Montana and NorthWestern Energy. That settlement may also result in a slight increase for some.