NorthWestern Energy

A sign reading "NorthWestern Energy" in silver type against a tan woodgrain background.
Nora Saks / Montana Public Radio

A shareholder of Montana’s largest electric utility has filed a lawsuit claiming that the company blocked his clean energy proposal from a 2020 shareholder vote.

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.

Montana Free Press

This story was originally published by the Montana Free Press on Dec. 19, 2019.

At a cramped meeting before the Montana Public Service Commission in Helena Dec. 9, a crowd of climate activists radiated suspicion as a bearded economist flipped through a slide deck.

NorthWestern Energy logo
NorthWestern Energy

Montana’s largest utility says it needs to generate more electricity to meet customer demand, even after announcing plans to increase its stake in the Colstrip coal-fired power plant earlier this week.

The outside of the NorthWestern Energy building in Butte, Montana.
Nora Saks / Montana Public Radio

Montana’s largest electricity provider on Tuesday announced it plans to buy a larger share of the Colstrip power plant a day after protesters rallied the company to increase its renewable energy portfolio.

A sign reading "NorthWestern Energy" in silver type against a tan woodgrain background.
Nora Saks / Montana Public Radio

Audio Pending...

Editor's Note 12/10: This story expands upon previous reporting on the same topic from Dec. 09.

Montana's largest utility company says it needs to nearly double its electricity generation to keep up with customer demands for power during winter freezes and summer heatwaves.

Montana utility regulators say NorthWestern Energy must spend at least $3.2 million a year on removing trees near power lines. Regulators are worried that power company equipment could spark flames similar to the devastating wildfire in California last year that killed more than 80 people and destroyed the town of Paradise.

Jack Haskell / Flickr

On Monday, the elected body that regulates utilities in Montana temporarily rejected a controversial fee as part of a rate increase from the state’s largest utility.

NorthWestern Energy logo
NorthWestern Energy


NorthWestern Energy is asking state utility regulators to sign off on the company’s request to increase their customers’ electric bills by $23.8 million for one year. This surcharge is in addition to a $6.5 million rate increase commissioners approved late last month.

NorthWestern Energy logo
NorthWestern Energy


State utility regulators are nearing the end of a massive review of what Northwestern Energy charges its customers and what the company makes in profit. Several regulators this week are arguing over how the public was notified that they’ll likely see an increase in their electric bills.

Pages