NorthWestern works to clamp down on independent, renewable power projects.379922013-04-07T18:31:01Z2013-04-07T18:31:01ZNorthWestern says it's merely trying to manage its electricity supply and prevent unneeded costs of these contracts from being foisted onto consumers.
"There is a limit on how much (wind power) we can have and still have a reliable portfolio for customers," said John Hines, NorthWestern's vice president of electric supply. "There is only so much intermittent (power) supply we can have in our portfolio without substantial changes that we must make."PSC approves wind power deal on 3-2 vote.343052012-02-15T13:59:04Z2012-02-15T13:59:04Z"Two Republican commissioners, Bill Gallagher of Helena and Brad Molnar of Laurel, voted against approving the project, saying that allowing NorthWestern to buy the project and charge the costs to ratepayers transfers too much risk to the customer. ...NorthWestern and could shift the risk of its variable costs away from the consumer by arranging to buy just the project's power.Wind-farm operator rips NorthWestern's choice of new wind farm.336242011-11-16T20:32:21Z2011-11-16T20:32:21ZEarly last month, Invenergy withdrew as an official party in the case before the Montana Public Service Commission, saying its participation had become too expensive.
A week later, NorthWestern Energy asked the PSC to strike Invenergy's comments from the record, calling them "self-serving allegations" that are false.Judge sets aside lease of public land in Montana for wind power project near Springdale.332862011-10-12T01:05:04Z2011-10-12T01:05:04ZState District Judge John McKeon in Helena said in his Oct. 5 ruling that the DNRC did not adequately consider the cumulative impacts of the turbines, among other shortcomings.
DNRC director Mary Sexton said Tuesday the department was still reviewing the decision.Tonbridge mum on MATL financing.327402011-08-12T12:05:04Z2011-08-12T12:05:04ZTonbridge Power Inc. has had its ups and downs trying to build a power line between Lethbridge and Great Falls.
It has regulatory approval to finish the power line, but company officials said in June that Tonbridge stood about $25 million short in financing to finish the project.
PSC votes to enforce secrecy on wind-project pricing information.324092011-07-07T13:33:39Z2011-07-07T13:33:39ZThe utility has asked the PSC to approve the purchase and allow NorthWestern to charge electric ratepayers for its development cost and the power it would produce, starting in 2012. ...The PSC will examine why the company chose Spion Kop [wind farm] and whether it is the best deal for consumers.
Wind power firms want bids sealed.322242011-06-17T11:51:14Z2011-06-17T11:51:14ZThe information, which includes price and cost of the project, wind data, financial models, legal analyses and costs of capital, will be submitted to the PSC to help it determine whether NorthWestern chose the best project for consumers and the public interest.
In high-profile case, Montana landowner argues condemnation power must be explicit .317202011-04-15T18:24:20Z2011-04-15T18:24:20Z"Such a delegation (of power) must be express or necessarily implied - not cobbled together," she wrote. "Here, where MATL is unable to find an express delegation of power ... the court must conclude that this extraordinary power has not been delegated.
Eminent domain logjam still exists; new proposal floated.316352011-04-06T20:33:13Z2011-04-06T20:33:13ZSenate Republicans are floating a new proposal to break the legislative logjam over landowner rights vs. property condemnation powers of transmission line developers - but so far they're not finding any takers.
County may charge small wind farms.313972011-03-12T18:17:42Z2011-03-12T18:17:42ZCommissioners called a meeting to discuss what other counties charge developers to cover impacts of the projects. One such impact that could occur is wear and tear on roads during construction.
"Has anybody ever addressed the aesthetic impacts?" commission Chairman Bill Salina asked.
Wyoming House passes wind energy eminent domain bill.310462011-02-08T03:36:57Z2011-02-08T03:36:57ZThe state House on Monday overwhelmingly approved a proposed two-year extension of the state's moratorium on wind developers' eminent domain powers.
House members also passed on second reading House Bill 191, which would revamp the state's wind tax and distribution method.
Cascade County zoning board OKs Belt-area wind farm.304382010-12-18T18:09:51Z2010-12-18T18:09:51ZMembers of the Cascade County Zoning Board of Adjustment voted 4-0 Friday to grant a special-use permit to Chicago-based developer Invenergy to build a 16-turbine wind farm near Belt, which could grow to 10 times that size in future phases.
Idaho company pulls study permit.298352010-11-07T11:10:09Z2010-11-07T11:10:09ZAccording to Shapiro, when he first approached the Bureau of Land Management about the project, no red flags were apparent. ...But in written comments to FERC, representatives of Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks, the Elkhorn Working Group, the BLM and the U.S. Forest Service all noted that the project probably isn't appropriate for the proposed site.
Montana lagging when it comes to wind power.284762010-07-25T11:28:32Z2010-07-25T11:28:32ZMontana Public Service Commissioner Brad Molnar, R-Laurel, a frequent critic of wind power, says he believes the market for wind power "is dropping like a rock," because the price of natural gas has plummeted and people don't want to pay for more expensive wind if they don't have to.
It's up to wind power developers to show that their electricity is a good deal and as reliable as other power, without government subsidies or promotion, he says.
Wind power for Montana consumers? In last five years, not much new .284752010-07-24T11:21:51Z2010-07-24T11:21:51ZThe state's electric co-ops, which serve half the state's consumers, haven't financed a single project in Montana. ..."We are only going to choose those resources that are best for our ratepayers," says John Hines, chief energy supply officer for NorthWestern. "That's going to exclude a lot of those projects out there. It's no different than working with other types of generation or (power) providers."MATL moves to tap eminent domain for power line right of way in Cut Bank area.284472010-07-23T15:01:39Z2010-07-23T15:01:39ZOn Monday, Montana Alberta Tie Ltd., the developer of the Montana Alberta Tie Line, filed a complaint for condemnation in Glacier County District Court against Larry Salois and Shirley Salois, who live a few miles east of Cut Bank. ...The complaint seeks to condemn an easement under the power of eminent domain. It's the first time Montana Alberta Tie Ltd., a subsidiary of Tonbridge Power Inc. of Toronto, has used condemnation in dealing with Montana landowners.Wind farm power grid advances.271952010-05-09T02:37:14Z2010-05-09T02:37:14ZA Montana renewable energy company says it has the backing of 10 wind farm developers to pursue a sprawling power collection grid serving Montana, North Dakota and Alberta.
The announcement by Grasslands Renewable Energy of Bozeman came as the company received initial approval Friday for a reservoir project that would store excess power from the developers' prospective wind farms.
DNRC to consider new wind farm leases.269052010-04-22T11:37:50Z2010-04-22T11:37:50ZThe Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation said Wednesday that it will consider leasing 26,932 acres of school trust land near Conrad, Cut Bank and Martinsdale to private developers interested in using the property as part of larger commercial wind farms.Wind deal could take Montana energy to West Coast.264432010-03-25T14:56:15Z2010-03-25T14:56:15ZOfficials with a renewable energy developer based in Ireland said Wednesday the company has paid $3.5 million to reserve priority position on the Bonneville Power Administration's interstate transmission system - a move that will allow wind power produced in Montana to be distributed to the West Coast.