Library filed under Energy Policy from Montana

Another Western grid plan bites the dust

Xcel Energy Inc. announced it was pulling out of the Mountain West Transmission Group, a collection of eight Rocky Mountain utilities that had been pondering a wider partnership with the Southwest Power Pool (SPP). The move underscores the difficulty of uniting the region's disparate utilities under a regional transmission organization ...It also represented a setback for renewable advocates, who believe an integrated grid will facilitate the expansion of wind and solar in the West's coal-centric power sector.
10 May 2018

Renewable energy program, already shaky, may be killed

A state program that requires utilities to buy from small-scale, locally owned renewable energy projects in Montana is facing a do-or-die moment in Helena. Sen. Keith Regier, R-Kalispell, is pushing Senate Bill 78, which would eliminate the Community Renewable Energy Projects program. The bill passed a final vote last week in the Senate 30-19 and now moves into the House of Representatives.
21 Feb 2017

New PSC chair Gallagher raps wind power

In a clear reference to wind power, Gallagher said all five of the PSC's Republican members "campaigned against the concept of using the utility bill to force Montana's families and employers to be unwilling investors in high-cost, low-output, intermittent generation and other programs that at present can exist only through government mandates and substantial tax and ratepayer subsidies."
8 Jan 2013

PPL Montana officials discuss potential shutdown of Corette plant

After PPL Montana announced a plan to mothball its J.E. Corette power plant in Billings, likely eliminating 35 jobs and dealing a blow to the local economy, some blamed federally subsidized wind power as the culprit. ..."The wind was brought in to create jobs and to clear carbon emissions, but they've done neither," Winger said. "We're subsidizing a type of industry that can't make it on its own and replacing jobs with unsustainable work."
22 Sep 2012

The economic impact of Montana’s renewable portfolio standard

Montanarpsstudy_thumb The report, prepared by economists at the Beacon Hill Institute at Suffolk University in Boston, found that Montanans will likely pay $225 million more for power in 2015 because of the state's RPS, and it could cost them as much as $348 million more. Meanwhile there will be negligible environmental benefit, as it is unclear whether use of renewables such as wind and solar actually reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
31 Jan 2011

We need to know more before pushing wind projects

I'm not condemning these projects because the information simply isn't available now to determine whether the greater good is to build them. But I do believe that to this point, they've done the absolute bare minimum to explain themselves to the community. Montana deserves better. And Montana can do better for itself.
2 Dec 2010

Energy issues divide Montana lawmakers

The legislative Energy and Telecommunications Committee met at the end of last month to consider several measures, but Republicans and Democrats on the panel ended in a 4-4 draw over a long-term energy strategy. Republicans on the committee were unhappy that last-minute changes to the legislation de-emphasized support for the state's oil, gas and coal industries, instead favoring the development of alternative and renewable energy sources.
22 Aug 2010

SDG&E wind deal may pose problems for consumers

SDG&E's proposal will face opposition from consumer groups when it goes before the California Public Utilities Commission, said Michael Shames ..."It's a disturbing example of how this Commission's obsession with renewable power results in perverse incentives for utilities," he said. "And a very compelling reason why the regulators have to seriously reassess its tradeable renewable energy credit policy.
21 Jul 2010

Top wind energy producers urge bill vetos

At the center of conflicts over the bill stands an esoteric commodity known as a renewable energy credit. These certificates - often called RECs or 'wrecks' - are granted to developers for each megawatt hour of clean power generated. ...the utility has argued the measure is only intended to address what is essentially a double requirement for renewable purchases that results in higher bills for its customers.
6 May 2009

Energy bills face huge test; Proposals would make it harder to fight projects

What may be the most significant environmental-policy/energy bills of the session face a crucial vote today in the Montana House - a vote that could go a long way toward getting the bills through the Legislature. The bills sponsored by Rep. Llew Jones, R-Conrad, would restrict how citizens and citizen groups can appeal permits for energy projects such as power plants and transmission lines.
25 Feb 2009
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