Articles from Montana
Neighbors of a planned wind farm in southwestern Montana are suing to block the project. ...They allege the wind project will threaten wetlands, migratory birds, bald eagles, historic trails, businesses and the health of people living in the vicinity.
A Montana utility case pending before federal regulators could set a precedent for how energy storage facilities paired with renewable generation will be treated under the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act (PURPA), a 1978 law intended to increase competition in power generation.
Beaver Creek owners claim NorthWestern Energy is not negotiating in good faith over the rates it would pay for that power. The developer is now asking the Montana Public Service Commission to settle the issue.
Caithness wants its projects to receive energy payments of $31.33/MWh for heavy load hours and $29.5/MWh for light load hours, in addition to capacity payments of $81.45/MWh during on-peak hours and a $0.58/MWh payment for ancillary services. Montana regulators must issue a decision on contract terms by February 2019.
“The reality is that it’s a piece of equipment and all equipment has a lifespan, and unfortunately this one’s lifespan has come to an end and we no longer had the resources to continue to fix it and then to continue to maintain it,” said Susan Wolff, the Great Falls College-MSU Dean.
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.
Solar energy advocates are asking a state court to overturn a decision by the Montana Public Service Commission that reduced the price for electricity generated at small renewable energy power plants.
A Calgary-based energy company said Wednesday it won't build a 21-megawatt wind farm in Montana because it won't be paid enough for the power it generates. The Public Service Commission approved a price of $23.30 per megawatt hour.
New rules will require big wind farm owners to post bonds with the state of Montana to ensure decommissioning including the removal of giant towers. Draft decommissioning rules were published Thursday by the state Department of Environmental Quality detailing the process and requirements.
A wind farm developer is suing the Montana Public Service Commission and NorthWestern Energy, alleging discriminatory pricing for small renewable energy developers, a charge they denied.
A wind farm developer is suing the Montana Public Service Commission and NorthWestern Energy, alleging discriminatory pricing for small renewable energy developers, a charge they denied. Martin Wilde developed two wind projects near Fairfield and sold the power to NorthWestern, and is planning additional wind farms as well.
GREAT FALLS, Mont. – A wind farm in Montana might be killing more birds and bats than expected, according to preliminary findings of a study by Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks.
A preconstruction acoustic survey for bats predicted that the wind farm’s impact would be low, but the preliminary results of the study show it’s been higher than anticipated. Over the first six months of the post-construction study, FWP is estimating with 95 percent confidence that the turbines killed between 120 to 397 bats with the figure likely 221 or about nine bats per turbine.
On March 23 the USA division of the wind energy company, NaturEner, announced it had donated $50,000 to the Sunburst School District to help the small Montana town avoid having to lay off one or more of its 21 school teachers.
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.
The facility called the Gordon Butte Pumped Storage Project would use excess power produced by wind farms or other sources to pump water uphill to a 3,000-foot long reservoir, according to the license.
The PSC set the price Greycliff could charge NorthWestern Energy at $45.49 per megawatt hour, about 16 percent lower than the price needed to make the wind farm profitable. Greycliff was first proposed seven years ago. ...Greycliff needed a price in the mid-$50s, which would have been similar to the wind energy rate for Spion Kop Wind Project,
SDG&E agreed to help finance the Rim Rock project and purchase the power, but later sued NaturEner USA arguing it had been mislead about the threat to raptors. That prompted NaturEner to file a breach-of-contract counter suit against SG&E. The conditional settlement agreement to end the litigation was filed Feb. 11.
Customers who sign up send their energy bills to Arcadia and pay a small premium — about 1.5 cents per kilowatt hour of energy used. Arcadia then pays NorthWestern its share of the bill and uses the premium to invest in wind projects around the nation — none in Montana — with each investment theoretically offsetting carbon emissions used to provide that customer with power.
A startup that wants to build a 25 megawatt wind farm near Greycliff in Sweet Grass County claims it’s been frustrated at every turn by resistance from NorthWestern Energy and the state’s all-Republican Public Service Commission.