Articles filed under General from Montana
In the hills around Rapelje, where jackrabbits far outnumber people, there’s a renewable energy powerhouse in the making. Wind farms, four of them in various stages of development, promise to deliver up to 480 megawatts of capacity just as planned coal power plant retirements in Montana are escalating.
But Portland-based PacifiCorp said there was one other thing the wind project needed in order to be a winner for ratepayers — it had to be operating by the end of 2020, qualifying it for the full value of a lucrative federal incentive.
PacifiCorp, one of the largest grid owner/operators in the West, purchased the project int May and hired Mortenson Construction of Minneapolis to build its first Montana wind project. Time is of the essence. In order for the project to qualify for federal tax credits, the turbine blades need to be cranking by the end of 2020.
The project, originally called the Mud Springs Wind Ranch Project, has been renamed the Pryor Mountain Wind Project. The project changed hands several times before Pacificorp bought the farm from Sunrise Wind Holdings LLC in May. The 114-turbine farm will connect with an existing Pacificorp 230-kilovolt transmission line in Park County, Wyoming. The turbines will reach about 454 feet tall at the high point of the blades.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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,
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.
Between Livingston and Billings the freeway passes through little towns easily forgotten, like Greycliff, a small community 10 miles east of Big Timber. The wind whips through there, which excites Rhyno Stinchfield. What’s an annoyance for some is opportunity to him.
The developers still have to persuade the Public Service Commission that there’s enough local ownership of the project to qualify as a Community Renewable Energy Project. In June, the PSC rejected Greycliff Wind because it wasn’t convinced that local owners had a 50 percent stake in the income, equity and voting rights of the company.
NaturEner, which owns and operates the Glacier Wind wind farms in Glacier and Toole counties, is offering a $2,500 reward for information on the gunshot vandalism of one of its turbines.
Construction of a 25-megawatt, 15-tower wind farm is expected to begin Monday seven miles north of here, following difficult negotiations between the developer and NorthWestern Energy, which will purchase the power.
The developer of a proposed wind farm near Fairfield asked the Montana Public Service Commission on Thursday to reconsider its prior denial of a power purchase settlement with NorthWestern Energy, which has blocked the project.
Commission Chairman Bill Gallagher, R-Helena, led the argument against the Greenfield contract, saying there would be many times during the 25-year contract that NorthWestern wouldn’t need the power it had to buy from Greenfield. NorthWestern then would have to sell that excess power into the market, sometimes at a loss, and “the difference in that price is going to be left to the consumer,” he said.
Spanish developer NaturEner is denying fraud allegations by California offtaker San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) in a legal dispute over the 189MW Rim Rock wind farm in Montana. The utility claims NaturEner fraudulently concealed that the US Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) recommended the developer get an eagle take permit for the project.