Discovery Ski Area goes solar

Discovery Ski Area anticipates a new solar array supported by a U.S. Department of Agriculture grant will offset the electricity demand for one of its primary chair lifts by 70% — and shave $11,000 off the business’ annual power bill. Funding available to support such projects has increased substantially since Congress passed the Inflation Reduction…

Latest ENERGY Reporting

Montana attorney general urges the EPA to scrap CO2 rule aimed at the energy sector

In a 55-page letter dated Aug. 8, the signatories argued that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is overstepping its authority by imposing strict carbon dioxide standards on the energy sector. The EPA has described the rule as an effort to safeguard public health and eliminate 617 million tons of atmosphere-warming carbon dioxide emissions from one…

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How the 68th Legislature shaped Montana’s energy policy

As the dust settles on the 2023 Legislature, Montana Free Press takes a look at the proposals likely to shape the state’s energy future for decades to come. Prominent themes include local control, the regulation of greenhouse gas emissions, and lawmakers’ frustration with the judicial branch.

NorthWestern Energy’s ‘historic’ rate increase request

The week before the Public Service Commission was set to hold a hearing on NorthWestern Energy’s proposed $120 million electricity and natural gas rate increase, the utility company announced it had reached a settlement agreement with four parties previously opposed to its proposal. As a result, Montana’s elected, all-Republican utility board spent much of last week…

What was in the 1993 State Energy Policy, and why did lawmakers repeal it?

Shortly after House Bill 170, a measure titled “repeal state energy policy,” passed along party lines last month, Gov. Greg Gianforte signed it into law. With Gianforte’s signature, a 30-year-old piece of legislative guidance outlining a vision for the state’s energy future will disappear from Montana Code Annotated. So, what was in the State Energy Policy,…

PSC greenlights NorthWestern Energy’s corporate restructuring plan

NorthWestern Energy, Montana’s largest monopoly utility, has asked government regulators to separate its operations in Montana from its operations in Nebraska and South Dakota. The investor-owned utility said the plan will provide regulators with a more focused look at its finances and serve Montana customers by insulating them from operations in other states.

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NorthWestern pitches utility regulators on ‘reliability rider’

NorthWestern Energy is asking for a “reliability rider” that it describes as a “more efficient regulatory alternative” to a rate case process. It says other states have implemented similar cost-recovery mechanisms and describes it as part of the company’s effort to secure “reliable, safe energy service” for its customers. Critics of the proposal say the…

Environmental groups sue DEQ over coal mine expansion

In their July 26 lawsuit, the Montana Environmental Information Center and the Sierra Club argue that Westmoreland Rosebud Mining, LLC’s proposal to expand Rosebud Mine into the headwaters of Lee Coulee would exacerbate climate change impacts ranging from shrinking snowpacks and increasing wildfire activity to crop losses, forest die-offs and wildfire smoke-induced air quality declines.…


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