BILLINGS, Mont. – A Washington state utility said the partial closure of Montana’s Colstrip power plant could come earlier than planned, depending on the actions of a plant co-owner and Montana lawmakers.
Documents released Tuesday detail Puget Sound Energy’s plan to retire two of Colstrip’s four generating units. The 2,100-megawatt facility is one of the largest coal plants in the U.S. West.
Puget Sound reached an agreement last year with environmentalists that requires the two units to close by July 2022.
But Puget Sound said that could happen sooner given that co-owner Talen Energy wants to exit its role as the plant’s operator by mid-2018.
Puget Sound also suggested an early closure could be prompted by a proposed wholesale energy tax increase in Montana that’s aimed at helping the community of Colstrip.