Friday, December 3, 2021
Dec. 3, 2021

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Consumer Counsel wants more info on Colstrip purchase


BILLINGS, Mont. — NorthWestern Energy’s proposal to purchase a larger portion of a coal-fired power plant in southeastern Montana for $1 doesn’t include analysis to show the acquisition is in the public interest and will result in reasonable electricity charges, a legal team representing customers of Montana’s utilities said.

Consumer Counsel Bob Nelson said the Public Service Commission should pause its consideration of NorthWestern’s proposed purchase of 25 percent of Colstrip’s Unit 4 from Puget Sound Energy until NorthWestern provides more information.

NorthWestern could buy the share outright, but it would like its 374,000 Montana customers to be precommitted to covering other costs associated with the planned purchase, including an estimated $20 million in needed repairs, The Billings Gazette reports.