Legislator Promotes Bill with North Western Energy and Colstrip

The Majority Leader of the Montana House of Representatives is working to help a bill pass the legislature that he says will provide a stable source of energy for Montana into the future.

Republican Brad Tschida said Senate Bill 331 would bring together North Western Energy and the Colstrip coal fired power plant.

“North Western Energy is trying to work out an arrangement with the Colstrip ownership that has the potential to benefit Montana customers,” said Tschida. “There are two big issues right now. First, North Western Energy does not have the capacity it needs during peak times. For example, in February when it was bitter cold, they had to go out and buy power at a peak time when it cost the rate payers $13.5 million. If they had access to 150 megawatts of power it would have save money for the ratepayers, so having the extra capacity would mean lower prices in the winter and the summer.”

Tschida said there is a second factor in this equation.

“In order to be able to move the power west, or to move power back from the west back into Montana, North Western Energy needs control

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