NorthWestern Energy seeks to purchase 40 MW Montana wind farm

Butte, Mont., June 2, 2011 — NorthWestern Energy is asking the Montana Public Service Commission for approval to purchase and operate the yet to be developed Spion Kop Wind Project located in Central Montana.

NorthWestern announced its intent to purchase the 40 MW project in April. If approved by the MPSC, the proposed $86.1 million project is to be developed by Compass Wind and placed into utility rate-base for NorthWestern’s Montana electric retail customers. Both the energy and associated renewable energy credits will be used to meet the renewable portfolio standards obligations in Montana law.

For comparison purposes the project represents a levelized price of $53.78 per MWh for a 25-year period, which was the lowest competitive bid price offered through a recent competitive solicitation process undertaken by NorthWestern and is less than the current qualifying facility rate for a project with similar attributes of $69.21/MWh.

If the MPSC fails to grant approval for the project on or before April 1, 2012, then either party may terminate this agreement. Construction would commence upon a favorable ruling, with commercial operation projected to begin by the end of 2012.

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