Baseload, Project Development, Wind Power

Montana Wind Power Purchase Agreement

[RenewableEnergyAccess.com] NorthWestern Energy of Butte, Montana is working to obtain advanced approval from the Montana Public Service Commission (MPSC) for two electricity supply agreements with Judith Gap Energy. NorthWestern wants to purchase 135 to 150 MW from the Judith Gap Energy wind power facility in Wheatland County, and the power supply of 90 MW of baseload power from the company’s leasehold interest in Colstrip Unit 4. Both agreements are the result of bids received through the company’s request for electricity supply proposals issued in 2004. Advanced approval on the power purchase agreements (PPA) are important because the developer is not willing to begin construction on the wind power facility until the MPSC gives a decision. Pricing for the wind project is tied to the federal Production Tax Credit (PTC), which is only available to wind projects that begin commercial operation on or before Dec. 31, 2005.