energy

Wind Manufacturing Booms In CO, Stalls In WY

Jul 19, 2016
Wind turbines
Flickr user jabzoog

Wind turbines are pretty sleek-looking from a distance, but there’s a lot going on behind those spinning blades.

Gov. Steve Bullock unveiled his energy plan Tuesday.
Corin Cates-Carney

On Tuesday, Governor Steve Bullock released a plan to guide Montana’s energy future.

Solar panel installation.
Wayne National Forest (CC-BY-2)

Montana’s utility regulators took unprecedented action Thursday when they suspended price rates for solar energy. It's a win for NorthWestern Energy, but it could slow growth in Montana’s solar energy industry.

Heavy equipment loading coal at the Decker Coal Company.
Courtesy USDA NRCS

Montana coal production is down by nearly a third of what it was last year. From January to the end of April, coal companies in Montana produced 9.6 million tons of coal, 4 million fewer tons than last year.

A federal law from the 1970s is pushing Montana’s Public Service Commission to act as mediator between large utility companies and small renewable energy providers as they debate the price of electricity.

Governor Bullock Brings Energy Roundtable To Colstrip

May 31, 2016
Colstrip power plant.
Flicker User ambib (CC-BY-NC)

Governor Steve Bullock brought his energy round table discussion to Colstrip to talk about Montana’s energy future. Several citizens of Colstrip were more concerned about their economic future.

Coal with the town of Colstrip in the background
Amy Martin

On Monday the operator of the Colstrip power plant said it wants out of its contract to run the coal-burning facility. Pennsylvania-based Talen Energy owns part of the plant and operates the entire facility. The company says it is losing millions of dollars there. Governor Bullock talked with MTPR’s Corin Cates Carney Wednesday.

Mark Grotbo, general manager of Ravalli Electric Co-op stands in front of the solar panels that now line the side of Highway 93 near Victor.
Bree Zender

Governor Steve Bullock was in Victor Thursday to help open a new private solar energy facility.

A stretch of solar panels now line the side of Highway 93 near Victor. The new facility, Valley Solar, is the third community solar energy project to open in Montana. Gov. Steve Bullock spoke at the ribbon cutting ceremony.

An Uneven Exchange: Coal Miners Versus Coal Consumers

May 23, 2016
Powder river coal mine.
U.S. Geological Survey

There’s a polarized debate going on in this country about the future of fossil fuels — specifically coal. As a country, we are using less and less coal, but we still burn hundreds of million of tons of it each year for electricity. And so beneath that debate is a real disconnect between the people who produce coal, and those who consume it. The debate and the divide were very much on display recently at a public event in Casper, Wyoming. Inside Energy’s Leigh Paterson reports.

Environmentalists, lawmakers, coal miners, and advocates of all types gathered to have their say at the meeting, hosted by the Department of the Interior.

Governor Steve Bullock met with utility companies and advocates for energy efficiency and low-income Montanans in Missoula Wednesday. It was the second in a series of roundtable discussions on energy Bullock is hosting across the state.

Pages