MTPR

Jeff Fox

Wind turbines.
(PD)

Coal powered energy does not behave like wind and solar energy. Economists at the University of Montana say this means extra costs are tacked on to renewable energy as demand for it grows. But renewable energy advocates are critical of this analysis.

Colstrip power plant, Colstrip Montana.
Flicker User ambib (CC-BY-NC)

A legal settlement reached Friday could have a big impact on the future of Colstrip – both to the coal-fired power plant there, and the town itself.

Some renewable energy advocates say the settlement means the Colstrip plant could shut down sooner than had been anticipated – maybe as early as 2027, instead of sometime in the 2040s. But that depends on a lot of variables, and Colstrip’s backers say it could stay open for decades.

Montana lawmakers sent a letter to the state’s congressional delegates Thursday expressing concern that President Donald Trump may put taxes on solar panels imported into the United States.
(PD)

Montana’s largest utility provider announced Wednesday it is looking for small-scale renewable energy projects that it’s required by law to buy. But utilities and their regulators in Montana say that requirement is outdated, and that the law should be repealed.

Coal mining.
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.

Federal law requires utility companies like NorthWestern to buy power from small renewable energy projects at the price it would cost the utility company to generate it or buy it from somewhere else.
Flickr user jabzoog

A couple of renewable energy groups are trying to change the conversation about energy policy in Montana.

"The markets we sell electricity to are moving away from coal. Change is coming."

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