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Bozeman Daily Chronicle
March 10, 2012

Guest column: Keeping energy rates low with wind

The Montana Public Service Commission and Northwestern Energy have recently come together to create a real “win-win” for clean wind energy and Montana’s electricity rate payers.

PSC commissioners just approved Northwestern Energy’s Spion Kop (spy-in-cop) wind project in central Montana, about 35 miles south east of Great Falls. It will produce 40 megawatts of power, or about enough electricity to power 35,000 homes when operating at full capacity and no less than about 13,000 homes on average.

Several factors make this wind project a good deal:

First, the cost of this energy to rate-payers will be less than the cost of electricity produced by coal-fired generation.

Second, it will reduce some CO2 emissions by supplanting coal fired generation.

Third, the energy from Spion Kop will be both generated and used in Montana.

Fourth, the transmission lines needed to deliver this power are small lines that will not scar the landscape or require taking land by eminent domain.


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