NorthWestern Energy agrees to contract with 80-MW wind project

NorthWestern Energy said Dec. 19 that it has entered into an agreement with WKN Montana II to purchase the energy, capacity and environmental attributes from an 80-MW qualifying facility (QF) wind project to be developed in south-central Montana. 

After extensive negotiations between the developer and NorthWestern Energy, the price to be paid for this power is $37.63/MWh, NorthWestern said in a news release.

The Vivaldi Springtime Wind Project will be located in Stillwater County approximately 11 miles north of Reed Point. It will include 26-to-35 turbines depending on the manufacturer and is due begin construction second quarter 2017 and be completed by first quarter of 2018.

“We are pleased to have negotiated an agreement that will result in a very low cost QF renewable project for our portfolio and that also incorporates important contract terms including reasonable curtailment rights which help protect our customers’ bills,” said John Hines, vice president – energy supply.

“Qualifying facilities can be problematic since we’re mandated by federal law to purchase the power, regardless of our customers’ needs.  However, we’re pleased in this instance to work with a developer that takes into consideration our customers’ best interest while still having a viable project,” Hines said.

NorthWestern Energy provides electricity and natural gas in the Upper Midwest and Northwest, serving approximately 701,000 customers in Montana, South Dakota and Nebraska. NorthWestern Energy is part of NorthWestern Corp. (NYSE:NWE).

About Wayne Barber 4201 Articles
Wayne Barber, Chief Analyst for the GenerationHub, has been covering power generation, energy and natural resources issues at national publications for more than 20 years. Prior to joining PennWell he was editor of Generation Markets Week at SNL Financial for nine years. He has also worked as a business journalist at both McGraw-Hill and Financial Times Energy. Wayne also worked as a newspaper reporter for several years. During his career has visited nuclear reactors and coal mines as well as coal and natural gas power plants. Wayne can be reached at wayneb@pennwell.com.