Community Action Agency’s Corner
We are proud of our diverse generation fleet of hydro, wind, natural gas and coal resources. Additional 24/7 on-demand energy sources are required in order to add more renewable, variable resources – wind and solar – to keep the grid stable as we transition to an even cleaner energy future.
We have committed to net zero emission by 2050, and the Yellowstone County Generating Station plays an import role in meeting that goal. Until longer-duration, carbon-free resources are available and cost effective, we are going to need natural gas fired generation to support the variability of wind and solar generation.
The Yellowstone County Generating Station will generate energy on-demand, which means we will be able to respond quickly to fluctuations in customer demand, and provide cost‑effective, reliable and environmentally responsible energy.
Watch the video to see a slideshow of project renderings. Check back for additional details as the project is developed.
At NorthWestern Energy, our goal is to provide our customers reliable energy at the lowest long-term cost. We do this through a balanced mix of safe, reliable, affordable and clean energy. Our electric portfolio is built on the carbon-free hydro system, along with wind, coal, gas and solar.Over time, the natural gas plants and other thermal generation on our system will be used less as new cleaner, cost‑effective resources are available.
The Yellowstone County Generating Station is expected to be available to provide critical always-available energy to meet the 2023-2024 winter needs of NorthWestern Energy’s Montana customers.
The Yellowstone County Generating Station is the lowest-cost resource selected through a competitive process administered by a third-party. This plant is part of a balanced mix of resources serving NorthWestern Energy’s Montana customers to provide affordable, reliable service as we transition to an even cleaner energy future. The request for proposals also selected a 100 megawatt hydro-based contract and a 50 megawatt battery storage project.
NorthWestern Energy relies on market purchases to meet 40-50% of peak energy demand for our Montana customers during extreme cold and hot temperatures that impact our customers today. Additional always-available resources dedicated to our Montana customers, such as the Yellowstone County Generating Station, are critical for reliable, affordable service.
Leading environmental organizations agree natural gas generation must be part of a balanced energy mix for the foreseeable future. No other resource meets both long-term climate goals and is capable of delivering multi-day, on-demand energy needed to keep service reliable during Montana’s extreme weather.
For more information about the project, please contact: