Electric Generation

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.

This chart shows in near real time where your energy is coming from, with the red line showing the forecast of how much electricity we need to generate to meet demand.

When generation doesn't meet demand (when there is a gap between the colored bars and the red line), we buy additional electricity from the open market. When generation exceeds demand (the colored bars go above the red line), we can sell the extra energy on the market.

  • Our hydro resources (light blue) are the base of our electric generation in Montana. The amount of electricity generated by our hydro facilities is fairly consistent.
  • Wind resources (light green) vary dramatically. When the wind is blowing, our production generally exceeds our demand. 
  • We rely on thermal resources (dark blue) to ramp up and help meet demand with the wind isn't blowing and the sun isn't shining.

Hourly electrical generation by source (Montana)

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Our Balanced and Diverse Energy Mix

A chart showing our resource mix

Our Balanced and Diverse Energy Mix

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.

Our Montana Electric Generation Portfolio

Our Montana Electric Generation Portfolio

Our 100% clean hydro system is the backbone of our electric generation in Montana. We own 10 hydroelectric generating facilities in Montana, which supplied 40% of our electric generation in 2020. Wind and solar bring us to nearly 70% carbon-free generation.

Our Commitment to Clean Energy

At NorthWestern, we understand that almost everything we do to produce and deliver energy to our customers impacts the environment. We are committed to providing cost-effective, reliable and stably priced energy while being good stewards of natural resources.

Hydropower

42% of our electricity for our Montana customers comes from 100% clean hydroelectricity.

Innovating Our Energy Future

We are committed to providing responsible, sustainable energy to meet our customers' needs, while protecting, and even enhancing, the natural environment. And we are always looking for ways to improve the way we generate energy and serve our customers.