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Kerr Update: Little Change in Levels of Flathead Lake, River Expected

Aug 21, 2015

Butte, Mont. – Aug. 21, 2015 – Representatives from NorthWestern Energy (“NWE”), U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (“Corps”), the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes (“CSKT’), Energy Keepers, Inc. (“EKI”), and Bureau of Indian Affairs conferred on August 19th regarding current and projected operation of the Kerr Project. The current outflow is about 3,310 cubic feet per second (cfs) and the lake elevation, as of August 21st, was 2,892.24 feet, which is 0.76 feet from full elevation of 2,893 feet.

Drought conditions have persisted. In July, the natural stream flow averaged 35 percent of normal while precipitation for the Flathead basin was 61 percent of average. To date in August, the natural stream flow has averaged 42 percent of normal and basin precipitation has averaged 33 percent of average. NWE estimates that the outflow will remain near 3,300 cfs through the end of August, with lake elevation on August 31st of about 2,892.30 feet.

In 1985, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC”) issued the license for the Kerr Project jointly to NWE’s predecessor in interest, Montana Power and CSKT. Under the terms of the FERC license, CSKT was given the right to acquire the Kerr Project.  On March 5, 2014, CSKT gave notice of its intent to acquire the Kerr Project. The conveyance of the Kerr Project to CSKT is expected to close effective 12:00:01 A.M. on September 5, 2015.

Energy Keepers is a tribally-owned corporation in which CSKT has delegated the authority and responsibility to manage, operate and maintain the Kerr Project on behalf of CSKT.  Following conveyance on September 5, 2015, Energy Keepers, on behalf of CSKT, will be responsible for operations of the Kerr Project, including management of stream flow and elevation levels of the lake.

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Media Contact:
Butch Larcombe
(866) 622-8081

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