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NorthWestern Energy: Low-cost qualifying facility to add 80-megawatts of wind to Montana portfolio

Mar 22, 2018

Butte, Mont. – March 22, 2018 – NorthWestern Energy has entered into an agreement with a subsidiary of Allete Clean Energy to purchase the energy from an 80-megawatt qualifying facility wind farm to be developed in south-central Montana.

After negotiations between the developer and NorthWestern Energy, the price to be paid for this power is $21.03 per megawatt hour plus an annual estimate of $1.58 per MWh for capacity for a term of 15 years.

“We negotiated an agreement that will result in a very low cost qualifying facility wind project for our portfolio to help protect customers’ bills,” said John Hines, vice president - energy supply. “Qualifying facilities are problematic since we’re mandated by federal law to purchase the power regardless of the needs of NorthWestern’s customers. However, rates paid to qualifying facilities continue to decline as the generation portfolio fills, and we’re pleased to work with a developer that takes into consideration the best interests of our customers.”

The South Peak Wind project will be located near Geyser, a small community east of Great Falls. The project is due to begin construction in 2018 and is scheduled to be completed by fourth quarter of 2019.

More than 60 percent of the energy in NorthWestern Energy’s Montana generation portfolio comes from water, wind and solar resources. The energy company also relies on thermal generation from Colstrip Unit 4 and several natural gas-fired plants to meet customer needs reliably and affordably.

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About NorthWestern Energy (NYSE: NWE)

NorthWestern Energy provides electricity and natural gas in the Upper Midwest and Northwest, serving approximately 709,600 customers in Montana, South Dakota and Nebraska. More information on NorthWestern Energy is available on the company's website at

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