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small brandlOur Carbon Reduction Vision for Montana

NorthWestern Energy commits to reduce the carbon intensity of its electric energy portfolio for Montana by 90 percent by 2045.

Today, over 60% of the energy produced by NorthWestern Energy for Montana comes from renewable and carbon-free sources, including hydro, wind and solar. With the added Colstrip ownership, our portfolio is still twice as clean (56%) as the total U.S. electric power industry (28%). Over the last decade, we have already reduced the carbon intensity of our energy generation in Montana by more than 50%. In the last five years alone, we have invested more than $1 billion in clean energy projects, including hydro, wind and solar facilities.

The following chart shows the significant reduction in carbon intensity we have achieved since 2010, as well as our vision for the future.

Carbon reduction chart

More than 60 percent of the electricity NorthWestern Energy provides to our Montana customers comes from renewable water, wind and solar generation. Additional contracts with sizable wind projects will add to the percentage in the next few years. We also have a small amount of solar generation that serves customers. And, there are cost-effective opportunities to increase the power produced from our existing hydro system, which will help meet our customers' needs.

Already more than 60% carbon free

2018_MT_electric_generation_chartToday, NorthWestern Energy serves Montana with an electric portfolio that is over 60% carbon free and more than two times better than the total U.S. electric power industry (28% carbon free). Over the last decade, we have already reduced the carbon intensity of our energy generation in Montana by more than 50%.

NorthWestern Energy has invested more than $1 billion in providing 60 percent of Montana's energy through renewable resources like wind and water. This major investment is part of our ongoing commitment to responsibly power our homes and businesses, protect our environment.

How we’re going to get there


Our vision for the future builds on the progress we have already made. Already, the foundation of our energy generation is our hydro system, which is 100% carbon free and is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Wind generation is a close second and continues to grow. While utility-scale solar energy is not a significant portion of our energy mix today, we expect it to evolve along with advances in energy storage. We are committed to working with our customers and communities to help them achieve their sustainability goals and add new technology on our system.

Learn more about Our Carbon Reduction Vision for Montana.


NorthWestern Energy reshaped and diversified its overall electric generation portfolio when it purchased 11 Montana hydroelectric facilities in November 2014. Those dams, when combined with other owned and contracted sources of electricity, give NorthWestern an overall portfolio where more than 56 percent of the electricity comes from water, wind or solar generation.

In South Dakota, we purchased an 80-MW wind energy plant in 2014, aiding the company's reduction in our carbon footprint over the past five years.

Note: NWE periodically sells company-generated Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) in South Dakota with proceeds benefiting customers. We also do not purchase all RECs associated with contracted wind generation. Accordingly, we cannot represent that all energy delivered to retail customers qualifies as renewable or recycled energy.


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