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NWE Contact Bar, in Montana dial 1-888-467-2669, in South Dakota or Nebraska dial 1-800-245-6977
 
small brandlClean Energy
 

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

 

small brandlOur Energy Future
NorthWestern Energy is committed to a safe, sustainable energy future, providing more clean energy and delivering it more reliably and more affordably than ever before. To accomplish that, we are utilizing a balanced energy mix, integrating renewable resources with traditional energy sources — and continually exploring methods for reducing the carbon footprint. It is important for our communities and customers to know:

Clean energy and reducing the carbon footprint have been and continue to be priorities for us.
      • We have invested more than $1 billion in clean energy projects, including hydro, wind and solar energy
      • Today the resources that serve our customers are 61% carbon free. This portion will continue to grow as new technologies advance and become more cost-effective
      • Carbon-free investments include the just-completed $9.5 million upgrades to Ryan and Hauser hydro dams, adding an additional 5 megawatts of hydro energy to our Montana portfolio. Planned upgrades to Madison, Hauser and Black Eagle hydro dams will add 8.7 megawatts more of hydro energy to the portfolio
      • Our run-of-river hydro system provides reliable, clean energy that will lower in cost over time
      • NorthWestern Energy owns the 40-megawatt Spion Kop Wind farm in Judith Basin County and the 11-megawatt Two Dot Wind farm in Wheatland County, and contracts with about a dozen other small and large wind producers for about 351 megawatts of wind energy. We have invested $86 million in wind farms.
      • NorthWestern Energy invested $2 million in solar pilot projects. We have a Bozeman project collecting data on how a model community solar project integrates with the grid and aligns with residential, commercial and industrial energy demand. The other is in Missoula, collecting data on how solar panels can be incorporated in urban settings, in this case at the four public high schools in Missoula. That pilot project includes an energy storage component.

We have a responsibility to deliver reliable, affordable energy while focusing on sustainability and clean energy.

  • Traditional energy sources are more effective and dependable in meeting customer needs when energy use is at its highest, particularly in winter.
  • To meet peak capacity demands and ensure cost-effective reliability, coal will continue to be an important energy source for us.
  • Reliability and long-term value for our customers are behind our belief in supplying additional natural gas-fired generation over the course of time.
  • The natural gas-fired generation provides the ability to quickly ramp up when we need it and ramp down when we don’t need it.
  • Natural gas-fired generation provides additional reserve capacity, meaning we can continue to serve customers in the event of an unexpected outage or supply disruption in the region. Currently, we procure this resource from the open market, which poses a potential risk to customers in terms of price and availability in the future.
  • Past investments and future planning have enabled NorthWestern Energy to keep energy rates for customers below the national average.

We continue to be a leader in energy efficiency — and our customers are realizing the benefits of our programs.

  • We have been offering energy efficiency programs for more than 30 years.
  • We are fundamentally committed to helping our customers conserve energy and manage their energy spending as effectively as possible.
  • NorthWestern Energy is responsible for about 80% of the energy efficiency achieved in Montana.
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