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HB 22, by Laurie Bishop (D-Livingston), would set the contract lengths for small independent wind and solar projects (known as Qualifying Facilities, or “QFs”) to 20 years.

20 years is in line with the revenue recovery period (aka contract length) that NorthWestern Energy has asked for and received for its own power plants. In many cases NorthWestern has asked for considerably more years than 20 (see the table below). Independent wind and solar projects deserve equal treatment.

These independent wind and solar projects create jobs, tax revenue, and clean energy in communities across Montana. Counties like Stillwater, Big Horn, Musselshell, and Lewis and Clark all have large-scale solar facilities now thanks to these projects.

NorthWestern Owned ResourceFuel TypeRevenue Recovery Period

 

(aka contract length)

Basin Creek (under contract)Gas20 years (NWE asked for 20)
Spion KopWind25 years (NWE asked for 25)
Dave Gates Generating StationGas30 years (NWE asked for 30)
Colstrip Unit 4Coal34 years (NWE asked for 34)
Hydroelectrc DamsWater50 years (NWE asked for 40)
February 2017 NWE new resource Request for Proposals NWE required minimum of 20 years for Power Purchase Agreements

Position

Support

Status

Passed the House Energy Committee on February 13th on a 12-0 vote. Passed the House Floor on a 94-2 vote. HB 22 was tabled in the Senate Energy Committee on March 23rd.

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