Submit a Comment to the PSC

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The Public Service Commission (PSC) is now taking public comment on NorthWestern’s Resource Plan. Use the tool to the right to submit a comment!

The PSC will also take comments at a hearing on December 9th at 1:30pm and 5pm at the PSC office (1701 Prospect Ave, Helena, MT).

NorthWestern Energy wants to build a fleet of expensive fracked gas power plants, continue using a filthy coal-fired power plant for 20 years, and force Montana families and small businesses to pay for all of it. 

That’s the upshot of the company’s “2019 Resource Procurement Plan.” 

Utilities periodically create plans showing how they will provide power at the lowest reasonable cost over the next 20 years. Unfortunately, NorthWestern’s plan appears to have been created to pad the pockets of its company executives and shareholders with ratepayer dollars (while worsening the climate crisis in the process).

What’s in the plan? About 800 megawatts of new fracked gas plants built by 2025, no new wind or solar power plants, and the Colstrip power plant (NorthWestern is a part-owner) running for 20 more years.

The plan is important. The PSC and others use it to inform key decisions, such as approving or denying new power plants.

Take action now – use the tool above to submit comments to the PSC!

Click “Read or Edit the Petition” to customize the language. The suggested comment reads:

Commissioners,

I wish to submit comments regarding Docket 2019.08.052 for the NorthWestern Energy 2019 Electricity Supply Resource Procurement Plan.

NorthWestern’s plan puts me and my pocketbook at risk to benefit company shareholders. I respectfully insist the Public Service Commission protect ratepayers from this monopoly utility by notifying NorthWestern that the Resource Plan is fundamentally deficient and pre-approval of resources based on this flawed plan would not be in the public interest.

These deficiencies include but are not limited to:

  • Failing to identify, manage, and mitigate the risk that the Colstrip power plant will go offline within the 20-year planning horizon.
  • Failing to include the cost of gas pipelines in the cost assumption for building and operating gas-fired power plants. NorthWestern has previously stated new gas pipelines would be necessary to operate any significant new gas power plants on its system, however these costs were not included in the plan.
  • Failing to model appropriate cost estimates for wind and solar energy facilities, including not modeling solar paired with battery storage, which would be lower cost than solar sited separately from storage thanks to access to the federal Investment Tax Credit.
  • Failing to model the costs of existing power plants to demonstrate the company is managing a least-cost portfolio for ratepayers.

Ratepayers are counting on you to provide appropriate oversight to the monopoly utility that they are forced to purchase electricity from. Please keep this in mind when formulating your comments on the plan.

Thank you,

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