By Darrell Proctor, POWER Magazine
This is a rendering of the 175-MW Yellowstone County Generating Station, being built by NorthWestern Energy at a site along the Yellowstone River near Laurel, Montana. Source: NorthWestern Energy / YouTube
A judge in Montana has canceled the air quality permit for a natural gas-fired power plant under construction in the state, citing concerns about emissions of greenhouse gases from the facility.
State District Judge Michael Moses on April 6 said government officials needed to more adequately consider the plant’s emissions during its lifecycle. The judge said the Yellowstone County Generating Station, being built by South Dakota-based NorthWestern Energy at an estimated cost of $283 million, could emit 23 million tons of GHG over its projected 30 years of operation.
Montana officials said state law did not give them authority to regulate GHG emissions from the 175-MW plant. A spokesperson for NorthWestern, in a statement issued April 7 and emailed to POWER, said the company would appeal the judge’s order. The statement said the gas-fired plant is needed to support a reliable supply of electricity in the region.