SB 201 by Senator Steve Fitzpatrick (R-Great Falls) is intended to make it easier for NorthWestern Energy to avoid having to purchase renewable electricity from solar, storage, and wind energy developers. Currently NorthWestern must consider the avoided cost it would have to pay for future regulation of carbon dioxide. This bill tries to prohibit consideration of these costs, thereby ignoring important benefits of clean energy when considering the costs of electricity going forward.
Status: The bill was heard in the Senate Energy and Telecommunications Committee on Thursday, Feb. 16. It passed with a 9-4 vote and is awaiting a vote in the full Senate.