NorthWestern Energy Green Lights Spion Kop Wind Project

Mar 20, 2012, 17:56 ET from NorthWestern Corporation

BUTTE, Mont., March 20, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- NorthWestern Corporation d/b/a NorthWestern Energy (NYSE: NWE) has issued a Notice to Proceed to Compass Wind to move forward with construction on the 40-megawatt Spion Kop Wind Project near the central Montana community of Geyser.

The Montana Public Service Commission approved placement of the $86.1 million project into the company's regulated rate base in mid-February. Both the energy and associated renewable energy credits will be used to meet the renewable portfolio standards obligations in Montana law.

"We're pleased to be moving forward on the project so that we can meet our 2015 renewable portfolio standards obligation while maintaining a balanced, environmentally responsible portfolio of generation resources that contributes to long-term rate stability," said Bob Rowe, president and CEO. 

Under Montana's Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS), 15-percent of NorthWestern Energy's total energy portfolio must be produced from renewable generation by 2015. While the RPS goals are important, it is the project's contribution to the local area that has Judith Basin County officials excited.

"It's a great project and will be of great benefit to the county," said Cody McDonald, chairman of Judith Basin County Commission. "Compass Wind has been really good to work with and we've received nothing but positive feedback from our local constituents about this project."

The Spion Kop Wind Project will include 25 1.6 megawatt GE wind turbines near Geyser, Montana. Construction is set to begin later this spring, and the project is due to be completed by the end of the year.

About NorthWestern Energy
NorthWestern Energy provides electricity and natural gas in the Upper Midwest and Northwest, serving approximately 668,300 customers in Montana, South Dakota and Nebraska. More information on NorthWestern Energy is available on the company's website at

About Compass Wind
Compass Wind, a wind project developer in the western U.S., was formed in 2007 to build cost effective utility-scale wind projects that emphasize an integrated local development approach. Currently, Compass has a number of active projects in the Mountain States region with an established pipeline of approximately 1,000 megawatts. More information on Compass Wind is available on the company's website at

SOURCE NorthWestern Corporation