Colstrip

IEEFA Research

IEEFA report: The case for utility-company reinvestment in Arizona’s coalfield communities

IEEFA report: The case for utility-company reinvestment in Arizona’s coalfield communities

Statewide risk as fast-moving transition sweeps across power-generation industry

March 2, 2020 (IEEFA) — Arizona utility companies that are closing coal-fired power plants must reinvest aggressively in regional coalfield communities in order to avoid local economic disarray that could affect the state’s overall financial health, concludes a report published today by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis. The report—The Case (and the […]

IEEFA Analysis: Financial Condition of Montana’s Colstrip 1 and 2 Worse Than Previously Known

IEEFA Analysis: Financial Condition of Montana’s Colstrip 1 and 2 Worse Than Previously Known

Costs to Ratepayers Stand to Increase if Puget Sound Keeps Two Coal-Fired Plants Alive

In testimony today to the state Utilities and Transportation Commission in Olympia, Wash., we are presenting fresh analyses that shows how two coal-fired electricity generators in Montana co-owned by Puget Sound Energy are worse investments  than previously known. Over the past several months, IEEFA has documented how Colstrip 1 and 2 have become an increasingly […]

Study Concludes That Colstrip 1 and 2 Are Financially Unviable; Cautions Against Further Expenditures

Study Concludes That Colstrip 1 and 2 Are Financially Unviable; Cautions Against Further Expenditures

In an Era of Low Natural-Gas Prices and Competition From Renewable Energy, Phasing Out Two Coal-Fired Units Is the Best Option for Owners

JUNE 23, 2015 (IEEFA) — An analysis of data on operational costs and energy markets by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis questions the financial viability of the two oldest units at the Colstrip coal-fired power plant in eastern Montana. Colstrip Units 1 and 2, which are owned equally by Talen Montana and Puget Sound […]

More News and Commentary

Two units at Montana’s Colstrip coal plant to be retired this weekend

Associated Press: One of the largest coal-fired power plants in the western U.S. will close two of its four units by Saturday as the Montana facility edges toward an eventual total shutdown. Colstrip Units 1 and 2 – built in the 1970s when massive strip mines were being developed across Montana and Wyoming – will […]

January 3, 2020 Read More →

Montana’s largest utility to boost stake in Colstrip coal plant

Billings Gazette: NorthWestern Energy plans to increase its share in Colstrip Unit 4 by buying out another power plant owner who recently revealed the coal-fired unit needs $20 million in repairs. Montana’s largest monopoly utility said Tuesday that it will buy out Puget Sound Energy for $1. The price is identical to what NorthWestern pitched […]

December 11, 2019 Read More →

Colstrip’s new coal supply contract likely to raise price of plant’s electricity generation

Billings Gazette: Colstrip Power Plant will continue receiving coal from Rosebud Mine under a six-year contract signed by all but one of the plant’s owners this wee The contract, five years in the making, was signed with just weeks left on the coal arrangement between the mine and the power plant. The terms assure the […]

December 6, 2019 Read More →

Avista agrees to plans to exit Colstrip coal plant by 2025

Billings Gazette: A Colstrip Power Plant owner has accelerated its exit plans by nearly a decade and has agreed to compensate the community. Avista Corp. agreed to be financially ready to exit both Units 3 and 4 by 2025. Based in Spokane, Washington, Avista had previously given itself until 2034 to be financially ready for […]

November 22, 2019 Read More →

Enviro groups sue to block expansion of Rosebud mine in Montana

Montana Free Press: A group of environmental groups filed a lawsuit in federal court in Billings Monday challenging the proposed expansion of the Rosebud Coal Mine, which supplies coal to the Colstrip power plant. In June, the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement approved the expansion, which will allow […]

November 21, 2019 Read More →

IEEFA U.S.: Spate of coal bankruptcies raises risks for utilities – may hasten more plant retirements

Financial distress among mining companies could add momentum to electricity-generation transition

The chaotic collapse of Blackjewel and the unexpected closure of its mines in both the Powder River Basin and Appalachia, as well as a spate of other recent coal-mining bankruptcies, should serve as a wake-up call for utilities dependent on coal-fired generation. Coal companies serving the electricity supply sector are barely treading water while falling […]

July 22, 2019 Read More →

Largest Montana solar project gets court backing in fight with local utility

Billings Gazette: A 480-acre solar farm planned for Billings has won a significant legal battle over energy contract lengths. MTSUN solar farm will receive a 25-year contract to deliver power to NorthWestern Energy, District Judge James Manley ruled. The project, planned for the Alkali Creek area west of the Billings Heights, has been on hold […]

June 27, 2019 Read More →

Talen to close two units at Colstrip by end of 2019

Associated Press: The company that operates a coal-fired power plant in eastern Montana said Tuesday it will close two of the plant’s four units about 30 months ahead of schedule because of the high cost of running them and the unwillingness of its coal supplier to lower prices. Talen Montana said in a statement the […]

June 12, 2019 Read More →

New Washington law requires state’s utilities to quit coal by 2025

The Seattle Times: Gov. Jay Inslee signed a package of bills Tuesday to combat climate change headlined by legislation to rid Washington’s electric grid of fossil-fuel-generated power by 2045, a move that makes the state a leader in the national clean-power movement. Other parts of the green agenda now embedded in state law create new […]

May 9, 2019 Read More →

Colstrip bailout bill fails in Montana legislature

S&P Global Market Intelligence ($): Montana lawmakers failed to pass legislation that would have enabled NorthWestern Corp. to pass on $75 million in costs associated with acquiring an additional 150-MW share in the beleaguered Colstrip power plant without oversight from the state Public Service Commission. The bill, proposed by Republican Sen. Tom Richmond, died in […]

April 29, 2019 Read More →