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Study Public Power


The issue of this study is to evaluate the public power model, its potential operation in Montana, and what role the state could play in such a scenario.

With the PSC's final order to reject BBI's proposed buyout of NorthWestern Energy, public power is again being discussed. Two years ago, five cities joined together to form Montana Public Power in an effort to purchase NorthWestern Energy.

In the 2007 Legislature, Sen. Lind introduced S.B. 558 "Establish the Montana Electric and Gas Authority," which would have resulted in a governor-appointed public power authority that could purchase and own utilities. The bill died on the Senate floor. This study will include research on other consumer-owned utilities in the West and the pluses and minuses of public power.

Work Plan

The committee allocated .10 FTE to the study of public power. This study will include a summary of public power options utilized in the West. The committee also will closely track the proposed sale of NorthWestern. An analysis of the regulatory framework in Montana in relation to public power will be incorporated into the review.

Deliverables includes a summary of findings and potential legislation.

Staff Reports

2008 Public Power Report and Findings
Approved by ETIC on September 4, 2008

Related Study Materials

American Public Power Association

Draft Legislation

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Last Modified:
6/10/2013 10:22:32 AM