69-3-1623. Use of amounts received by electric utility as consideration for its transfer of Montana energy impact assistance property. (1) Subject to commission approval as required by subsection (2), an electric utility shall expend or invest amounts the electric utility receives as consideration for its transfer of Montana energy impact assistance property to reduce its Montana energy impact costs and may invest or expand the remaining funds as follows:
(a) to build and own generation infrastructure and facilities that are least-cost generation resources, taking into consideration regulatory risk, current and future fuel cost and risk, and fuel delivery infrastructure costs, the addition of which is not inconsistent with the electric utility's resource procurement or integrated least-cost resource plan;
(b) to build, own, or purchase electricity storage capacity to the extent that the investment is either required by law or rule, is the least-cost, or is needed to increase the amount of least-cost generation resources that the electric utility is able to add to its generation portfolio;
(c) to invest in network modernization to the extent that the modernization is necessary to increase the amount of least-cost generation resources able to be added to the electric utility's system; and
(d) to replace any damaged or destroyed electric infrastructure or facilities involved in the transmission or delivery of electricity to Montana customers.
(2) In considering any application for approval of the use of Montana energy impact assistance bond proceeds, the commission shall:
(a) use its regular process for consideration of applications; and
(b) fully consider new energy technologies and future environmental regulations.