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The Montana Public Service Commission (PSC) has voted to approve NorthWestern Energy Corp.'s application for pre-approval to build and operate the 40 MW Spion Kop Wind Project, which will be located in Geyser, Mont.

Montana law allows utilities to obtain pre-approval for significant generating projects they hope to build or acquire. The application for Spion Kop was not opposed by any party of record in the proceeding. The expected cost of electricity from the project is $55.42/MWh, compared to an average cost of the current portfolio of $60.87/MWh and a market price since 2000 of $64.37/MWh.

"This project provides cheaper electricity than the price of power on the market for the last decade, and it’s cheaper than our forecast price of electricity going forward," says Travis Kavulla, chairman of the PSC. “Even if the state had no renewable energy standard, this project would still be cost-competitive, and I would still vote to approve it.”

The Spion Kop project qualifies for a $22/MWh production tax credit in its first 10 years of commercial operation. 



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