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Montana's Public Service Commission (PSC), with a 4-to-1 vote, has determined that Northwestern Energy (NWE) can charge the Montana wind project Two Dot Wind (TDW) up to $5.65 per MWh for integrating wind-generated power into the company's system. The integration rate is then subtracted from the amount NWE would otherwise pay TDW for power, making NWE's final costs for the wind-generated energy as low as $44.25 per MWh.

The figures were determined using a formula based on three factors including the wind project's nameplate capacity and TDW's percentage variability.

"Unlike other sources, wind is intermittent," says PSC Chair Greg Jergeson. "Using it in a power grid requires the addition of other sources. How much does this additional step cost - and who should pay for it - are the questions the PSC answered today for Northwestern Energy and Two Dot Wind."

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