Company tells commissioners it will build solar farm near Billin - KTVQ.com | Q2 | Continuous News Coverage | Billings, MT

Company tells commissioners it will build solar farm near Billings

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The company planning a solar energy farm north of Billings says it will build the plant, despite what it calls an unfavorable power purchase agreement from the Montana Public Service Commission (PSC).

VK Clean Energy Partners, LLC updated the Yellowstone County Commissioners on Thursday.

The company’s MT Sun, LLC is a plan for an 80 mega-watt solar farm on land near Alkali Creek Road, about four miles north of the Billings Logan International Airport.

MT Sun has asked the PSC to reconsider the length of time and the rate on a power purchase agreement.

The plant would be on leased land from the Department of Natural Resources and Conservation and on private land

In June, the PSC authorized a 10-year agreement at $20 per megawatt hour.

Montana Sun says it wants a longer contract with a bigger payment for the electricity.

"We've asked the Public Service Commission to reconsider the term and have it comply with Montana law that requires the contract length be long enough to support the financing of the project,” said Mark Klein, general partner with VK Clean Energy.

But Klein said the agreement will not stop the project.

“My partner and I are going to build MT Sun,” Klein said. “It will get constructed."

In news release in June, PSC Commissioner Tony O'Donnell of Billings said "The law does not allow the commission to incentivize one form of energy over another.  Our charge is to set a price at a level that is neutral to the ratepayer.”

Klein said he expects the commission to rule Friday on MT Sun's filing.

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