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Helena mayor delivers letter urging NorthWestern Energy to plan for life after Colstrip

Posted at 3:38 PM, Jun 28, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-17 14:48:40-04

BUTTE – The mayor of Helena stopped in Butte Thursday morning to deliver a letter at NorthWestern Energy’s headquarters asking the utility to invest more in renewable energy.

Mayor Wilmot Collins arrived at NorthWestern Energy headquarters with two environmental activists to deliver a letter to the company’s president, Robert Rowe.

Collins claims the Colstrip’s plant’s future is uncertain and the utility should focus on renewable energy sources. In the letter, dated June 20, Collins urged the utility to consider a mix of sources, including renewables, to offset the likely decline of Colstrip power.

NorthWestern Energy is one of the six owners of the Colstrip coal-fired power plants.

Colstrip’s operator, Talen Energy, has stated that its two oldest units, 1 and 2, will close at the end of this year. Its two newest units, 3 and 4, have been targeted for closure in 2027, although efforts are ongoing in state and federal level to extend their life.

NorthWestern Energy responded by calling this a political stunt and said the mayor was making inflammatory statements to make the company look bad.

Collins, a Democrat, is seeking to challenge Republican U.S. Sen. Steve Daines for his seat in 2020.

NorthWestern posted the full letter from Collins and its response on its Facebook page: