May 10, 2002
NorthWestern Corporation Acquires
MPC Transmission, Distribution Business
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – Feb. 15, 2002 – NorthWestern Corporation
(NYSE:NOR) has announced the completion of its acquisition of The Montana
Power Company’s energy transmission and distribution business. "With
the combination of the NorthWestern and Montana Power energy operations,
NorthWestern becomes one of the region’s premier electric and natural gas
providers," said Merle D. Lewis, chairman and chief executive officer
of NorthWestern. "Also, this combination creates a greater regional
scale for NorthWestern that will allow us to realize the full value of our
existing energy assets and provides a strong platform for future
The transaction is valued at $1.09 billion, including $602 million in
cash and the assumption of approximately $488 million in debt, and will
enhance NorthWestern’s annual regulated energy revenues by more than $600
million, substantially increase cash flow and will be immediately accretive
to the company’s earnings.
According to Richard R. Hylland, NorthWestern president and chief
operating officer, the completed transaction provides NorthWestern with
approximately 22,000 miles of electric transmission and distribution lines
and 269 electric substations serving customers in 36 of Montana’s 56
counties, along with 5,300 miles of underground natural gas transmission and
distribution lines serving customers in 28 of Montana’s 56 counties.
"Even more important than these energy business assets, NorthWestern is
adding more than 1,000 new team members committed to service excellence for
our more than 450,000 new Montana energy customers," Hylland said.
Michael J. Hanson, president and chief executive officer of NorthWestern’s
energy businesses, pointed out that NorthWestern is bringing to Montana
nearly 80 years of experience in effective
management of energy distribution operations and an impressive record of
providing award-winning reliability, excellent service, stable prices and
consistent financial performance.
"Over the past 16 months, we have worked closely with consumer
groups, regulators, public officials, environmental groups and Montana Power
team members across the state on a variety of challenging energy issues.
NorthWestern worked hard to provide innovative solutions to assure that our
customers receive reliable, competitively priced energy for years to
come," said Hanson. "This experience has reinforced our belief
that this transaction will yield important benefits to all our stakeholders.
We look forward to continuing to work hand-in-hand with all stakeholders to
provide our customers and the communities we serve with progressive energy
solutions and customer care excellence that exceed their expectations."
NorthWestern Corporation, a FORTUNE 500 company, serves more than two
million customers across America in the energy and communications sectors.
NorthWestern’s partner entities include NorthWestern Services Group, a
provider of electric, natural gas and communications services to Upper
Plains and Northwest customers; Expanets, the largest mid-market provider of
networked communications solutions and services in the United States; Blue
Dot, a leading provider of air conditioning, heating, plumbing and related
services; and CornerStone Propane Partners L.P. (NYSE:CNO), one of the
nation’s largest retail propane distribution entities. Further information
about NorthWestern is available on the Internet at www.northwestern.com
Resolution Montana Wind Map Posted
The much anticipated high-resolution map of Montana's wind resources showing
tremendous potential is now posted at www.windpowermaps.org.
In addition, updated versions of the Washington map images are posted
showing all tribal lands, and we are now taking orders for color prints and
According to Heather
Rhoads-Weaver of Northwest SEED (Sustainable Energy for Economic
Development), web GIS developers are busy working on the interactive zoom-in
tools and other navigational features that will be beta tested next
week and released publicly at the Harvesting Clean Energy conference
Feb. 26 in Pasco, WA. Other upcoming release dates are:
Oregon and northern
California - coming mid 2/02
Wyoming - coming early 3/02
Formal site launch - mid 3/02
Stats pages - coming late 3/02
Simple payback calculator - coming summer '02
A more detailed project
schedule along with updated information on becoming a
sponsor can be found at www.nwseed.org/maps.htm
Under contract with the NW Cooperative Development Center, TrueWind
Solutions and NW Sustainable Energy for Economic Development (SEED) are
working produce new wind maps and an interactive website that will allow
landowners to "zoom in" and view wind resource details down to a
40-acre grid scale. The National Renewable Energy Laboratory and five
independent meteorologists are verifying the model's wind speed predictions
using data collected at dozens of sties throughout the region. Wind maps for
Washington, Montana, Oregon and northern California will be completed over
the next month, and the National
Center for Appropriate Technology will be assisting with the formal
website launch. The wind map for Wyoming plus additional
"Stats Pages" with time series graphs and data tables, along with
a simple payback calculator, will be available by early March.
NWSEED is working with the
Land & Water Fund of the Rockies to develop a larger Renewable Energy
Atlas of the West covering wind, solar, biomass and geothermal resources (www.energyatlas.org).
For more information,
(Sustainable Energy for Economic Development)
2724 S. Elmwood Place
Seattle, WA 98144
206-328-2441 / eFax: 925-889-3911
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Power Company Publishes
Renewable Energy Project Funding Guide
Want to learn how to help pay for a renewable energy system? The
Montana Power Company and Sage
Mountain Center of Whitehall have published "Bright Ideas in
Renewable Energy – A Guide to Funding Your Renewable Energy
The guide includes a primer
on renewable energy, an explanation of universal system benefits funds, an
example of a renewable energy proposal, answers to frequently asked
questions, a glossary of terms, a list of Montana renewable energy dealers
and installers, a sheet describing Montana Power Company net-metering
requirements, the interconnection agreement the utility requires, and a
request for proposal form.
Ideas in Renewable Energy (PDF 2.7MB)
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OKs NorthWestern's Acquisition
of Montana Power's Utility Business
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – Jan. 29, 2002 – The Montana Public Service
Commission today unanimously approved NorthWestern Corporation's pending
acquisition of The Montana Power Company's energy transmission and
"We are gratified by the Montana Public Service Commission's
decision to unanimously approve the transaction," said Michael J.
Hanson, president and chief executive officer of NorthWestern Services
Group, NorthWestern's energy services business. "Completion of this
acquisition will combine two successful energy businesses and create one
of the northern tier's premier electricity and natural gas
The formal order from the commission is expected on Jan. 31, 2002. With
this order, NorthWestern will have received all necessary regulatory
approvals, other than anti-trust clearance. NorthWestern initially filed
notification and, on Jan. 17, 2001, received early termination of the
applicable waiting period under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust
Improvements Act of 1976 (HSR Act). Because this initial notification
expired one year following the grant of early termination, NorthWestern
refiled an application under the HSR Act on Jan. 10, 2002, and again
requested early termination of the waiting period. The new waiting period
will expire on Feb. 11, 2002, unless the company's request for early
termination is granted again or a request for additional information is
NorthWestern has also obtained all necessary financing to complete the
acquisition. The transaction, which is subject to customary closing
requirements, is expected to be completed in the next few weeks.
NorthWestern entered into an agreement in October 2000 to purchase
Montana Power's utility business for $602 million in cash and the
assumption of $488 million of existing debt, subject to certain closing
conditions and provisions included in the agreement. The transaction will
broaden NorthWestern's regional energy service area from eastern South
Dakota and central Nebraska with an additional 446,000 electricity and
natural gas customers in Montana.
NorthWestern Corporation, a FORTUNE 500 company, provides
services to more than 2 million customers across America in the energy and
communications sectors. NorthWestern’s partner entities include
NorthWestern Services Group, a provider of electric, natural gas and
communications services to Upper Plains customers; Expanets, one of the
largest mid-market providers of networked communications solutions and
services in the United States; Blue Dot, a leading provider of air
conditioning, heating, plumbing and related services; and CornerStone
Propane Partners L.P., one of the nation’s largest retail propane
Elizabeth A. Evans
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Wind Energy Association
Posts Small Wind System Slide Shows
Download the American Wind Energy Association’s Small Wind Systems Slide
Part 1 - Small Wind 101
Part 2 - Small Wind
103 (Siting Issues)
104 Grid Interconnection
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Mountain Center Releases
2001 USBC Progress Report
Sage Mountain Center of Whitehall has submitted its progress
report on projects it accomplished in 2001 under Montana Power
Company's Universal System Benefits fund.
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DEQ Supporting Olympic
Cleaner and Greener Program
The Montana Department of Environmental Quality is supporting the Olympic
Cleaner and Greener Program which is working to offset all the
environmental emissions caused by energy use associated with Olympic
Winter Games of 2001 in Salt Lake City.
You can help by encouraging city government, university and school
districts to participate in this program.
The Olympic Torch Relay is going through Montana and participating in
Olympic Cleaner and Greener Program is a great way for those "torch
communities" to participate in the Olympic Winter games.
The Olympic Cleaner and Greener Program asks participants to donate
some of the emission reductions delivered by their energy efficiency
projects and renewable energy projects to help offset the emission of
these Olympic Games. There is no cost to participate in this program. The
program helps organizations quantify and get recognized for the
environmental emission reduction benefits of their energy efficiency
The program also helps organizations learn about the potential future
benefits they may receive for emission reduction trading programs when
Call DEQ Energy Program Manager Georgia
Brensdal at 406-444-6750 or Michael
Arny at Leonardo Academy who is managing the Olympic Cleaner and
Greener Program at 877-977-9277 (Toll Free).
Brochure and sign up form
Draft letter donating emissions reductions
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Hog Farm Methane Plant Proposed in Conrad
Fed Gazette, a publication of the Federal Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, reports in
its July 2001 issue about a proposed hog farm and methane plant in Conrad, Montana. In an
article titled, "Cleaning up: Possible solutions for lessening the impact of animal
wastescientific, technological and economicare discussed," FedGazette
reports: "An even larger deal is being discussed in north central Montana, where
local developers are planning a $115 million hog-processing plant near Conrad. In a
seemingly Rube Goldberg complex of technologies, the facility would include two
"The first would slaughter pigs, digest their waste into methane and fertilizer, grow
crops and generate electricity. The second would vaporize landfill, thereby creating
nitrogen for cooling the slaughtered pigs and hydrogen for powering fuel cells. The cells
would create electricity, fed onto Montana's thirsty power grid along with electricity
generated from ethanol distilled on-site from local corn.
"Got that? Think itll work? Some
area residents are skeptical, but the promise of 500 jobs has local and state officials
interested. The Montana Growth through Agriculture Council issued a $50,000 grant to
develop a business plan."
DEQ Puts Wind Energy Atlas On Line
The Montana Wind Energy Atlas is a comprehensive analysis of wind energy data available as
of 1987. Data collected by a variety of public and private organizations at 158 wind
monitoring sites around Montana were reviewed. Data from 56 sites are analyzed in the
Atlas. Information on the sites and the data collection programs is included. While more
data have been gathered since the Atlas was published, it remains the only publicly
available collection of data from numerous sites. These historical data should be useful
for preliminary identification of potential sites. The Atlas
is available on line at the Montana Department of Environmental Quality Energize Montana
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Jacobs Wind Electric
Got Its Start in Montana
In the 1920s, Joseph and Marcellus Jacobs developed a practical wind energy system
to provide electricity to their remote Montana ranch. Recognizing the need for this energy
source, the Jacobs Wind Electric Company was founded in the mid-1920s. After moving
to Minneapolis in the early 1930s, the company established a modern manufacturing
facility to produce wind electric plants, which provided power to isolated farms and
ranches. During the next 30 years, thousands of these systems were manufactured and sold
throughout the world. Read more about the Jacobs Wind Electric Company at the Wind Turbine Industries
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Wind Workshop Presentations On Line
Presentation from the Wind Powering Montana Workshop October 3 in Big Sky have been
translated from PowerPoint into viewable web pages at the Montana Department of
Environmental Quality Energize
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Brochure Helps Landowners Answer
Key Questions about Wind Development
The University of North Dakota at Grand Forks has published a question and answer brochure
that can help Montanans faced with questions about developing wind resources on their
land. The brochure, titled What Landowners Need to Know About Attracting Wind Energy
Developers to Their Land in North Dakota, asks and answers key questions such as:
- How do I attract wind energy developers to
my land in North Dakota?
- What should I know before I speak to a wind
- What are the steps leading to wind
- How do I get wind turbines on my land?
- How do wind turbines work?
- How can wind be a resource to me, the
- Would my land be a good wind site?
- What type of deal can I expect from a wind
- What type of wind turbine(s) would be on my
- How many turbines can be put on a section of
- What happens to the electricity produced
from the wind turbines?
- How does the electricity get to where it is
- What happens when the wind doesnt
The brochure includes partial lists of
Nonprofit Wind Energy Contacts, Web Sites with Landowner Information and Wind Energy
Developers. Download the four-page (323KB) brochure.
Guide Answers Questions
about Small Wind Electric Systems
Can you use wind energy to power your home? Spiraling utility bills, the need for
uninterrupted service, and concerns over environmental impacts are generating increasing
interest in small wind energy systems. Small wind electric systems can make a significant
contribution to the nation's energy needs. Although wind turbines large enough to provide
a significant portion of the electricity needed by the average U.S. home generally require
one acre of property or more, approximately 21 million U.S. homes are built on one-acre
and larger sites, and 24 percent of the U.S. population lives in rural areas. But will a
small wind electric system work for you?
- Is there enough wind where you live?
- Do they allow tall towers in your
neighborhood or rural area?
- Do you have enough space?
- How much electricity do you need or want to
- Do you want to connect to the utility grid
or be grid independent?
- Can you afford a wind energy system?
- What does it take to install and maintain a
These are just a few of the questions you
need to answer before you can determine if a wind energy system will work for you.
Download Small Wind Electric Systems
A U. S. Consumers Guide (774KB). The guide provides basic information you
need to answer those questions and to address the many factors you need to consider to
successfully install a small wind energy system and get maximum production.
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Just what do we mean by "energy efficiency" and "renewable energy"?
Energy-efficient products take less energy to operate and save energy and money
by reducing heating, cooling and lighting requirements in buildings. Renewable
energy comes from resources that are easily replenished such as the sun, wind, and water.
Get energy information
for your home, business or workplace, school or transportation.
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Want to Know
about Wind Energy?
Take an Internet Tour
Want to know where wind energy comes from? Want to learn about the Coriolis Force, global
winds, geostrophic wind, wind speed measurement, the wind rose, wind shear, and wind
shade? Need to find a wind shade calculator, information about wind turbine components,
rotor blades, and wind energy economics? Answers to all your questions about wind energy
can be found at the Danish Wind Turbine Manufacturers Associations Guided Tour on
Wind Energy. The website features more than 100 animated pages and calculators on wind
resources, wind turbine technology, economics, and environmental aspects of wind energy.
Each of the nine tours is a self-contained unit, so you may take the tours in any
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for Proposals Available Online
To assure continued funding for public purposes programs, the Legislature
approved a Universal System Benefits Charge, or USBC. Montana's USBC is
based on a percentage of electric utility revenues. For the typical
homeowner, the benefits charge is about $1 per month. Montana's USBC
expenditures began in 1999. Under the universal system benefits programs,
all utility customers pay a charge (assessed at the meter) to ensure
continued funding of energy conservation, renewables and low-income energy
Although all electric generation technologies have some environmental impact, some,
which do not use fossil fuels, are considered widely to be more environmentally friendly
than others. One goal of Universal System Benefits goal is to encourage the development of
renewable energy resources projects that use environmentally friendly or
"green" technology to generate electricity. USB funding provides
incentives for solar, wind, or geothermal projects.
Last year, Montana Power Company received more than 20 renewable energy applications
through Requests for Proposals (RFPs), of which 15 received funding. These projects ranged
from researching wind energy opportunities in Montana, to installing solar heating
equipment at customers' homes or businesses. Almost all of the funded projects also
included public education or demonstration sites to create awareness about the
opportunities and benefits of renewable energy installations.
about USB projects and download the Renewable Energy Request for Proposals (RFP) in both
PDF and Word format.
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