MPSC Issues Final Order Approving NorthWestern’s Mill Creek Generating Station

May 19, 2009

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. and BUTTE, Mont., May 19 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ – The Montana Public Service Commission (MPSC) has formally approved the Company’s construction of the Mill Creek Generating Station (MCGS) near Anaconda, Montana.

“We appreciate the commission’s thoughtful and thorough deliberation. This is our first new electric generating resource in Montana, and is a key step towards our vision of being a fully integrated, regulated utility. It will enable us to integrate additional wind and other resources on the system,” said Bob Rowe, NorthWestern Energy’s President and CEO.

The 150 megawatt Mill Creek Generating Station is intended to provide regulating resources to balance the company’s energy supply and transmission system in Montana to maintain reliability and enable additional wind power to be integrated onto the network to meet its current renewable energy portfolio needs. The facility is designed to enable increasing or decreasing energy production within seconds to follow load fluctuations on the system.

“This plant will help us achieve many of the objectives that are important to us and to our customers including energy supply and transmission stability and reliability as we integrate renewable energy on to our system. We also intend to work with local residents throughout the construction process to ensure that we continue to be a good neighbor,” Rowe added.

Among other actions, the commissioners determined the $81 million cost of the turbines was prudent, approved the plant’s return on equity at 10.25 percent and debt at 6.5 percent with a 50/50 capital structure and accepted the plant’s carbon offset plan as filed. The plant is estimated to cost approximately $201 million; the remainder of the costs will be submitted to the MPSC for review and approval once the plant is complete.

The company is in the process of obtaining bids and contracts from vendors and will commence construction this fall. The plant is scheduled to go into operation by December 31, 2010.

About NorthWestern Energy

NorthWestern Energy provides electricity and natural gas in the Upper Midwest and Northwest, serving approximately 656,000 customers in Montana, South Dakota and Nebraska. More information on NorthWestern Energy is available on the Company’s Web site at www.northwesternenergy.com.

SOURCE NorthWestern Corporation

Source: newswire

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