Moody’s Investors Service Upgrades NorthWestern’s Credit Ratings

February 1, 2011

SIOUX FALLS, S.D., Feb. 1, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — NorthWestern Corporation d/b/a NorthWestern Energy (NYSE: NWE) today announced that Moody’s Investors Service (“Moody’s”) upgraded NorthWestern’s ratings as follows:

                                     To             From
                                     ---            ----

    Senior Unsecured Bank Credit
     Facility                        Baa1           Baa2
    First Mortgage Bonds             A2             A3

Moody’s outlook on NorthWestern’s ratings is now “Stable.”

Moody’s cited several factors contributing to the upgrade, including debt reduction, refinancing at lower interest rates, and reasonably supportive regulatory treatment in its three regulatory jurisdictions.

All of NorthWestern’s senior secured debt is rated single “A” by Moody’s, Standard and Poor’s Rating Group, and Fitch Ratings.

“This is further indication that the rating agencies continue to recognize our strong credit profile with consistent cash flows derived from our regulated electric and gas jurisdictions,” said Brian Bird, Vice President, Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer.

“Sound ratings allow us to access credit at more favorable terms, providing our customers greater price stability than would otherwise be the case. This is especially valuable to our customers as we continue to invest in infrastructure dedicated to serve our customers,” added Bob Rowe, President and CEO, Bob Rowe.

Below is a chart outlining NorthWestern’s credit ratings at a glance.

            Senior Secured    Senior Unsecured
            Rating            Rating             Outlook
            --------------    ----------------   -------
    Fitch                  A-               BBB+         Stable
    Moody's                A2               Baa1         Stable

    S&P                    A-                BBB         Stable

About NorthWestern Energy

NorthWestern Energy is one of the largest providers of electricity and natural gas in the Upper Midwest and Northwest, serving approximately 661,000 customers in Montana, South Dakota and Nebraska. For more information about NorthWestern Energy, visit our Web site at www.northwesternenergy.com.

SOURCE NorthWestern Corporation

Source: newswire

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