Wind in Montana

Judith Gap Wind Farm, Credit: Montana Film Office

 

Montana is ranked among the top five for wind power potential and several large, utility-scale wind farms are in operation. A recent report by the Northwest Power and Conservation Council indicates that Montana's wind resources may be consistently more productive than the Columbia River Gorge.

Montana's total capacity of installed commercial wind turbines was about 650 megawatts in 2015. 

About 7 percent of the electricity generated in Montana that year came from wind, a percentage that is expected to continue to grow.

 The following links offer more information about wind and wind development opportunities in Montana. 

Wind Energy Facility Bonding Rule Development

House Bill 216 (HB216) passed the Legislature and was signed by the Governor in May 2017. The bill requires owners of wind generation facilities 25 megawatts and greater to submit decommissioning plans and bonds to the Department of Environmental Quality and requires DEQ to adopt rules by January 1, 2018 prescribing:

  1. - The standards and procedures for the submission of reasonable bonds with good and sufficient surety by the owners of wind generation facilities
  2. - The collection of penalties;
  3. - Criteria and the process for releasing the bond;
  4. - DEQ's use of a bond in the event that the owner of a wind generation facility fails to decommission a wind generation facility;
  5. - Information required by DEQ to determine bond requirements, and;
  6. - Any additional requirements to ensure compliance with the bill

DEQ is seeking stakeholder and public input to develop wind bonding rules in accordance with HB216. The agency presented a general outline of the rule sections and overview of stakeholder and public engagement process at the September 12, 2017 meeting of the Montana Generation & Transmission Working Group. The agency held a stakeholders meeting on Thursday, October 5, 2017. To listen to the stakeholder meeting, please use the links below:

  • Oct. 5, 2017 Stakeholder Meeting Audio Part 1
  • Oct. 5, 2017 Stakeholder Meeting Audio Part 2

 

Stakeholders and any member of the public can review the draft rule here. Please provide comments via email to Meranda Sikes: msikes@mt.gov Comments need to be received by DEQ before 5:00 p.m. (MST), Friday, October 13, 2017.

To be added to the interested parties list for the wind bonding rule developments please send your contact information to Kyla Maki at: kmaki@mt.gov

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