NorthWestern Energy renames power plant to honor memory of executive officer

Butte, Mont., March 28, 2011 — The NorthWestern Corp. board of directors renamed the recently commissioned Mill Creek Generating Station as the Dave Gates Generating Station at Mill Creek to posthumously recognize Gates' contributions to the company.

"The NorthWestern Energy family is mourning the loss of a great leader and a great friend," said Bob Rowe, president and CEO. "Dave was a mentor, a friend and a visionary. Over the past week, we've been reminded of the extraordinary contributions Dave made to the company, to our communities and to the entire utility industry. As the leader who oversaw the successful completion of the Mill Creek Generating Station, the board believed it was appropriate to rename the plant in permanent memory and recognition of the man and friend that we will forever miss."

The Dave Gates Generating Station at Mill Creek is NorthWestern Energy's first new generating plant to be built in Montana and marks an important step in the company's post-deregulation strategy to operate in Montana as a vertically integrated utility.

The natural gas-fired plant, located near Anaconda, Mont., entered commercial service on January 1, 2011 and provides regulating services to NorthWestern's transmission system in Montana.

At the time of his death, Gates was responsible for NorthWestern's electric and natural gas transmission, and electric and natural gas supply. However, Gates held several different engineering and management positions during his 35-year career that began as a summer laborer in Lewistown, Montana.

NorthWestern Energy provides electricity and natural gas in the Upper Midwest and Northwest, serving about 665,000 customers in Montana, South Dakota and Nebraska.

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