NorthWestern Energy to buy 11 hydropower plants

Utility company NorthWestern Energy has submitted a formal request to the Montana Public Service Commission for the purchase of 11 hydroelectric power projects and related assets from PPL Montana. The projects have a combined output capacity of about 633 MW.

PPL Montana, a unit of PPL Corp., announced the deal in September, saying it was still subject to pending approvals by the Montana Public Service Commission and Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).

Included in the $900 million acquisition are the Thompson Falls Dam on the Clark Fork River; Kerr Dam on the Flathead River; Madison Dam on the Madison River; Hauser, Holter, Black Eagle, Rainbow, Cochrane, Ryan and Morony dams along the Missouri River; and Mystic Lake Dam on West Rosebud Creek.

NorthWestern Energy said the filing outlines various long-term customer benefits, while also confirming commitments to proceed with the transfer of Kerr Dam to the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes.

The companies said they expect to close in the third quarter of 2014.

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