Colstrip power plant gets new operator as PPL spins off Montana assets

MATTHEW BROWN, Associated Press

Colstrip power plant gets new operator as PPL spins off Montana assets

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — The longtime operator of one of the largest coal-fueled power plants in the West has completed a spin-off of assets that include the 2,000-megawatt Colstrip Generating Station in southeastern Montana.

Pennsylvania-based PPL Corp. on Monday announced it had spun off subsidiary PPL Montana and assets elsewhere as the company seeks to focus on more reliable markets.

Colstrip will be controlled by the newly created Talen Energy Corp., also based in Pennsylvania. The 360-worker Montana plant serves wholesale and industrial customers across the Pacific Northwest.

Along with the plant, Talen is taking on some less-desirable baggage: Leaking coal-ash ponds that polluted groundwater sources around Colstrip and the dismantling of Billings' recently-closed J.E. Corette coal plant.

Spokesman David Hoffman says Talen has the financial resources to deal with those issues.

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