Commission grants MTSUN solar project a contract extension - | News, Weather & Sports in Billings, Montana

Commission grants MTSUN solar project a contract extension

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The Montana Public Service Commission granted to extend a solar developer's contract from 10 to 15 years. The commission extended a decision for a proposed 80-megawatt solar farm near Billings.

KULR 8's Briana Monte spoke with communications director for the Montana Public Service Commission Chris Puyear who said North Western Energy is legally mandated to buy this power. That law also requires the consumers shouldn't have to over pay for the electricity produced from the project.

Puyear said Montana Sun Solar Project came to the commission in December of 2016 and asked the commission to resolve a dispute between themselves and North Western Energy regarding the rate and contract terms for the sale of the renewable energy project. He said it was then up to the commission to determine the length of the contract and rate. He also said the commission removed a carbon-cost component from the rates customers would pay for electricity.

Puyear said this decision is estimated to save rate payers 17 million dollars over the life of that 15 year contract, which is a substantial amount of money. He explained why this is important to the Magic City.

"This decision is important to the community of Billings because with the commission actions on Thursday to extend the contract 15 years, the project is one step closer to being built," Puyear said.

If you're wondering where this solar farm will be located, Puyear tells me the solar farm would be built near the Billings airport. 

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