Montana bills to alter renewable energy standards

MONTANA - Lawmakers are considering changing Montana's renewable energy purchasing requirements through a number of measures during the 2009 legislative session.

Two of the measures — House Bills 207 and 208 — deal with a rule that is set to take effect in 2010 and requires utilities to buy energy from small producers.

One measure increases the qualifying size for a small producer, from 5 megawatts to 25 megawatts. The other extends the compliance deadline for utilities by two years.

Both of the bills have passed out of the Senate Energy and Telecommunications Committee.

Opponents argue the bills are part of a cluster that would undermine renewable-energy standards passed in 2005.

NorthWestern Energy and Montana-Dakota Utilities Co. support House Bills 207 and 208.


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