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Proposed Solar Farm Eligible for 15-year Contract

Rates would be $28 or $37 per megawatt hour, depending on demand

BILLINGS — Montana utility regulators have approved more favorable contract terms for a proposed solar farm west of Billings, but developers still aren’t sure the numbers work out.

The Public Service Commission on Thursday approved a 15-year contract for MTSUN’s proposed $110 million, three-quarter square mile (2 square kilometer) solar farm. Rates would be $28 or $37 per megawatt hour, depending on demand.

MTSUN appealed in July after the PSC approved a 10-year contract with rates at $20 per Mwh. States must set price and contract lengths for renewable energy projects under a federal law that encourages such projects. MTSUN wants to sell the electricity to NorthWestern Energy.

Developer Mark Klein told The Billings Gazette he’s not sure the numbers pencil out, but says the company still plans to build that project.

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