Colstrip Operator Wants More of Coal-fired Plant in Montana

Talen Energy confirmed that it was seeking to acquire some of Puget Sound Energy's share of Unit 4 of the plant

By Associated Press

BILLINGS – A company that operates a coal-fired power plant in Montana says it wants to buy more of the plant from a Washington state utility.

Talen Energy, a Pennsylvania-based company that runs the Colstrip power plant, confirmed Friday that it was seeking to acquire some of Puget Sound Energy’s share of Unit 4 of the plant, The Billings Gazette reports.

“We believe that acquiring a greater share in Colstrip is economically attractive because of the contracted cash flows from Puget’s agreement to continue to buy power from the plant for several years,” Taryne Williams, a Talen spokeswoman, said in an email.

NorthWestern Energy announced in December it had reached an agreement to buy Puget Sound Energy’s 25% share of Unit 4 of the Colstrip plant for $1.

On Friday, NorthWestern Energy informed the Montana Public Service Commission that its proposed purchase could be reduced to as little as 92.5 megawatts of generating capacity if the Talen deal goes through. The utility is asking the PSC to pre-approve the purchase.

Puget Sound owns 185 megawatts of Unit 4 capacity. After selling its share, it plans to buy 90 megawatts of power from the new owners through May 2025, when it will no longer rely on coal-fired power.

Talen and Puget Sound Energy shared ownership of Colstrip Units 1 and 2, which shut down in January. Their shares totaled 307 megawatts each.

Stay Connected with the Daily Roundup.

Sign up for our newsletter and get the best of the Beacon delivered every day to your inbox.