News & Features

Solar Project to Supply Montana Electric Cooperative Power

More than half of the state’s 25 electric co-operatives are expected to benefit from the Cabin Creek project

BILLINGS — A solar project expected to be the largest of its kind in Montana will provide power to thousands of electric cooperative customers.

The Basin Electric Power Cooperative contracted to use the Cabin Creek Solar Project to supply power to its Montana members for 15 years, The Billings Gazette reports.

Basin includes 141 cooperatives across nine states. The cooperative group serves 3 million electric customers with coal, nuclear, hydropower, and renewable resources.

About 400,000 Montana residents receive power from the state’s customer-owned cooperatives. Prices vary depending on each cooperative’s costs for transmission and services.

More than half of the state’s 25 electric co-operatives are expected to benefit from the Cabin Creek project.

The project’s developer, Clénera Renewable Energy of Boise, Idaho, said there will be two 75-megawatt solar arrays within 10 miles (16 kilometers) of Baker, Montana.

The solar project is expected to pay $8 million in property taxes to Fallon County over its 35-year lifespan, plus an additional $5 million to the state.

Construction is expected to begin in 2022 or early 2023 and will create about 300 construction jobs, said Jared McKee, Clénera director of business development.

The solar project will require five full-time workers after completion.