“Our customers are the citizens and businesses in Montana, all of them,” Jackson told court. “And Colstrip Units 3 and 4 provided a significant contribution to NorthWestern Corporation’s ability to deliver electricity to its customers.”
NorthWestern Energy, by its own count, has about 379,000 metered customers in Montana. Its 30% share of Colstrip Unit 4 is about 222 megawatts of capacity, which the utility identifies as 15.6% of its Montana electric generation portfolio. There are hundreds of thousands of Montanans who get their electricity from 25 different electric cooperatives or the state’s other monopoly utility, Montana Dakota Utilities.
Worst case scenario for NorthWestern is multiple courts trying the Colstrip cases for months to come, Jackson said.
A flurry of court actions were filed by Colstrip owners this spring. The first was a request for arbitration filed in Spokane Superior Court, which was followed by a lawsuit filed by the…