NorthWestern Energy Corp. has given Compass Wind of Denver the go-ahead to build an $86.1 million wind farm in central Montana.

NorthWestern spokeswoman Claudia Rapkoch says the utility will take ownership of the 40-megawatt, 25-turbine wind farm in Judith Basin County when it is completed.

Compass president Chris McCall told the Great Falls Tribune preliminary work will begin next week. The foundations will be poured in May, followed by the delivery of the turbines in July. The project is scheduled to be complete in October.

The wind energy will enable NorthWestern to meet renewable energy standards.

The Public Service Commission approved including the wind farm into the company's regulated base, allowing NorthWestern to pass on the cost of building the wind farm to ratepayers.

NorthWestern issued its "notice to proceed" on Tuesday.