Washington Bill Could Pull Plug on Montana Coal Plants and Industries
Concerns are rising in Montana over a legislative debate in Washing State. A bill there, could open the door to Puget Sound Energy buying up shares that Talen Energy has in Coal Strip Power plants. According to Montana Public Service Commissioner Travis Kavulla, Talen has expressed a desire to keep the Colstrip Plants running, but that is not the case with Puget Sound Energy.
"The deal that Puget seems likely to strike, and this seems a little bit crazy in my view, is to buy out Talen's share of Colstrip 1 and 2 for the purpose of shutting it down, and then take an interest in the newer coal units in Colstrip to supply them with their replacement energy," Kavulla said.
Kavulla said that the remaining Colstrip plants may be able to supply Puget Sound Energy’s needs, but many Montana industries could be caught without a source of power.
"We are talking about REC Silicon, some of the big concrete factories, the refinery in Great Falls, the refineries in Billings, all of those people are suddenly subject to not having a clear path of supply, if this transaction were to happen," Kavulla said.
The Washington State bill is gaining steam, it passed out of committee last Thursday and is headed to a debate on the floor of the state senate. Not to be outdone, the Oregon legislature also recently passed a bill to cut all energy ties to coal plants by 2035.