On Thursday, a public meeting featuring the Montana Public Service Commission along with representatives from Northwestern Energy was held to allow the public the opportunity to voice their opinions on Northwestern Energy’s Electricity Supply Resource Procurement Plan.
Once a state with too much electricity for its customers know faces the potential of not having enough electricity to serve people during critical times of peak load like in times of extreme hot or cold temperatures.
To address this issue, Northwestern Energy has put together a electricity supply resource procurement plan that shows customers data along with identifying potential resources that would be used to provide the needed electricity during times of peak load.
Public relations specialist for Northwestern Energy Jo Dee Black knows that there are split feelings on the procurement plan, however electricity is vital to every Montanan and thinks the public meeting is a good way to try and cater to the overall needs of the customer.
Black says “This utility service is critical in everything we do. From our homes to our businesses to our economy and it’s a very important topic and we want to make sure all Montanan’s have a voice going forward.”
Attendees such as Ed Gulick was one of many who disagreed with Northwestern’s idea of using thermal resources as part of the procurement plan.
“The plan absolutely should be including renewable energy as well as different forms of storage because sometimes the sun don’t shine and the wind don’t blow so you need to have storage, that takes care of that,” says Gulick.
Black says the procurement plan is a living document and sees updates every three years based off of how market conditions change along with changes in demand.
Black goes on to say that it is required for utilities to secure resources that are in the best interest for customers long term and at a low cost.
The final public meeting will be held Friday, January 3rd in Lewistown at the Lewistown Public Library.