On Thursday, Two Dot Wind LLC of Billings asked the Montana Public Service Commission to reject Northwestern Energy’s plan to charge what they feel is an exorbitant integration fee to add power from the company’s wind generators into Northwestern’s electrical grid. Northwestern’s position is that if they are required to buy the four megawatts of power generated by Two Dot Wind at Martinsdale and Livingston, they will also need to purchase an equal amount of regulating reserve power to make up for times when the wind isn’t blowing, and that Two Dot Wind should be responsible for paying for the extra costs of integrating that power output. Two Dot Wind and representatives of other small wind generating companies contend that the cost of integrating their power into the grid is small, and that they should not have to pay unless Northwestern comes up with a study that shows the actual cost. They fear that if the Public Service Commission allows the higher cost, wind energy companies will abandon projects in Montana in favor of neighboring states with lower integration costs. Two Dot Wind was founded by Billings doctor David Healow, and owns wind turbines at the Martinsdale Hutterite Colony and just north of Two Dot.
The Helena Independent Record article by Mike Dennison on this story can be found at www.helenair.com/articles/2008/03/07/top/55st_080307_wind.txt