BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — A NorthWestern Energy executive says the utility would have to walk away from a $900 million deal to buy 11 hydroelectric dams in Montana if forced to make changes recommended by the state Consumer Counsel.
NorthWestern vice president John Hines said Thursday the company would go to the open market to get more power if the deal with PPL Montana falls through,which could drive up rates.
The Montana Consumer Counsel is a state agency that represents consumers in utility hearings. It says the deal would increase electricity bills more than twice as much as South Dakota-based NorthWestern claims.
The Public Service Commission must approve the dam sale. Commissioners on Thursday in Billings held one of a series of listening sessions on the proposal.
A public hearing is planned in July.