NorthWestern Energy, Invenergy Wind Sign MOU to Buy 24-MW Wind Power Project in Montana

NorthWestern Energy (NYSE: NWE) has signed a memorandum of understanding to purchase a 24-megawatt wind farmin north central Montana to be developed and constructed by Invenergy Wind Development Montana, LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Invenergy Wind LLC ("Invenergy").

The wind energy project, which was submitted to NorthWestern in response to a 2009 community renewable resource solicitation, is consistent with recent Montana legislation that provides for the reintegration of the utility. The wind power project is to be built on a portion of Invenergy’s proposed 200 megawatt Big Otter Wind Energy Project site near Belt, Montana. It is intended to be placed into the Montana utility’s rate base, with both the energy and associated renewable energy credits used to meet future renewable portfolio standard obligations.

Execution of a definitive agreement is expected in the first quarter of 2011. Submission of an application for pre-approval by the Montana Public Service Commission would follow, with an anticipated decision in early 2012. Construction would commence upon a favorable ruling, with commercial operation projected to begin by the end of 2012.

Invenergy also is the owner and operator of the Judith Gap Wind Energy Center in Harlowton, Montana.