01 Jun 2015
2015 marks the tenth anniversary of Montana’s Renewable Power Production and Rural Economic Development Act of 2005, also known as the Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS). It also marks the final step in the RPS, now requiring public utilities (and other competitive electricity providers) to purchase 15% of their retail power from renewable resources. The Act succeeded by providing the foundation for development of new, clean, beneficial, and cost effective energy resources in Montana while stimulating the economy. During this decade, wind power has grown from zero to 6.5% of Montana’s electricity generation. As a rural development strategy, wind generation properties in Montana now have a market value near $1 Billion - all outside of towns and cities. We will also discuss other promising forms of renewable energy and storage that have not been widely adopted in the State, but likely hold promise for the future.