Wind farm won’t move forward until year’s end - Eight turbines proposed for Anaconda’s C Hill

2012-11-20T01:45:00Z Wind farm won’t move forward until year’s end - Eight turbines proposed for Anaconda’s C HillBy George Plaven of The Montana Standard Montana Standard
November 20, 2012 1:45 am  • 

ANACONDA — The fate of a controversial wind farm proposed atop Anaconda’s C Hill remains on hold until at least the end of the year.

NorthWestern Energy continues to evaluate the project — one of about 30 proposals submitted from across the state — as the company seeks up to 45 megawatts in renewable generation from two or three community-owned developments.

If selected, the wind farm at C Hill would consist of eight, 400-foot tall turbines generating 19.2 megawatts of electricity, or enough to power an estimated 6,000 homes in the area. By comparison, the famous smelter stack is 585 feet tall.

Anaconda-Deer Lodge County began negotiations for a wind energy development lease in 2009, working with the Philipsburg-based Pintler Power LLC on the initial research. It then got in touch with Exergy Integrated Systems, which put together and submitted the proposal in August.

But Butch Larcombe, spokesman with NorthWestern Energy, said they are still working with an energy consultant to evaluate the applications and have not reached any decisions.

“It is absolutely not a done deal,” Larcombe told The Montana Standard. “We have to look at these (proposals) to assess them fairly and honestly.”

The Public Service Commission has stipulated that NorthWestern must generate 15 percent of its electrical capacity from renewable sources by 2015. It is possible NorthWestern could look further into several proposals or none at all.

Average wind speed and data collected at C Hill show the resource is adequate for energy development, according to Pintler Power. C Hill is also located close to an existing NorthWestern transmission substation.

Peggy Beltrone, project manager with Exergy, previously said the wind farm would bring along a number of construction jobs, several permanent positions and highlight redevelopment of Superfund land.

A recent Standard poll of readers found a majority would support the project: of the 739 votes cast, 523 were in favor; 195 were opposed; and 21 had no opinion.

Critics question whether a wind farm would be noisy, ugly and detract from open space on C Hill. Proponents feel it would make beneficial use of the land.

NorthWestern is not expected to compile a short list of finalists until late December or early January.

George Plaven may be reached at 496-5597, or via email at Follow him at

Copyright 2016 Montana Standard. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

No Comments Posted.

Civil Dialogue

We provide this community forum for readers to exchange ideas and opinions on the news of the day. Passionate views, pointed criticism and critical thinking are welcome. Name-calling, crude language and personal abuse are not welcome. Moderators will monitor comments with an eye toward maintaining a high level of civility in this forum. Our comment policy explains the rules of the road for registered commenters. If you receive an error after submitting a comment, please contact us at

If your comment was removed or isn't appearing online, perhaps:

  1. You called someone an idiot, a racist, a dope, a moron, etc. Please, no name-calling or profanity (or veiled profanity -- #$%^&*).
  2. You rambled, failed to stay on topic or exhibited troll-like behavior intended to hijack the discussion at hand.
  3. YOU SHOUTED YOUR COMMENT IN ALL CAPS. This is hard to read and annoys readers.
  4. You have issues with a business. Have a bad meal? Feel you were overcharged at the store? New car is a lemon? Contact the business directly with your customer service concerns.
  5. You included an e-mail address or phone number, pretended to be someone you aren't or offered a comment that makes no sense.
  6. You accused someone of a crime or assigned guilt or punishment to someone suspected of a crime.
  7. Your comment is in really poor taste.

NOTE: Our comment policy has recently changed. Real names will now display next to comments you post. If you are a current user, you can update your profile to include your real name by logging into the site here.

Add Comment
You must Login to comment.

Click here to get an account it's free and quick

Montana Standard News Topics