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Montana Co-op Exits Bankruptcy

By Derrill Holly

Electric Co-op Today


A Montana electric cooperative will exit bankruptcy by paying its secured creditors $21 million, liquidating a 46-megawatt power plant, and eventually disbanding.

The Highwood Generation Station near Great Falls will be sold under terms of the backruptcy agreement.

Under a plan that projects four years of rate stability to its four remaining member distribution co-ops, Southern Montana Electric Generation and Transmission Cooperative will sell power to those co-ops at a wholesale rate of about 7.1 cents per kilowatt hour.

The G&T’s board may change rates to meet financial obligations, including required payments to the secured creditors.

“Wholesale power is about 60 percent of Mid-Yellowstone Electric Cooperative’s cost,” said Ted Church, general manager of the Hysham, Mont.-based distribution co-op. “If other costs increase, that may necessitate a retail rate increase for members, but at this time it appears any increase will be minor.”

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