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Southern, creditors reach deal

By Matthew Brown

Associated Press

BILLINGS — A bankrupt Montana electric cooperative announced a tentative deal with creditors Wednesday that would keep customer rates at current levels and allow it to unload a largely unused power plant near Great Falls that helped drag it into bankruptcy.
Southern Montana Electric Generation and Transmission Cooperative serves more than 11,000 customers in central and eastern Montana.
It fell into bankruptcy in October 2011 after building the now-idle Highwood gas plant and getting locked into unfavorable contracts to buy more power than it needed.
Interim manager Scott Sweeney says the proposed deal would allow Southern’s four smaller member co-ops break up after four years. Other members at the start of the bankruptcy already have exited, taking with them most of the parent co-op’s customers.

To read more in the Great Falls Tribune, click here