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NorthWestern Energy’s downtown substation upgrade will improve service, enhance aesthetics in Caras Park area

Date: Apr 15, 2022

Missoula, Mont. – April 15, 2022 – NorthWestern Energy is upgrading the substation serving downtown Missoula and the University of Montana district to increase capacity to accommodate growth in the areas while improving service reliability for our existing customers.

The Missoula City Substation #1 is adjacent to East Caras Park. Originally built in the 1920s, the substation has been in continual use with investments and maintenance. This $10 million upgrade project will take the substation offline for a thorough rebuild.  

“This project includes improving the aesthetics of the substation, located in a well-used park in our community,” said NorthWestern Energy Community Relations Manager Steve Clawson. “A new solid masonry wall that complements the exteriors of existing buildings in the area will surround the upgraded substation. The overhead distribution lines on Pattee Street will be converted to underground lines and the transmission line will be realigned to enhance the area’s view shed.”

Missoula Park and Recreation and its partners will coordinate public art displays on the substation’s exterior walls when construction is complete. 

Two temporary substations will serve NorthWestern Energy’s customers during substation construction, one in city park land near the Missoula City Substation #1 that provides greenspace for the community and the other on University of Montana land  west of Madison Street Bridge. Equipment and materials are being moved to the area and will be located in a parking lot adjacent to the Missoula City Substation #1. These temporary facilities will be removed when the new substation comes online. The land will be returned to its original condition and returned to community use.

“About 50 parking spaces currently being used by a contractor for the Higgins Avenue bridge project will be used by NorthWestern Energy’s crews for work and equipment for the substation upgrade, which will be completed in early 2023,” said Clawson. “We appreciate the guidance of Missoula Parks and Recreation as we work to minimize the impact and inconvenience for the public, especially Caras Park users, during this project.”

The north shore Ron MacDonald Riverfront Trail will remain closed from Pattee Street through Caras Park during Beartracks Bridge and Caras Park construction. 

NorthWestern Energy will provide advanced notice for intermittent, short-term trail closures required during the project.

“We thank the public in advance for their patience during this work, which will be a welcomed enhancement for this beautiful community space,” said Clawson.

For more information about this project, visit https://www.northwesternenergy.com/about-us/our-projects/missoula-city-substation-rebuild

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About NorthWestern Energy (Nasdaq: NWE)

NorthWestern Corporation, doing business as NorthWestern Energy, provides essential energy infrastructure and valuable services that enrich lives and empower communities while serving as long-term partners to our customers and communities. We are working to deliver safe, reliable, and innovative energy solutions that create value for customers, communities, employees, and investors. This includes bridging our history as a regulated utility safely providing low-cost and reliable service with our future as a globally-aware company offering a broader array of services performed by highly-adaptable and skilled employees. We provide electricity and / or natural gas to approximately 753,600 customers in Montana, South Dakota, Nebraska and Yellowstone National Park. We have provided service in South Dakota and Nebraska since 1923 and in Montana since 2002. More information is available on the company's Web site at www.northwesternenergy.com.

 

Media Contacts:

Jo Dee Black

866-622-8081

jodee.black@northwestern.com