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small brand Our Clean Energy Portfolio


Electric Vehicles

To help reduce greenhouse gas emissions, NorthWestern Energy is adding electric vehicles to our fleet.
Learn more >

Our commitment to a clean energy future

To celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day, Edison Electric Institute released its annual clean energy factsheet Electric Companies Are Committed to a Clean Energy Future: 10 Things You Should Know.

Here are some interesting facts:
  • As of year-end 2019, the electric power industry’s carbon dioxide emissions were 33% below 2005 levels.
  • Almost 40% of the electricity in the United States is generated by carbon-free resources (e.g., nuclear, wind, hydro, and solar). NorthWestern Energy has already surpassed that percentage, with 58% of its electric generation coming from carbon-free resources.
  • Carbon emissions for the electric power industry are now 15% below transportation sector emissions.

Our Carbon Reduction Vision for Montana

NorthWestern Energy commits to reduce the carbon intensity of its electric energy portfolio for Montana by 90% by 2045.

Read our Carbon Reduction Vision for Montana >

Today, more than 60% of the energy produced by NorthWestern Energy for Montana comes from renewable and carbon-free sources, including hydro, wind and solar. Over the last decade, we have already reduced the carbon intensity of our energy generation in Montana by more than 50%. In the last five years alone, we have invested more than $1 billion in clean energy projects, including hydro, wind and solar facilities.

The following chart shows the significant reduction in carbon intensity we have achieved since 2010, as well as our vision for the future.

Carbon reduction chart

Already more than 60% carbon free

2019_MT_electric_generation_chartThe foundation of our energy generation is our carbon-free hydro system that is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Wind generation is a close second and continues to grow. While utility-scale solar energy is not a significant portion of our energy mix today, we expect it to continue to grow along with energy storage. Plants such as Colstrip Unit 4 and the Dave Gates Generating Station provide valuable, on-demand energy that can be called upon, or backed down, as customer demand for energy increases or decreases within an hour, and on an hourly and daily basis.


Learn more about Our Carbon Reduction Vision for Montana.

NorthWestern Energy reshaped and diversified its overall electric generation portfolio when it purchased 11 Montana hydroelectric facilities in November 2014. Those dams, when combined with other owned and contracted sources of electricity, give NorthWestern an overall portfolio where more than 56 percent of the electricity comes from water, wind or solar generation.


2019_SD_electric_generation_chartIn South Dakota, we purchased an 80-MW wind energy plant in 2014, aiding the company's reduction in our carbon footprint over the past five years.

Note: NWE periodically sells company-generated Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) in South Dakota with proceeds benefiting customers. We also do not purchase all RECs associated with contracted wind generation. Accordingly, we cannot represent that all energy delivered to retail customers qualifies as renewable or recycled energy.


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