Montana Power Company has whittled its list of proposals down to four from the 15 it received as a result of its solicitation for 150 MW of wind power in April (Windpower monthly, May 2001). The final selection from among the four proposals, which represent 640 MW and multiple sites, has been slowed due to low market prices in the West this summer. Although those prices exceeded $500/MWh earlier this year, summer prices have been surprisingly low at about $30/MWh. The projects are all very close in terms of timelines and costs, says Montana Power's Dave Ryan. He suspects the final selection could include just one contractor, but multiple sites of about 50 MW each. The 15 proposals received by the utility included 24 projects. Those outside Montana Power service area, which include proposals in eastern Montana and Wyoming, were not seriously considered due to the additional costs for transmission, says Ryan.
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