Last week, temperatures across Montana ranged from -10 to -36 degrees, with the coldest spot south of the Little Belt Mountains in Meagher County.
Montanans relied on NorthWestern Energy to keep their homes and businesses operating safely. NorthWestern Energy’s Montana customers’ demand for energy, both gas and electric, was at an all-time peak. according to NorthWestern Energy Vice President Transmission Mike Cashell, however, there was almost no wind which helped created a shortage. To fill the gap, the company went out into the market to purchase energy, but at such times prices increase dramatically because of the increased demand. Market prices on Wednesday were ranging from $50 to $100 per megawatt, compared with about $35 to $40 per megawatt Tuesday, Feb. 22.