Energy & Telecommunications Interim Committee Heading to Kalispell for May Meeting - news.mt.gov

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Energy & Telecommunications Interim Committee Heading to Kalispell for May Meeting

Thursday, May 5, 2016/Categories: Legislative Branch/Tags: Energy & Telecommunications Interim Committee

The Energy and Telecommunications Interim Committee (ETIC) will check out Hungry Horse Dam, visit a biomass co-generation facility in Columbia Falls, and learn more about a community solar project while in the Flathead for a meeting May 12-13.

The ETIC meets May 12-13 at the Flathead Electric Cooperative, 2510 U.S. Highway 2 East in Kalispell. The meeting begins at 9 a.m. on the 12th and will be held in the Community Room.

In October 2013, F.H. Stoltze Land and Lumber Co. unveiled its biomass fueled co-generator. The ETIC will visit the Columbia Falls facility and see firsthand how the co-generator produces steam to run Stoltze’s operations.

The ETIC also will visit the generating units in the power plant at Hungry Horse Dam. The Bureau of Reclamation is examining options for upgrading the units, which have been in service since the dam opened in 1953. On Friday, ETIC members will visit Flathead Electric’s landfill gas-to-energy plant – the first of its kind in Montana.

The committee will finish up its energy tours with a visit to Flathead Electric’s Solar Utility Network or SUN project. The cooperative is building the solar array and allowing its members to purchase panels. Each month participants receive a credit on their bill for the amount of electricity generated at their panel. As the ETIC works through its study of net metering, as outlined in Senate Joint Resolution No. 12, questions about the use of community solar across Montana have been brought up by renewable energy organizations and utilities.

While in the Flathead, the ETIC also will continue with its work on House Joint Resolution No. 7, a review of next-generation 9-1-1 (NG911). The committee will review a draft report on the subject and discuss three pieces of proposed legislation aimed at updating Montana's 9-1-1 laws and incorporating NG911 to enhance public safety in Montana.

For more information on the committee’s activities and upcoming meeting, visit the committee’s website or contact Sonja Nowakowski, committee staff.

Committee Website: www.leg.mt.gov/etic
Committee Staff: snowakowski@mt.gov or 406-444-3078

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