By Eric Dietrich and Amanda Eggert 

January cold snap fuels Montana's coal power debate

As record lows produced record electric demand, renewable energy advocates and the state's largest utility debate whether coal remains an essential winter power source.


February 2, 2024

The record-breaking cold snap Montana saw this month brought days of below-zero temperatures across the state - and with them what major Montana utility NorthWestern Energy said was record-high electric demand from its customers.

The arctic blast, and how the state's energy system responded, triggered a wave of analysis from folks engaged in Montana's running debate over renewable energy, coal generation and the future of the state's electric grid.

The Montana Environmental Information Center, for example, posted a video to Instagram on Jan. 12 citing data from the U.S. Energy Information A...

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