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NorthWestern Energy forum discusses renewables, future supply sources

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BUTTE - NorthWestern Energy held a forum in Butte on Wednesday to examine its energy efficiency and future energy supply.

The utility invited experts to discuss various alternative energy sources that included wind, solar, and even geothermal energy.  The forum also addressed how it will use coal and natural gas in the future, as well as serving customers through batteries and pump storage supply.

“Some of these technologies will probably be a little cost prohibitive, but as we've learned today costs of renewables are coming down, costs of batteries are coming down. There is potential at some point in the future where these will become cost effective and they will be added to a portfolio,” said John Bushnell, manager, Energy Supply Planning and Regulatory for NorthWestern Energy.

NorthWestern Energy is required to hold these public forums as it develops its business portfolio, which will outline the utility's future over the next 20 years. 

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