Our Company

For more than 100 years, NorthWestern Energy has been committed to delivering safe, reliable and innovative energy solutions.

We serve gas and electric to customers in the western two-thirds of Montana and eastern South Dakota. We also have gas service in Nebraska, and serve electricity to Yellowstone National Park.

We own and operate a diverse generation fleet of wind, water, natural gas and coal-fired resources and the high-voltage electric transmission system and distribution system. We also own and operate natural gas production, transmission and distribution systems.

Enriching Lives Through a Safe, Sustainable Energy Future

A map showing NorthWestern Energy's service territory in Montana, Nebraska and South Dakota.

Enriching Lives Through a Safe, Sustainable Energy Future

NorthWestern Energy has provided reliable and affordable electricity and natural gas to customers in Montana, South Dakota and Nebraska for more than 100 years.

Our Commitment to Sustainability

Sustainability means meeting today’s needs while planning for tomorrow’s as well. It is not just a matter of good environmental practices, being a sustainable enterprise must also incorporate social and governance best practices.

Our vision

Enriching lives through a safe sustainable energy future.

Our mission

Working together to provide safe, reliable and innovative energy solutions that create value for customers, communities, employees, and investors.

Our values

SERVICE: Safety, Excellence, Respect, Value, Integrity, Community, Environment

Our Natural Gas and Electric Service

NorthWestern Energy serves 337 communities in Montana, South Dakota and Yellowstone National Park with safe and reliable electricity. We serve natural gas to 202 communities in Montana, South Dakota and Nebraska.

Our Hydro Facilities

Our carbon-free hydro system is the foundation of our energy generation portfolio in Montana. In 2023, 35.7% of our electricity for Montana customers came from our hydro facilities.

Giving Back to Our Communities

NorthWestern Energy is committed to being a good corporate citizen of all the communities we serve. In 2023, we gave nearly $2 million in charitable donations and community support.

Delivering a Bright Future

Employee Noel Jacobson wears a hard hat and smiles in Power Park.

Delivering a Bright Future

We won't stop working until the future is as bright as it can be.

Where Does Your Energy Come From?

We provide safe, reliable energy through a balanced mix of clean energy and traditional resources.
Headshot of John Hines

NorthWestern Energy always works to protect our customers from high energy prices

Date: Jan 25, 2024

By NorthWestern Energy Vice President Supply and Montana Government Relations John Hines

NorthWestern Energy always works to protect our customers from energy market price spikes to keep rates as affordable as possible while maintaining reliable energy service.

Recently some have speculated that hedging would insulate Montanans from high market energy price spikes.

Hedging transactions can be used to reduce price risk - to protect against price spikes and/or supply scarcity. Unfortunately hedging transactions are not a guarantee of lower prices but can provide customers with greater price certainty and supply availability.

In this most recent cold spell NorthWestern Energy did use hedging tools to secure the physical delivery of electricity and natural gas, which directly contributed to the reliable service we were able to provide during the extreme weather this month. We also had over 500 megawatts of fixed-price generation or contracts that reflected generation. It is extremely difficult to fully hedge our electric portfolio when on some days we have excess energy with variable wind generation and on other days we are short, when the wind isn’t blowing. This is a variability of energy problem, not a hedging problem.

When variable wind and solar resources are not generating, as was the case during the highest demand periods during our recent cold snap, and customer demand is high, reliable energy service in Montana can only be achieved with market purchases to adequately meet the needs of our customers. And the fact is, this does leave our customers vulnerable to high market prices during peak demand times.

What are we doing to protect customers from high energy market prices?

The best hedge against high energy market prices is owned generation resources located in Montana and dedicated to serving our Montana customers. 

NorthWestern Energy has been sounding the alarm since 2017 that a changing and volatile energy market means our customers in Montana have too much exposure to the market, risking both reliability and affordability.

NorthWestern Energy is building the 175 megawatt Yellowstone County Generating Station and acquiring an additional share of the Colstrip Plant, for zero purchase price, because the on-demand generation located in Montana will improve our ability to provide reliable energy service at stable prices for our Montana customers.

Proactive planning with system maintenance and investment, securing energy supply and a skilled and dedicated workforce is how NorthWestern Energy delivers reliable, sustainable energy at the most affordable rates for our Montana customers.