Case Summary Citation
MTSUN, LLC v. Mont. Dep't of Pub. Serv. Regulation, 472 P.3d 1154 (Mont. 2020)
MTSUN, LLC initiated negotiations for a power purchase agreement with NorthWestern Energy in September of 2015 for a potential solar energy facility in eastern Montana. In December of 2016, at an impasse in contract negotiations with NorthWestern, MTSUN filed a petition with the Montana Public Service Commission requesting that the agency exercise its statutory authority to set the terms of the contract for the proposed project. Following MTSUN’s petition, the PSC issued a series of orders and reconsiderations which ultimately reconfigured the entirety of the agreement, including the terms that the parties had previously agreed upon. After exhausting its administrative remedies, MTSUN challenged the PSC’s orders in the Eighth Judicial District Court, Cascade County alleging that the PSC violated the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act, Montana’s mini-PURPA, and the PSC’s own precedent in establishing the terms of the PPA. MTSUN, LLC. v. Mont. Dep’t of Pub. Serv. Regulation provides some insight into the PSC (one of the lesser-known state agencies) and the future of renewable energy in Montana.