- Associated Press - Tuesday, February 4, 2014

HELENA, Mont. (AP) - State utility regulators say they want more information to help them evaluate whether NorthWestern Energy’s proposal to buy 11 hydroelectric dams is good for its customers.

Lee Newspapers of Montana reports the PSC voted 5-0 on Monday to declare NorthWestern’s initial request inadequate.

The commission agreed with a consultant who said NorthWestern’s application for approval did not contain enough information on how power from the dams is a better option than other alternatives. The PSC gave NorthWestern until Feb. 14 to submit more comparative data.

NorthWestern spokeswoman Claudia Rapkoch said the utility will meet the deadline.

NorthWestern has said the proposed $900 million purchase of the dams from PPL Montana will raise electric rates by about 4.2 percent, but will provide its customers with affordable power for years.

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