- Associated Press - Wednesday, March 28, 2018

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) - One of the owners of a coal-fired power plant in southeastern Montana has agreed to contribute $3 million to ease the surrounding community’s expected transition away from coal.

Avista Corp. of Spokane, Washington made the commitment in a filing with utilities regulators as a condition of its pending merger with Hydro One of Toronto.

Avista is one of six co-owners of the Colstrip power plant, which employs several hundred people in the small community of Colstrip.

The Billings Gazette reported Wednesday that the transition money from Avista follows a similar commitment from Puget Sound Energy last year for $10 million.

Two of Colstrip’s four electricity generating units are slated to close no later than 2022. No closure date has been finalized for the remaining two units.

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