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NW Energy rate-change could devastate rooftop solar installation in Montana, industry says

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Buried within NorthWestern Energy’s request to increase Montanan electric rates by $35 million a year is a proposal that solar-power installers say could knee-cap their business — a new rate structure for “net metered” rooftop solar systems.

“What I’ve been hearing from our installer members is that they’re kind of looking down the barrel of a loaded gun,” says Andrew Valainis of the Montana Renewable Power Association. “They’re very nervous about the proposal. … We’re concerned that this could really devastate the industry.”

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