USDA pulls plug on Highwood coal plant financing

USDA’s Rural Utilities Service, citing a lack of funding, has informed Southern Montana Electric Generation & Transmission that it can’t finance the cooperative’s proposed coal-fired power plant east of Great Falls.

SME General Manager Tim Gregori said the news was not a surprise — and doesn’t spell the end of the project.

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SME is now pursuing “alternate financing,” Gregori said Wednesday. He added it was too soon to be specific, but said he is optimistic about SME’s chances of obtaining financing from another source.

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