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NorthWestern Corp. flags $9.7M charge to FY'16 earnings

expects torecord a pretax charge of $9.7 million on its 2016 earnings after the MontanaPublic Service Commission denied recovery of replacement power costs resultingfrom a prior outage at the Colstripunit 4, according to a March 29 news release.

The companyhad recovered $8.2 million in replacement power costs and an additional $1.5 millionof portfolio modeling costs through its electric supply trackers given thatstate law allows recovery of such expenses when a facility is off-line.

"Weare carefully evaluating the decision and considering our legal options. It isparticularly disappointing that Montana is disallowing these outage relatedcosts when no other state utility commission has found the utility wasimprudent," NorthWestern Vice President and General Counsel HeatherGrahame said.

NorthWestern'sadjusted earnings guidance remains unchanged at $3.20 to $3.40 per share.NorthWestern, which does business as NorthWestern Energy, is one of the handfulof owners of the Colstrip plant.