CFO, NorthWestern Energy
Brian Bird is CFO, NorthWestern Energy.
PUF's Steve Mitnick: Do you have a vision of the electric industry's future?
Brian Bird, CFO, NorthWestern Energy: Here's a little bit of my history. I was the treasurer of NRG right before the bankruptcy. We were in a period, in the early 2000s, where we were going to see load continue to grow and power prices were going to continue to go up, and we were over-paying for green-field development.
When I hear people who believe that the market's going to continue to stay at a low price forever because of fracking, I've got enough gray hair to doubt that. We've gone from that aspect to, well, there's a death spiral. Why are we investing in assets that are longer than ten years?
I actually had somebody tell me they were contemplating limiting their financing to ten years. Because they're not sure those assets will be in service after ten years.
I tend to agree with this most recent iteration, which is electrification of everything. It gets down to a greener profile, and we've heard some of the CEOs talk about this today; it's the younger folks who are going to drive that more than anyone. They're going to demand it from their suppliers, and that includes us. So, we're going to get to that point, and from the electrification standpoint, that's certainly fantastic for the electric industry.