Federal energy regulators have issued a license for a 400-megawatt central Montana power storage project that's intended to supplement electricity from wind turbines and other sources.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on Thursday released a 50-year license allowing Absaroka Energy to construct and operate the $1 billion project.

The Bozeman-based company plans to build the Gordon Butte Pumped Storage Project on a 177-acre site near Martinsdale.

Excess power produced by wind farms or other sources would be used to pump water uphill to a reservoir on the site. During times of peak consumer electricity demand or when the wind isn't blowing, the water would be released to turn hydropower turbines and keep electricity flowing.

Regulators concluded in September that the project would not have a significant environmental impact.