BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — The Yellowstone Valley Electric Cooperative has reached an agreement to leave its bankrupt power provider, Southern Montana Electric Generation and Transmission.

If the proposed settlement is approved by the bankruptcy court, YVEC can leave Southern, which it has been trying to do since 2008. Southern's October 2011 bankruptcy filing prevented YVEC's case from going to trial.

YVEC attorney John Crist says the settlement, filed Friday, calls for YVEC to pay $2.5 million to the bankruptcy estate. In exchange, Southern would transfer to YVEC nine of the 20 megawatts in low-cost power it receives from the Western Area Power Administration. WAPA also has to approve the settlement.

If the deal is approved, the Huntley-based co-op plans to obtain its power from the Great Falls-based Central Montana Electric Power Cooperative.