The Colorado Public Utilities Commission approval on Sept. 30 of the 600 MW Rush Creek Wind Project of Xcel Energy's Public Service Co. of Colorado unit capped off a very busy month of September for the wind power industry.
· Xcel's Rush Creek Wind Project would be one of Colorado’s largest wind farms, comprised of two generation sites and a 90-mile high-voltage transmission line to tie into Xcel’s electric system. In total, the project would include 300 wind turbines on about 116,000 acres in Elbert, Lincoln, Kit Carson and Cheyenne counties. Construction is expected to begin in 2017 with anticipated commercial operations expected to begin in late 2018.
· NextEra Energy Resources proposes to connect project #AA2-148, a 175 MW (22.75 capacity) wind facility to the American Electric Power transmission system at the in-line switching station proposed to be built as an attachment facility for PJM queue positions W4-004 and W4-008. The new switching station is located between the Madison and Tanners Creek 138 kV substations in Indiana, said a September 2016 study on the project from PJM Interconnection. The location of the proposed wind facility is in Henry County, Indiana. The requested in-service date is Dec. 31, 2017. The study said this will facility will consist of 98 General Electric 1.79 MW wind turbines.
· US Wind Inc. has proposed a 247.8 MW MFO (64.4 MWC) offshore wind facility to be located in the Atlantic Ocean about 14 miles off the coast of Ocean City, Maryland. A September 2016 study on the project from PJM Interconnection said that PJM studied this project, under queue #AB1-056, as a 247.8 MW injection into the Delmarva Power and Light system and evaluated it for compliance with reliability criteria for summer peak conditions in 2019. The planned in-service date, as stated during the kick-off call, is March 1, 2020. PJM issued a similar September 2016 study showing that US Wind has proposed a 251.8 MW MFO (65.4 MWC) wind facility to be located in the Atlantic Ocean about 14 miles off the coast of Ocean City, Maryland. PJM studied this project, under queue #AB1-057, as a 251.8 MW injection into the Delmarva Power and Light system at the Indian River 230-kV Substation and evaluated it for compliance with reliability criteria for summer peak conditions in 2019. The planned in-service date, as stated during the kick-off call, is March 1, 2020.
· Chisholm View Wind Project II on Sept. 29 requested that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission issue an order that accepts its market-based rate schedule. Applicant owns a wind project with a nameplate rating of 64 MW currently under development and located in Grant and Garfield counties, Oklahoma. The project will be interconnected with the transmission system owned by Oklahoma Gas & Electric within the Southwest Power Pool balancing authority area. Chisholm View expects the project to begin testing in late fall 2016 and to enter commercial operation in late December 2016. It is committed to sell the full output of the project under a 25-year power purchase agreement with Arkansas Electric Cooperative Corp.
· The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on Sept. 28 approved a July 18 filing by Kelly Creek Wind of a petition for authorization to make market-based sales of energy, capacity, and certain ancillary services under a market-based rate tariff. Kelly Creek, which is indirectly wholly-owned by EDF Renewable Energy (EDF-RE), is developing and will own and operate an about 184 MW (nameplate) wind facility and related generation interconnection facilities to be located in Ford and Kankakee counties, Illinois. The facility was expected to produce test power in late September 2016. It will be interconnected to the transmission system owned by Commonwealth Edison and operated by PJM. All the electric energy and capacity from the facility will be sold into the PJM market.
· Avangrid Renewables representatives, joined by Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin (D) and local elected officials, broke ground on the 30 MW Deerfield Wind project on Sept. 19. Once operational, Avangrid Renewables signed a 25-year power purchase agreement for the project with Green Mountain Power in 2015. Deerfield, located in Searsburg, Vermont, is expected to become operational by the end of 2017. The project will include 15 Gamesa wind turbines and will be the first utility-scale project on U.S. Forest Service land in the country.
· Invenergy Wind Development has proposed a wind facility located about one mile from the existing 138-kV Baker Substation in Hardy County, West Virginia, said a September 2016 study on the project from PJM. The installed facilities will have a total capability of 121.6 MW with 15.8 MW of this output being recognized by PJM as capacity. The proposed in-service date for this project is Dec. 31, 2018. This study does not imply a Potomac Edison commitment to this in-service date. This project, under PJM queue #AB1-149, will interconnect with the Potomac Edison transmission system through direct injection into the Baker substation 138-kV bus. The facility would consist of 38 General Electric 3.2 MW wind turbines.
· The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission on Sept. 26 went out for comment on applications from Red Pine Wind Project for a Certificate of Need (CON) and Large Wind Energy Conversion System Site Permit for the 200.1 MW Red Pine Wind Project in Lincoln County, Minn. The initial comment period closes Oct. 10, and the reply comment period closes Oct. 17. On Sept. 16, Red Pine Wind Project filed a petition for a Certificate of Need and the application for a Site Permit for an up to 200.1 MW wind project in Lincoln County. The project would entail construction of 58 to 100 wind turbines, associated facilities, four meteorological towers, access roads, and an operations and maintenance building. Red Pine said it is engaged in discussions with multiple potential power offtakers and is evaluating options to proceed with construction of the project in either 2017 or 2018 (commercial operation date of December 2017 or December 2018, respectively). Red Pine is a wholly-owned unit of EDF Renewable Energy. Red Pine has not made a final wind turbine selection, but is currently considering Vestas V100, V117, and V126 turbines.
· Deerfield Wind Energy on Sept. 26 requested that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission grant it blanket authorization to make wholesale sales of electric energy, capacity, and ancillary services at market-based rates. Deerfield intends to construct, own and operate a 149 MW wind facility to be located in Huron County, Michigan. It will be located in the Midcontinent Independent System Operator region. Deerfield expects to begin generating test power as early as mid-October 2016. Deerfield has executed a Power Purchase Agreement with Wolverine Power Supply Cooperative for the entire capacity of the facility.
· Grant Plains Wind on Sept. 23 asked the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to grant it the authority to sell energy, capacity and ancillary services in wholesale transactions, other than as limited by the tariff, at market-based rates. Grant Plains Wind is constructing the Grant Plains Wind Facility, a 147 MW wind facility in Grant County, Oklahoma. The GPW Facility will be interconnected to the transmission system owned by Oklahoma Gas and Electric (OG&E) and operated by the Southwest Power Pool (SPP). The GPW Facility is expected to synchronize to the grid for purposes of test energy delivery on or shortly before Nov. 15, 2016, and to be commercially operational in December 2016.
· The Heritage Wind Farm unit of Apex Clean Energy Holdings on Sept. 23 filed with the New York State Public Service Commission a Public Involvement Program (PIP) plan for a proposed 200.1 MW project to be located in the Town of Barre, Orleans County, New York. The company said the project's interconnection request has been submitted for the existing National Grid Shelby-Sweden 115-kv power line.
· Cimarron Bend Wind Project I on Sept. 23 requested that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission issue an order that accepts its market-based rate schedule. The company owns a wind project with a nameplate rating of 200 MW in Clark County, Kansas. The project will be interconnected with the transmission system owned by ITC Great Plains within the Southwest Power Pool balancing authority area. Applicant expects the project to begin testing in late fall 2016 and to enter commercial operation in late December 2016. It is committed to sell the full output of the project under a 15-year power purchase agreement with Google Energy.
· The Southwest Power Pool filed with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on Sept. 21 an Affected Systems’ Facilities Construction Agreement (FCA) with AEM Wind and interconnecting transmission owner Southwestern Public Service. AEM intends to own, and operate, or manage the AEM Interconnection Facilities relating to a 29.9 MW facility consisting of 13 General Electric 2.3 MW wind generators, located in Lea County, New Mexico. The project has an expected commercial operation date of Sept. 30, 2017, pursuant to a duly executed Interconnection Agreement (IA) with Lea County Electric Cooperative.
· Javelina Wind Energy II told the Public Utility Commission of Texas in a Sept. 20 registration as a renewable energy credit producer that its 200 MW wind project is due for commercial operation on Nov. 11 of this year. The brief filing lists all one hundred General Electric 2 MW wind turbines that make up this project, with each shown as due to go commercial on Nov. 11. The company is part of NextEra Energy.
· The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission on Sept. 19 approved an application from Blazing Star Wind Farm for a certificate of need application for a 200 MW wind project in Lincoln County as being substantially complete and ready for further commission and public review. Blazing Star told the commission in the July 20 application that it had not made a final selection on wind turbine generators, but is proposing to utilize between 57 and 100 turbines ranging from 2 MW to 3.5 MW in size. The project will interconnect at the new Brookings to Lyon County 345-kV line, one of the lines designated by the Midcontinent Independent System Operator as a Multi Value Project (MVP). Blazing Star plans to construct the project on a schedule that facilitates an in-service date in 2018. Blazing Star’s parent is Geronimo Energy.
· Dermott Wind on Sept. 16 filed with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission a notice of self-certification as an exempt wholesale generator related to its in-construction, 253 MW project in Texas. Dermott is engaged in the business of developing, owning and operating an about 253 MW wind facility located in Scurry County, Texas. Dermott is controlled by Lincoln Clean Energy. All of the Dermott facility’s output is to be sold into the wholesale energy market administered by the Electric Reliability Council of Texas. The facility is currently under construction and is expected to achieve commercial operation in the fourth quarter of 2017.