FERC accepts MISO interconnect deal for Stoneray wind project in Minnesota

wind farm april elp 4

FERC on Dec. 2 accepted an Oct. 13 filing by the Midcontinent ISO of a Generator Interconnection Agreement with Stoneray Power Partners and interconnecting transmission owner Northern States Power.

MISO has designated this as Project No. J426 in its interconnection queue. This facility is to be composed of fifty Vestas V110 2-MW Mk10 wind turbines. Interconnection service provided under this agreement is 100 MW of conditional ERIS that will become 100 MW of ERIS and / or NRIS where NRIS cannot exceed 100 MW upon completion of all network upgrades.

The points of interconnection will be at the points where the lines from the wind power facility lands on the 34-kV bus at Northern States Power’s Chanarambie substation, at new breaker positions CHB331 and CHB332. The project is in Pipestone and Murray counties, Minnesota.

The targeted commercial operation date under the GIA is Dec. 15, 2018.

Incidentally, the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission issued a July 21 order pushing back the in-service date to December 2018 for the Stoneray project. In May 2014, the commission granted a certificate of need and issued a site permit to Stoneray Power Partners for construction of this project. On May 19 of this year, Stoneray asked the commission to modify the certificate of need in-service date and amend the site permit to extend the timeline for completing required steps and beginning construction.

Stoneray’s petition requested that the certificate of need be modified to change the in-service date of the project from 2015 to 2018. Stoneray also requested that the site permit be amended to extend the time period for obtaining a power purchase agreement, conducting pre-construction surveys, and beginning construction. These steps were to be completed within two years of permit issuance – in other words, by May 20, 2016.

Stoneray stated that the need for additional time was due, in part, to slowed growth in the wind industry in 2014. According to the company, uncertainty over whether the federal production tax credit would be extended contributed to Stoneray’s difficulty in finding a power purchaser.

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