An official at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission sent a Dec. 17 letter to a series of wind power companies, called collectively the NaturEner Companies, acknowledging their change in status because their latest wind power project has gone into operation.
On Oct. 1, the companies filed with FERC a notice of change in status stating that their affiliate, NaturEner Rim Rock Energy LLC (Rim Rock), began producing test power on Aug. 30, 2012. Rim Rock owns and operates a 189-MW wind-powered facility located in Kevin, Mont., the full output of which is fully committed to an unaffiliated entity under a long-term power purchase agreement.
The companies said, and FERC official Steve Rodgers agreed, that this increase in affiliated generation does not affect the conditions the commission relied upon when granting the NaturEner Companies market-based rate authority. The companies are NaturEner Glacier Wind Energy 1 LLC, NaturEner Glacier Wind Energy 2 LLC, NaturEner Montana Wind Energy LLC and NaturEner Power Watch LLC.
- NaturEner Glacier Wind Energy 1 LLC owns and operates a 106.5 MW (nameplate) generating facility (the Glacier Wind Energy 1 Facility) in Glacier and Toole counties, Mont. Glacier 1 also owns limited interconnection facilities used to deliver its output to the transmission system of NorthWestern Energy. The output of this unit is committed under a long-term contract to an unaffiliated third-party.
- NaturEner Glacier Wind Energy 2 LLC owns and operates a 103.5 MW (nameplate) generating facility (the Glacier Wind Energy 2 Facility) in Glacier and Toole counties, Mont. Glacier 2 also owns limited interconnection facilities used to deliver its output to the transmission system of Glacier Electric Cooperative.
- NaturEner Montana Wind Energy LLC is authorized to sell power at wholesale, but does not own generation or transmission facilities.
- NaturEner Power Watch LLC is authorized to sell power under market based rates and also provides balancing authority services and may provide ancillary services to Glacier 1 and Glacier 2. Power Watch owns no generation or transmission facilities.
Each of these companies is an indirect wholly-owned subsidiary of NaturEner USA LLC, a direct wholly-owned subsidiary of Groupo NaturEner S.A., a renewable energy company based in Madrid, Spain.
In its market based rate application, Rim Rock demonstrated that, taking into account the 189 MW capacity of the Rim Rock facility and the generation capacity that the filing companies owned or controlled (also located in the Northwestern Energy Balancing Authority Area), Rim Rock passed the pivotal supplier screen and that its market shares were no higher than 13%. There also are no transmission market power concerns, since Rim Rock will own only limited interconnection facilities needed to deliver its output to its customers, the companies told FERC.