Settlers Trail Wind pursues FERC case over its 150-MW project

Settlers Trail Wind Farm LLC, the developer of a 150-MW wind project, filed a June 7 protest at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission over a dispute it is having with the Midcontinent Independent System Operator over project interconnection costs.

In February 2010, MISO, Ameren Illinois and Settlers Trail executed a generation interconnection agreement (called the “Original GIA”) to provide interconnection service for Settlers Trail’s 150-MW wind project. The Original GIA identified the need for $5.5m of specific network upgrades in order to provide interconnection service for the Settlers Trail project.

Ameren Illinois chose Option 1 pricing under the Original GIA in regard to the original network upgrades. Nearly nine months after the Original GIA was executed, MISO informed Settlers Trail that Settlers Trail would need to pay an additional $10.2m for additional network upgrades in order to receive interconnection service for its generating project, Settlers Trail said in its complaint.

The need for the additional upgrades arose because MISO and Ameren Illinois failed to run proper studies as MISO processed the Settlers Trail project through its generation interconnection queue, Settlers Trail clained. “Specifically, MISO and Ameren Illinois failed to include an existing generator at its MW level in the interconnection studies,” the wind developer added. “Settlers Trail objected to paying for the Additional Network Upgrades.”

The June 7 filing chronicles a series of actions in this dispute over the last couple of years. Settlers Trail noted that in October 2011, the commission issued an order finding Option 1 pricing to be unjust and unreasonable and unduly discriminatory and ordered MISO to remove it from its tariff effective March 22, 2011.

On April 18, the commission issued an order finding that Option 1 pricing may be available for the original network upgrades, Option 2 pricing must be used for the additional network upgrades and directed MISO to submit an updated GIA to reflect this. On May 17, MISO submitted the updated GIA in this instant sub-docket.

Settlers Trail, among other things, asks the commission to find that Option 1 pricing no longer is available for the original network upgrades and to order MISO to update the GIA to provide that Option 2 pricing will apply to the original network upgrades.

About Barry Cassell 20414 Articles
Barry Cassell is Chief Analyst for GenerationHub covering coal and emission controls issues, projects and policy. He has covered the coal and power generation industry for more than 24 years, beginning in November 2011 at GenerationHub and prior to that as editor of SNL Energy’s Coal Report. He was formerly with Coal Outlook for 15 years as the publication’s editor and contributing writer, and prior to that he was editor of Coal & Synfuels Technology and associate editor of The Energy Report. He has a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University.