FERC approves interconnect for up to 155-MW Michigan wind project

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on Aug. 27 accepted a Generator Interconnection Agreement (GIA) for a new, 155-MW wind project of Consumers Energy.

The GIA is between Consumers Energy (as the interconnection customer), International Transmission Co. d/b/a ITC Transmission (as the transmission owner), and the Midcontinent Independent System Operator (as the transmission provider).

“Interconnection Customer shall install up to 155 MW wind-powered generating facility (‘Facility’),” said the GIA. “All studies were performed based on the assumption that the Facility will have a total net output not to exceed 155 MW at the [point of interconnection].”

The GIA added: “The (J161) Facility wind turbines will be located in Tuscola County, Michigan. The wind turbines will be GE 1.6 MW wind turbines. The up to 97 wind turbines will be connected to the Interconnection Customer’s 34.5 kV collector system.”

A new substation to serve this facility will be located near the intersection of W. Hoppe Rd. and Ringle Rd. in Akron Township, Tuscola County.

Consumers Energy has requested Oct. 31, 2014, as the commercial operation date for this new wind farm.

Consumers Energy parent CMS Energy (NYSE: CMS) noted in its July 25 Form 10-Q report that a 2008 state energy law requires Consumers to obtain 500 MW of new capacity from renewable energy resources by the end of 2015, either through generation resources owned by Consumers or through agreements to purchase capacity from other parties. Through June 2013, Consumers has contracted for the purchase of 302 MW of nameplate capacity from renewable energy suppliers and owns 100 MW of nameplate capacity at its recently constructed Lake Winds Energy Park. The combination of the contracted and owned capacity represents 81% of the 2015 renewable capacity requirement. Consumers expects to meet the balance of the requirement through the completion of its Cross Winds Energy Park, a 105-MW wind park in Tuscola County, which is expected to begin operations in late 2014. In June, Consumers entered into a contract to purchase wind turbine generators for the construction of the Cross Winds Energy Park.

FERC recently approved another wind farm in the same area

On July 12, FERC also signed off on a GIA for the 101-MW Tuscola Wind II LLC power project in Tuscola County. MISO filed the agreement with FERC on May 15. ITC Transmission is the affected transmission owner.

“Interconnection Customer shall install a 101 MW wind-powered generating facility (‘Facility’),” said the May 15 filing. “All studies were performed based on the assumption that the Facility will have a total net output not to exceed 101 MW at the POI.”

The filing added: “The (J202) Facility wind turbines will be located in Tuscola County, Michigan. The wind turbines will be GE 1.7 MW wind turbines. The 59 wind turbines will be connected to the Interconnection Customer’s 34.5 kV collector system. There will be one (1) 34.5/121 kV, 66/88/110 MVA transformer with one (1) 138 kV class operated at 120 kV circuit breaker on the high side of the transformer.”

The point of contact for Tuscola Wind II is the Midwest Business Manager for NextEra Energy Resources out of Juno Beach, Fla. The company recently built a Tuscola Bay Wind Energy Center in Tuscola, Bay and Saginaw counties, Mich. That was a 120-MW facility using 75 1.6-MW GE turbines that began commercial operation in 2012.

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.