Sibley Wind seeks quick Minnesota approval for 20-MW project

Sibley Wind Substation LLC, which is nearing a construction start on a 20-MW wind project, made extensive pre-construction filings on July 31 at the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission.

The Large Wind Energy Conversion System Site Permit the commission had previously granted to Sibley Wind Substation requires certain documents to be electronically filed with the commission before construction can commence. Previous preconstruction filings were made in 2011 and 2012.

The permit authorizes construction and operation of a 20-MW facility using up to 13 turbines of 1.5 to 2.0 MW each. Sibley originally planned to use 13 Sinovel SL1500 turbines, each rated for 1.5 MW. Sibley said it now plans to install 10 Vestas V100 turbines, each of which is rated at 1.95 MW and will have an 80-meter hub height. The change in turbine models allowed Sibley to eliminate three planned turbine sites.

Sibley said it has also revised its noise and shadow flicker studies to reflect the change to the Vestas unit. The revised noise study included in the July 31 filing demonstrates that the project will be below the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency’s requirements.

Two requirements remained after the February 2012 update filing. They are a power purchase agreement (PPA) or other enforceable mechanism to sell the power produced by Sibley and a road agreement with Sibley County. Both of those requirements have been met. A PPA with the Minnesota Municipal Power Agency (MMPA) was approved by the MMPA Board of Directors on July 23. The PPA has a term of 20 years.

The company is asking the commission for a quick approval of these updated plans so it can begin construction.

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.