E.ON intervenes in request at FERC for expanded Illinois wind farm

Due to doubts about how extra transmission costs will be handled, E.ON Climate & Renewables North America LLC (ECRNA), Pioneer Trail Wind Farm LLC and Settlers Trail Wind Farm LLC on Oct. 18 asked to intervene in a case involving the Midcontinent ISO.

On Sept. 27, MISO filed an amended and restated generation interconnection agreement (GIA) among MISO, Ameren Illinois and California Ridge Wind Energy LLC. The original GIA was accepted by FERC in 2011. The California Ridge generation project was identified with a generating capacity of 200 MW. Interconnection service under that GIA required installation of Common Use Upgrades (CUU) to the grid to be paid for by California Ridge, Pioneer Trail and Settlers Trail. The payment obligation was included in a Multi-Party Facilities Construction Agreement (MPFCA) filed with and conditionally accepted by the FERC.

Subsequently, California Ridge submitted a new Interconnection Request to add another 50 MW to the existing project, which is included in the amended GIA.

ECRNA develops, owns and operates renewable wind and solar projects throughout the United States. ECRNA moved to intervene on behalf of itself and subsidiaries Pioneer Trail and Settlers Trail. Pioneer Trail owns an interest in and operates a 150-MW wind farm located in Ford and Iroquois counties, Ill., that is interconnected to the transmission system of Ameren Illinois. Settlers Trail owns an interest in and operates a 150-MW wind farm located in Iroquois County that is interconnected to Ameren Illinois.

The MISO filing contains no indication of whether the cost obligations for the CUU under the MPFCA will be adjusted to account for California Ridge’s 50 MW increase in capacity, the intervenors said. An adjustment appears appropriate because costs are shared based on each project’s impact on the constrained facility (the Paxton East-to-Rantoul Junction 138 kV Line) and California Ridge’s impact has increased with the additional 50 MW.

The intervenors urged the FERC to accept the restated GIA conditioned on MISO demonstrating whether a cost adjustment under the MPFCA to account for the new 50 MW is needed, and if so, whether it will be addressed.

The California Ridge Wind Energy project is in Vermilion and Champaign counties, Ill. The point of interconnection for both the new and old sets of wind turbines is the 138-kV line terminal at the 138-kV bus in the Vermilion Power Station Substation. The commercial operation target for the 50-MW addition is around the end of 2014.

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.