Osage Wind argues for FERC approval of its ownership change

Osage Wind LLC, which controls a 152-MW wind project in Oklahoma, told the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on Oct. 2 that the commission should approve its request for a change in ownership, despite protests.

On Aug. 29, Osage Wind filed an application for a transaction under which Wind Capital Group LLC will sell, and TradeWind Energy Inc. will acquire, 100% of the ownership interests in Osage Wind.

On Sept. 19, the Osage Nation filed a motion to intervene and protest. On Sept. 24, the Osage Nation filed an untimely supplemental protest, Osage Wind added. No other party protested the application or filed substantive comments.

“Applicant respectfully urges the Commission to reject the Protests and issue an approval order as quickly as possible,” Osage Wind said. “The Osage Nation concedes that the matters it raises regarding the proposed 150 MW wind-powered facility in Osage County, Oklahoma (‘Project’) are undergoing review by the appropriate federal agency. That process should continue independently, as it normally does for any renewable resource project development. The Commission should recognize the Protests for what they are— transparent delay tactics by an entity that does not like the Project for reasons unrelated to the Commission’s review of the Application. There is no basis under Section 203 of the [Federal Power Act], however, for the Commission to delay its approval based on issues not pertinent to its FPA review.”

Notable is that Osage Wind uses 150 MW in the prior passage, but other FERC filings, including the company’s own Aug. 29 ownership transfer application, give the capacity as 152 MW.

Prompt processing of the transaction would assist the parties’ efforts to close the upstream transfer of ownership interests as soon as possible, and facilitate the ongoing development of a generation resource in Oklahoma that will bring needed jobs and a new renewable energy source to the region, Osage Wind added.

Osage Wind said, among other things, that this is a sale of Osage Wind, not an asset transfer as the Osage Nation has indicated, so all legal responsibilities for the project will remain where they are currently, with Osage Wind.

“Applicable environmental permits for the development of the Project, where required of Osage Wind, will be obtained in the normal course, but they are not required in connection with the upstream transfer of ownership interests in Applicant,” Osage Wind added.

The Osage Wind Facility is to be located on property belonging to members of the Osage Nation, and the mineral rights under the Osage Wind Facility are held in trust by the U.S. Government for the benefit of the Osage Nation. The nation said in its Sept. 19 protest that it has raised three primary concerns regarding the Osage Wind Facility.

  • First, the presence of the facility will interfere with the Osage Nation’s ability to exploit its sub-surface mineral rights, particularly the extraction of natural gas and oil.
  • Second, the facility has sought permission from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to kill up to three bald eagles per year through an Eagle Take Permit, for the proposed 40-year lifespan of the facility. The bald eagle is sacred and symbolic to the Osage people.
  • Third, the nation is concerned that the site proposed for the wind facility will impact significant cultural resources for the tribe.
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.