Northern States Power asks to cut take from 36-MW wind farm

Northern States Power d/b/a Xcel Energy (NYSE: XEL) applied Oct. 31 at the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission for an amendment to a wind contract that would reduce its committed power take under that deal.

This would be a third amendment to the power purchase agreement (PPA) with Big Blue Wind Farm LLC for 36 MW of wind generation. The amendment reduces the wind production commitment from 145,000 MWh to 120,000 MWh.

“We believe this amendment to the Big Blue PPA is reasonable because in the first six months of 2013, Big Blue has produced 66,698 MWh,” the company noted.

Exergy Development was the initial developer of the Big Blue Wind Farm, but Exergy defaulted on payments to Fagen for construction of the project, Xcel wrote. As a result, Fagen took Exergy to court over the payment default. In November 2012, the U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota issued an order which recognized that the ultimate parent ownership of the project company had been transferred from Exergy Development Group of Idaho LLC to Midwest Ethanol Transport LLC, an affiliate of Fagen. In December 2012, the parties entered into a change in control deal related to the PPA.

The original PPA signed by Exergy selected the annual Committed Renewable Energy of the Big Blue facility to be 145,000 MWh. After reviewing the number chosen by Exergy, new owner Fagen examined the met tower data at the Big Blue facility and has requested to change the number to 120,000 MWh.

“The Third Amendment allows the PPA to better align with actual production data at the Big Blue facility,” Xcel noted. “Furthermore, the change in Committed Renewable Energy does not impact customer cost. Therefore, we believe the amendment to be reasonable.”

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.