Pleasant Valley Wind LLC applied Nov. 25 at the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission for changes in an October 2010 commission approval for its wind project, including a sharp reduction in project size.
The commission in 2010 issued a Certificate of Need (CON) and Site Permit to Pleasant Valley Wind for the 301-MW Pleasant Valley Wind Project, located in Dodge and Mower counties, Minn. Subsequently, the commission amended the CON and Site Permit in February 2013 to extend the in-service date for the Pleasant Valley Wind Project to allow for additional time to acquire an “enforceable mechanism for sale of the electricity to be generated by the Project.”
Under a purchase and sale agreement with Northern States Power d/b/a Xcel Energy, Pleasant Valley Wind agreed to develop and sell a 200 MW project to Xcel Energy. As a result, the nameplate capacity for the Pleasant Valley Wind Project will no longer be up to 301 MW, the developer told the commission in the Nov. 25 application. Rather, the nameplate capacity of the Pleasant Valley Wind Project will now be 200 MW.
The commission is required to evaluate reasons for the change within 45 days of the petition. The proposal to reduce the nameplate capacity for the Pleasant Valley Wind Project by 101 MW does not fall within a rule that requires recertification or a hearing on the proposed changes, the company argued.
This was among four wind projects approved for Xcel by the Minnesota commission on Oct. 17. They were:
- Courtenay Wind Farm, a 200-MW project near Jamestown, N.D., with capacity to be acquired under a power purchase agreement with Geronimo Energy;
- Odell Wind Farm, a 200-MW project near Windom, Minn., also under a power purchase agreement with Geronimo Energy;
- Pleasant Valley, a 200-MW project near Austin, Minn., submitted by RES America Developments. RES would develop the project and transfer ownership to Xcel.
- Border Winds Project, a 150-MW project located in Rolette County in north-central North Dakota, near the Canadian border. RES would also develop the project and transfer ownership to Xcel.
All four projects are scheduled to be in service by the end of 2015.