The Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission on June 18 approved the transfer of a wind project, and the commission’s previous decision not to exercise authority over that project as a utility, from Duke Energy Renewables LLC to Apex Wind I LLC.
In December 2013, Duke Energy Renewables Wind f/k/a DEGS Wind I LLC and Apex Wind I LLC filed this petition. Testimony was offered by Mark Goodwin, President and Chief Operating Officer of Apex Clean Energy Holdings LLC, and Milton Howard from Duke Energy Renewables. Apex Wind is a wholly owned subsidiary of Apex Clean Energy Holdings.
In 2010, the commission declined jurisdiction over this project while it was under DEGS Wind I LLC. The project is the Spartan Windpower Project in Newton County, Ind. The March 2010 commission decision in this case said this project would be 100 MW in size initially, with a long-term plan for a total of 185 MW of capacity.
The companies wanted the commission to: approve the transfer of the Spartan Windpower Project assets to Apex Wind; and find that Apex Wind possesses the technical, managerial, and financial capability to construct, own, operate, and finance the project and meets the criteria for declination of jurisdiction.
Howard testified that in December 2013, Duke Wind transferred its interests in the project real estate to Apex Wind. The documents concerning the transfer of real estate included a provision that the transaction can be undone if the commission does not approve of the transfer of assets from Duke Wind to Apex Wind. Howard testified that he understands that Apex Wind plans to continue to pursue the development of the Spartan Windpower Project.
Goodwin testified that upon approval of the proposed transfer, Apex Wind will create a special purpose limited liability company to serve as the project company holding all assets of the Spartan Windpower Project. The project company will be an indirect, wholly owned subsidiary of Apex Wind. Apex Wind will continue to develop Phase I and anticipates beginning commercial operation in the fourth quarter of 2016.
Goodwin testified that Apex Wind is one of the leading renewable energy developers in the United States. Goodwin testified that Apex Wind has comprehensive in-house capabilities in all aspects of project development, construction, and operation, including meteorology, engineering, geographic information system analysis, procurement, legal, financial modeling, project finance, construction management, and asset management. In December 2012, Apex Wind completed the development and construction of the 300-MW Canadian Hills project in Oklahoma.
“Based on the evidence presented, we find that Apex Wind has the technical, financial, and managerial capability to own and operate the Spartan Windpower Project,” the commission ruled on June 18. “In addition, Apex Wind has agreed to the same terms and conditions imposed on Duke Wind in the Declination Order. Therefore, we approve the transfer of the Spartan Windpower Project assets from Duke Wind to Apex Wind.”