Minnesota PUC rejects rehearing request on two wind farm projects

On Jan. 23, the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission rejected a rehearing request from local opponents related to its approval of two companion wind projects.

On Nov. 18, 2014, the commission issued orders amending the site permits of Black Oak Wind LLC and Getty Wind Co. LLC. On Dec. 8, 2014, a group called the Residents of Getty and Raymond Townships petitioned for reconsideration.

Said the Jan. 23 PUC order: “The Commission has reviewed the record and the arguments of the parties. Based on this review, the Commission finds that the petition does not raise new relevant issues, does not point to new and relevant evidence, does not expose errors or ambiguities in the November 18, 2014 orders, and does not otherwise persuade the Commission that it should rethink the decisions set forth in those orders. The Commission concludes that those decisions are consistent with the facts, the law, and the public interest, and will therefore deny the petition.”

In January 2013, the commission had issued two site permits to Black Oak Wind and Getty Wind to construct, own, operate, maintain, and manage 42 MW (Black Oak) and 40 MW (Getty) (nameplate) capacity Large Wind Energy Conversion Systems (LWECS) and associated facilities in Stearns County.

Since the site permits were issued, Black Oak and Getty said they have continued to advance the projects towards construction, including by arranging off-take for the projects by way of a power purchase agreement. As part of these advancements, Black Oak and Getty have selected Vestas V110 (2 MW) wind turbine generators. This turbine size and model is within the range of turbine sizes permitted under the site permits; however, the Vestas V110 was not specifically listed in either permit. The commission on Nov. 18 separately approved applications for turbine changes.

These projects have been jointly developed pursuant to an agreement whereby the two projects may come under common ownership at a future date. That agreement grants Geronimo Wind Energy LLC d/b/a Geronimo Energy LLC an assignable option to acquire all of the membership interests in Getty. Black Oak is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Geronimo. 

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.