Northern States Power wants out of buying QF power from hydro facility

Xcel Energy Services, on behalf of Northern States Power-Minnesota (NSPM), applied Feb. 18 at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission for relief from any obligation to purchase power from a small qualifying facility (QF) owned by Twin Cities Hydro LLC in the City of St Paul, Ramsey County, Minnesota.

Northern States Power submitted that it has set forth sufficient evidence to rebut the presumption that the Twin Cities Hydro Plant, a QF with capacity below 20 MW, does not have nondiscriminatory access to the market. The Twin Cities Hydro Plant has been selling power into the wholesale energy market of the Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO) since 2008, which demonstrates that it has nondiscriminatory access to the MISO market, the utility added.

The Twin Cities Hydro Plant is a 17.9 MW run-of-river plant located on the Mississippi River that is interconnected to NSPM’s electric distribution system. Since 2008, after ownership of the hydro plant transferred, Twin Cities Hydro has been selling power into the MISO wholesale energy market. NSPM has been providing interconnection and distribution wheeling services to Twin Cities for the purpose of wheeling energy produced at the Twin Cities Hydro Plant to the MISO market pursuant to rate schedules accepted for filing by FERC.

Twin Cities is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Brookfield Power US Holding America Co., which is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Brookfield Power Inc.

Said the filing: “On August 14, 2014, Brookfield Energy Marketing LP, on behalf of and as an agent for, Twin Cities, sent NSPM a request to discuss a negotiated PURPA contract for the Twin Cities Hydro Plant. Brookfield expressed interest in selling power from the Twin Cities Hydro Plant to NSPM. Brookfield requested (1) NSPM’s applicable 5-year, 10-year, and 20-year avoided cost rates, and (2) NSPM’s standard form power purchase agreement template. Brookfield and NSPM personnel have communicated by phone and email about the applicability and rate structure of NSPM ‘Time of Day Purchase Service’ (Rate Code A52), a retail tariff in NSPM’s Minnesota Electric Rate Book on file with the [Minnesota Public Utilities Commission] and available to small QFs over 100 kW and meeting certain criteria. NSPM personnel provided information on the firm power (e.g., capacity factor) requirements set forth in that tariff. Given the current contractual arrangements between the parties, NSPM has never indicated to Brookfield that NSPM would voluntarily enter into a power purchase agreement using the A52 Time of Day Purchase Service for the Twin Cities Hydro Plant.”

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.