Shetek Wind loses Minnesota court decision over Xcel obligations

Xcel Energy Services, on affiliate Northern States Power, filed with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on Feb. 25 a recent Minnesota state court ruling related to a wind farm.

In 2007, Shetek Wind Inc., what is now the Midcontinent Independent System Operator and Northern States Power-Minnesota (NSPM) entered into a Large Generator Interconnection Agreement (LGIA), which underwent a 2011 amendment. In August 2014, MISO filed a Notice of Termination of the LGIA after concluding that Shetek was in default of the Amended Agreement following an uncured material breach of Shetek’s obligations under it.

In October 2014, the commission approved MISO’s termination of the Amended Agreement. Following the commission’s decision, Shetek filed a rehearing request. Shetek argues NSPM was in breach of its purported duty of good faith and fair dealing under the LGIA and NSPM’s purported obligation under Minnesota law to enter into a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) for the output of Shetek’s wind project. The commission granted a rehearing for further consideration on Dec. 15, 2014.

Relevant to this ongoing case, said Xcel in the Feb. 25 filing, is a Feb. 9 court decision, which Xcel appended to the FERC filing. “On February 9, 2015, the Minnesota Court of Appeals filed its decision affirming the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission and finding that NSPM had no affirmative legal duty under Minnesota Law to enter into a PPA for the Shetek project,” said Xcel. “Accordingly, the Minnesota Court of Appeals Decision is directly relevant to the issues Shetek raises in its Request for Rehearing.”

This is a 149.4-MW (gross) project located near Garvin, Minn. It would, if built, use 83 Vestas wind turbines of 1.8 MW capacity apiece.

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.