Calpine wins FERC approval for revised interconnect deal for Mankato plant

Calpine Corp. (NYSE: CPN), saying this resolves a key issue for expansion of its gas-fired Mankato power plant, on March 11 filed with the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission a March 10 approval by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission of a revised Generator Interconnection Agreement for the Mankato plant.

Calpine had run into some issues at FERC in getting approval of the GIA revision, which involves a new timetable for expansion of Mankato beyond the capacity initially built under the GIA, which is with the Midcontinent ISO. Invenergy Thermal Development LLC, which lost a competition to Calpine/Mankato for new capacity needed by Northern States Power d/b/a Xcel Energy, had been using doubt about the FERC process in its arguments that the Minnesota commission should reconsider its Feb. 5 decision awarding the new business to Calpine/Mankato.

But FERC on March 10 approved the revised GIA, and Calpine filed it on March 11 at the Minnesota commission. Calpine noted that it had committed to keeping the Minnesota commission informed regarding any action taken by FERC on the GIA. Said the March 11 Calpine filing with the state commission: “In its Order FERC concluded ‘that MISO has provided sufficient information through its Deficiency Letter Response and Answer for the Commission to determine the appropriateness of the proposed amendments to the Original GIA.’ Accordingly, Calpine’s reiterates its request that the Commission reject the Petitions seeking reconsideration and rehearing of its February 5 Order. The February 5 Order reflects reasoned and reasonable decision-making and nothing in the filed Petitions raise issues or arguments that were not fully considered in the issuance of the Order.”

FERC in its March 10 order rejected the protests of various parties to the revised GIA, including the protests of Invenergy. “In this instance, the interconnection customer requested a 2018 [commercial operation date] for the Phase II portion of the GIA, and MISO was agreeable with that date,” said the FERC order. “We therefore accept the Amended GIA with the extension of the COD for Phase II to June 1, 2018.”

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.