The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission on April 29 went out for comment on an April 7 application from Freeborn Wind Energy LLC related to a 200-MW wind project.
Freeborn Wind Energy wants a Certificate of Need for the 200-MW Freeborn Wind Project in Freeborn County, Minnesota. The initial comment period closes May 13. The reply comment period closes May 20.
Freeborn Wind is an affiliate of Invenergy Wind Development LLC. Invenergy and its affiliates develop, own, operate and manage large-scale electricity generation assets in North America. Invenergy-affiliated companies currently have over 2,200 MW of natural gas-fueled projects in operation, 900 MW in construction and wind energy projects totaling over 5,400 MW in operation around the country.
Freeborn Wind was established to develop, own and operate the Freeborn Wind Project, a 200-MW Large Wind Energy Conversion System (LWECS) to be situated on an approximately 40,000-acre site located 1.5 miles east of Glenville in Freeborn County. The Freeborn Wind Project qualifies as “eligible energy technology” for the purposes of satisfying the Minnesota Renewable Energy Standard (RES).
In the April 7 application, Freeborn Wind is requesting exemptions from requirements that are inapplicable to its project because: the requirements are specific to traditional utilities and inapplicable to independent power producers (IPPs) (e.g., the requirements focusing on the applicant’s “service area” and “system”) and Freeborn Wind is an IPP that does not have “service area” or a “system”; the requirements related to consideration of non-renewable alternatives and the Freeborn Wind Project is a renewable energy project intended to assist Minnesota utilities meet the mandated RES; and/or the requirements seek data that does not exist with respect to the Freeborn Wind Project or can be satisfied by submitting documents/information other than those required in the rules. It said that the commission has routinely granted these exemptions to IPPs in the past.