Acciona files complaint against MISO over 180-MW wind farm in South Dakota

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission issued a May 28 notice seeking any input on a complaint filed the prior day by Acciona Wind Energy USA LLC against the Midcontinent Independent System Operator, alleging that MISO violated its Open Access and Energy Markets Tariff in rejecting transmission service requests submitted on behalf of the complainant’s affiliate, Tatanka Wind Power LLC.

Acciona Wind Energy said MISO has violated the tariff in a manner that unjustly and unreasonably discriminates against Acciona by restricting transmission service available to Acciona in connection with its indirectly owned, 180-MW wind facility located in South Dakota (the “Tatanka Project”) and, in the process, erecting barriers to Acciona’s ability to access markets administered by PJM Interconnection in contravention of FERC policy that encourages power sales and exchanges between different regional transmission organizations (RTOs).

Acciona seeks FERC’s determination that MISO has unjustly, unreasonably and incorrectly applied the study provisions of its tariff by failing to recognize the Tatanka Project’s MISO-approved interconnection service and consequently restricting transmission service from the Tatanka Project into PJM. Acciona also requests a shortened comment period and Fast Track procedures, because such treatment is necessary for expeditious resolution of the issues presented in this complaint.

Said the May 27 Acciona complaint: “The parties have unsuccessfully attempted to resolve this issue through direct negotiations, as recently as during the days immediately leading up to the filing of this Complaint. Acciona has procured transmission service in PJM starting on June 1, 2015, and any delay in the resolution of this Complaint will create ongoing financial hardship to Acciona, by undercutting its ability to sell into the PJM markets when PJM has adequate transmission service to facilitate such sales.”

Acciona indirectly owns 100% of the Class B membership interests in Tatanka Wind Holding LLC, which in turn owns 100% of the interests in Tatanka Wind Power LLC. Tatanka Wind, MISO and Montana-Dakota Utilities (MDU) are parties to a Generator Interconnection Agreement (GIA) under which the Tatanka Project has 180 MW of interconnection service in the form of Network Resource Interconnection Service (NRIS) and Energy Resource Interconnection Service (ERIS). The GIA currently provides 36 MW of NRIS, and 180 MW of NRIS as of Jan. 1, 2019, upon the completion of one remaining contingency identified in the GIA.

Tatanka Wind and MISO have previously disputed the conditions that should be placed on the Tatanka Project reaching full deliverability. In 2013, Tatanka Wind protested MISO’s filing of an Unexecuted GIA with Tatanka Wind due to MISO’s inclusion of contingencies to the project’s NRIS that Tatanka Wind argued were not relevant for the Tatanka Project. Acciona said that while MISO “strenuously objected” to removing the identified transmission contingencies, and the commission ultimately accepted the Unexecuted GIA, MISO more recently re-filed the currently effective GIA, while removing one of the two disputed transmission contingencies.

The Tatanka Project is eligible for the full 180 MW of NRIS as of the completion of MTEP Project No. 3127, N LaCrosse–N Madison 345-kV line that was recently approved by the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin and is scheduled for completion as of Dec. 31, 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.