FERC okays sale of biomass-fired power plant in Minnesota to CPV affiliate

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on May 14 approved the sale of a 64-MW power plant in Minnesota fired by poultry litter.

On Feb. 18, PowerMinn 9090 LLC, Fibrominn LLC, Benson Power LLC and CPV Biomass Holdings LLC requested authorization for the disposition of jurisdictional facilities that will result from a state court-supervised transfer of a 64 MW (nameplate) poultry-litter and other biomass-fueled facility located in Benson, Minnesota, from PowerMinn and Fibrominn to Benson.

“The Commission has reviewed the Proposed Transaction under the Commission’s Merger Policy Statement,” said the May 14 FERC order. “As discussed below, we authorize the Proposed Transaction as consistent with the public interest.”

PowerMinn owns the facility and leases it to Fibrominn. PowerMinn is an exempt wholesale generator (EWG) under the Public Utility Holding Company Act of 2005 (PUHCA). Fibrominn leases and operates the facility, which is interconnected with Great River Energy and is located within the footprint of the Midcontinent Independent System Operator. Fibrominn sells all of the output of the facility to Northern States Power under a long-term contract. Fibrominn has been granted market-based rate authority, and is an EWG under PUHCA. The facility is also a qualifying small power production facility under the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act of 1978.

Benson was formed for the purpose of acquiring, owning, and operating the facility. Benson does not currently own or control any FERC-jurisdictional or power-related assets. Benson intends to operate as an EWG and will self-certify the facility as a small power production qualifying facility. Benson intends to obtain market-based rate authorization prior to consummation of the proposed transaction.

Ownership of Benson is divided among three classes of membership interests. The Class A member is the sole managing member responsible for managing the business and affairs of Benson, including the day-to-day management, operations, and business of the facility. There will be a board of directors comprised of the Managing Member and two independent directors. Class B and Class C members are passive, non-managing members, whose voting rights are limited to those rights necessary to protect their financial investment.

The Class A membership interests of Benson are held 100% by CPV Biomass, a wholly owned subsidiary of Competitive Power Ventures. The Class B and C membership interests are held by various financial entities.

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.