The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission said in a Sept. 18 notice that it will hold an Oct. 13 hearing on an application by Mankato Energy Center II LLC for a Site Permit for the 345-MW expansion of the gas-fired Mankato Energy Center.
The company developing the new project, and the existing power plant, are owned by Calpine (NYSE: CPN). The commission earlier this year approved a contract for Northern States Power, a unit of Xcel Energy (NYSEL: XEL), to buy the capacity of the expansion project.
The Oct. 13 hearing will be in Mankato Minn. Written comments are being taken until Oct. 27.
The project involves the addition of a combustion turbine generator, a heat recovery steam generator, and associated facilities. Natural gas would be the fuel source. The proposed project is located in Blue Earth County in the city of Mankato.
The Public Utilities Commission must approve a Site Permit before the project can be built. The commission accepted Mankato Energy’s site permit application at a September 2015 meeting. This means the company submitted all the information required to begin the review process. The commission’s decision-making process takes about six months.
The Minnnesota Department of Commerce’s Energy Environmental Review and Analysis staff will prepare an environmental assessment for this project. After the environmental assessment is issued, an Administrative Law Judge will hold a public hearing. The commission’s final decision on the site permit for this project is expected by April 2016.