Minnesota PUC to take comment on Calpine’s Mankato expansion project

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.

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.