Construction start nears for Black Oak/Getty wind projects in Minnesota

Black Oak Wind LLC and its wholly-owned subsidiary, Getty Wind Co. LLC, which are controlled by Sempra Energy, told the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission in an Oct. 27 update that construction on their projects could start this fall.

Efforts lately have focused on continued permitting, design, engineering and procurement of turbine equipment and related services required for the projects to reach completion. In addition, Northern States Power completed the needed interconnection upgrades to its Black Oak substation. Northern States Power is currently in the process of rebuilding approximately 10 miles of 69-kV transmission lines on its transmission system to accommodate the projects, the development companies added.

The companies selected a new construction contractor in early October 2015. Construction on the projects is scheduled to continue between late October and December of 2015 or early 2016 before being suspended during the winter months when weather conditions are less suitable for outdoor work. Construction activity occurring in late 2015 may include building the laydown yard, access roads, substation infrastructure, crane paths, transmission line infrastructure and turbine foundations.

Construction could extend past December and into the first part of 2016 if early winter weather allows. Construction is expected to recommence in April 2016 when road and field conditions are suitable. Delivery of turbines is currently scheduled to begin in June 2016 and the projects are expected to be operational by late 2016.

A project contact is: Sean Wazlaw, Sempra U.S. Gas & Power, (619) 696-2612, swazlaw@semprausgp.com.

In other news for these projects, which are basically considered one combined project at this point:

  • Sempra Energy (NYSE: SRE) reported in its Aug. 4 quarterly Form 10-Q filing with the SEC that it has made progress lately with several wind and solar projects, including this one. In March, Sempra Renewables acquired the Black Oak Getty Wind project, a 78-MW wind farm under development in Stearns County, Minnesota. The Minnesota Municipal Power Agency has contracted for the energy generated from the project for 20 years.
  • A Sempra Energy subsidiary said April 23 that it has purchased the 78-MW Black Oak Getty wind project from Geronimo Energy LLC.
  • On Jan. 23, the commission rejected a rehearing request from local opponents related to its 2014 approval of changes for these projects. In January 2013, the commission had issued two site permits to Black Oak Wind and Getty Wind to construct, own, operate, maintain, and manage the Black Oak and Getty projects.
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.