FERC okays Montana-Dakota buy of Thunder Spirit Wind project in North Dakota

On Oct. 21, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission approved a July 14 application from Montana-Dakota Utilities Co., ACE Wind LLC and Thunder Spirit Wind LLC for authorization for a transaction by which Montana-Dakota will purchase ACE Wind and Thunder Spirit Wind’s interests in the hard assets, books and records associated with the Thunder Spirit Wind Project.

Montana-Dakota is a public utility that provides natural gas service to approximately 265,000 customers and electric service to approximately 140,000 customers in the states of Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wyoming. It is a division of MDU Resources Group (NYSE: MDU).

ACE Wind is a wholly owned subsidiary of ALLETE Clean Energy which itself is a wholly owned subsidiary of ALLETE Inc. (NYSE: ALE). ALLETE Clean Energy was formed for the purpose of owning and developing renewable generation projects throughout North America. 

Thunder Spirit Wind was formed to develop and own a 107.5-MW project, which is currently under construction in Adams County, North Dakota. Montana-Dakota will purchase the project shortly before or after the facilities have been placed into commercial operation.

Thunder Spirit Wind on July 24 asked FERC to authorize it to sell energy, capacity, and certain ancillary services at market-based rates and accept for filing its proposed market-based rate tariff. In the event Montana-Dakota fails to obtain the necessary regulatory approvals to buy the project, Thunder Spirit said it will sell the project’s output to Montana-Dakota under a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA).

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.