Xcel unit completes buy of one of two RES America wind projects

The Northern States Power unit of Xcel Energy (NYSE: XEL) told the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on Nov. 30 that it has completed one of two wind project acquisitions that the commission had approved in April 2014.

On April 1, 2014, FERC authorized the disposition of jurisdictional facilities that would result in Northern States Power acquiring Border Winds Energy LLC and Pleasant Valley Wind LLC, and the merger of Border Winds and Pleasant Valley into Northern States Power-Minnesota (NSPM). Border Winds and Pleasant Valley are each subsidiaries of RES America Development. FERC authorized the transactions for a period up to three years from the date of the order.

Said the Nov. 30 notice: “This letter is to advise the Commission that Pleasant Valley and NSPM consummated the Pleasant Valley transaction on November 18, 2015. The Border Winds/NSPM transaction has not yet been consummated, and the second notice of consummation report will be filed within 10 days of consummation of that transaction. NSPM is authorized to represent that RES America Development, Inc. does not oppose this notice.”

NSPM on Nov. 2 filed for a rate hike at the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission, with some of that extra money going to various power plant repair and upgrade projects. Steven H. Mills, the Vice President of Energy Supply Operations for Xcel Energy Services (XES), supplied supporting testimony outlining the various projects in the works for the 2015-2018 period.

He said that in light of the impacts of the company’s recent past investments (for example, the 2015 addition of the Pleasant Valley and Border Winds projects to the system) and pending future investments, NSPM has deferred some fundamental Reliability/Performance Enhancement spending from 2016 and 2017 into 2018 and beyond.

The NSPM generation portfolio has evolved as a result of state and federal energy policies and regulations and company-driven efforts to improve efficiencies and environmental performance, Mills noted. For example, to comply with Minnesota’s Renewable Energy Standard (RES), it has added over 1,200 MW of renewable energy to the NSP System from 2006-14, including wind, hydro, biomass, and solar resources. In 2015, it placed in service 350 MW of additional wind capacity through the Pleasant Valley wind farm (200 MW) and Borders Winds farm (150 MW). It also recently received approval to develop an additional 200 MW of low-cost wind capacity through its Courtenay Wind Farm, which is scheduled to be placed in service in 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.