Minnesota PUC plans public meeting on Xcel’s 215-MW Black Dog 6 project

The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission said in a Jan. 6 notice that it will hold a Jan. 28 public information and environmental scoping meeting related to the application by the Northern States Power unit of Xcel Energy (NYSE: XEL) for a site permit on a 215-MW natural gas-fired combustion turbine to be built within its existing Black Dog Generating Plant.

The meeting will be at Burnsville City Hall. Written comments are being accepted through Feb. 11. 

The proposed gas-fired project is to be located in Dakota County, in the city of Burnsville. The Public Utilities Commission must approve a site permit before the project can be built. The commission accepted Xcel Energy’s site permit application in December 2015. 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 state 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 holds a public hearing. After the public hearing, the Commission reviews all the information in the record, including written comments and comments received at the public hearings. The commission’s final decision on the site permit for this project is expected by September 2016.

The Xcel Energy project contact is: Timothy Edman, timothy.j.edman@xcelenergy.com, 612-330-2952.

In other recent news for this project:

  • General Electric (NYSE: GE) said Dec. 8, 2015, that Xcel Energy plans to use a high-efficiency 7F.05 gas turbine from GE for this project. The 7F.05 unit is expected to be used in peaking operation. The 7F.05 gas turbine offers nearly 40% simple cycle efficiency. Within 10 minutes, the unit can provide 75% of full power to the grid. GE’s 7F.05 unit fits into the existing power plant footprint. Xcel Energy and GE worked together to ensure the gas turbine could be installed into the previous coal-fired facility, using the existing steam turbine foundation. The new Black Dog unit is expected to enter commercial operation in 2018.
  • Northern States Power applied Oct. 15, 2015, at the Minnesota commission for this site permit on the 215-MW Black Dog Unit 6 Project. The commission had previously approved this project as part of the utility’s recent Competive Resource Acquisition case. Black Dog Unit 6 is a simple-cycle natural gas-fired combustion unit designed to provide approximately 215 MW of nominal peaking capabilities.  Construction is scheduled to begin in June 2016 with foundation work for the new unit. Initial startup is planned for early 2018, with commercial operation in April 2018, the utility noted.
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.