Minnesota PUC grants breaks to 200-MW Blazing Star Wind project

The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission on April 28 granted certain data exemptions for Blazing Star Wind Farm LLC related to a March 8 application for a Certificate of Need for the 200-MW Blazing Star Wind Project in Lincoln County, Minnesota.

What the company sought, and the commission granted, were exemptions on certain data that would normally need to be in the application. One exemption relates to a requirement for a power purchase agreement or similar arrangement with a Minnesota utility prior to submitting its application.

Blazing Star is an independent power producer proposing to construct and operate the Blazing Star Wind Project. The project is expected to not exceed 200 MW. The facility is expected to be located on an approximately 35,000-acre site in Lincoln County in southwest Minnesota and span across five townships, Hansonville, Hendricks, Marble, Shakotan, and Royal.

The company said the power generated by the project will be offered for sale to wholesale customers, including Minnesota utilities and cooperatives that have identified a need for additional renewable energy. Blazing Star said it has not made a final selection on wind turbine generators, but is proposing to utilize between 57 and 117 turbines ranging from 1.7 MW to 3.5 MW in size. In addition to wind turbines, the project will consist of an electrical collection system, access roads, permanent meteorological towers, substation and interconnection facilities, an operation and maintenance facility, and other infrastructure typical of a wind farm.

The project will interconnect at the new Brookings-to-Lyon County 345-kV line, one of the lines designated by the Midcontinent Independent System Operator as a Multi Value Project (MVP). Blazing Star plans to construct the project on a schedule that facilitates an in-service date in 2018.

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.