M-Power pursues expansion of Luverne Wind Farm in North Dakota

M-Power One LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of M-Power LLC, plans to develop a wind farm in Steele County, North Dakota, that will be known as the Luverne Northfield Extension Wind Energy Project.

M-Power One described the project in a Ten Year Plan filed June 28 at the North Dakota Public Service Commission.

The project will be adjacent to and north of the existing Luverne Wind Farm, which is located in Griggs and Steele counties, North Dakota. The maximum potential wind energy capacity for the area currently under wind development easements is estimated to be 155.2 MW. The final developed capacity will depend upon the ultimate selection of specific turbines.

M-Power One said it plans to begin construction of the initial phase of the project before the end of 2017, with an anticipated in-service date before the end of 2020. A generation-outlet transmission facility (230 kV or less) may need to be constructed in order to interconnect the project to the grid. The necessity for, location of and design details regarding such a transmission facility will be determined at a future date, pending the selection of the final transmission interconnection option. The Otter Tail Power (OTP) Colgate 41.6 kV Substation in Cass County, North Dakota, is a potential point of interconnection for the project, but other interconnection points are being studied.

In August 2011, M-Power One’s parent, M-Power LLC, submitted an amended application for interconnection of 50 MW of wind generation at the OTP Colgate 41.6 kV Substation in Cass County to the Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO). The interconnection request is currently in MISO’s System Planning and Analysis (SPA) phase.

On May 4, 2016, M-Power LLC, on behalf of M-Power One, filed a transmission interconnection request for a Large Generating Facility with Minnkota Power Cooperative for 151.8 MW of capacity on its 230-kV Pillsbury-Maple River transmission line. The application to Minnkota was declared complete on May 4, and a study is currently underway.

M-Power One said it has also commissioned a study to determine which regional utilities may have a need for the wind energy capacity produced by the project, and to identify various options for transmitting the project’s output from the wind farm site to the identified utilities’ respective loads.

M-Power One has been in contact with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the North Dakota Game and Fish Department, and township officials, among others, regarding the proposed project. Riverside and Greenville townships granted Conditional Use Permits for the project in March 2015 and April 2015, respectively. M-Power One received Determinations of No Hazard from the FAA on a preliminary turbine array. Once M-Power One’s initial environmental studies have been completed, M-Power One said it will engage in further consultation with federal, state and local agencies and governmental units to seek additional input regarding the project.

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.