FERC okays Bank of America investment in 100-MW North Star Solar project

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on Aug. 29 approved a June 23 application North Star Solar PV LLC for a proposed transaction under which BAL Investment & Advisory Inc., or a wholly owned subsidiary of BAL Advisory, will purchase 100% of the Class A membership interests in DESRI North Star Holdings LLC.

North Star states that the transaction may not require commission approval; however, out of an abundance of caution, it nevertheless asked the commission to authorize the transaction. “This order authorizes the Proposed Transaction without making any determination of jurisdiction,” said the FERC order.

North Star owns and will operate the North Star Solar Generating Facility, a 100-MW facility located in Chisago County, Minnesota, within the Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO) market, along with interconnection facilities necessary to connect the facility to the transmission system owned by Northern States Power. The full output of the facility is committed under a long-term power purchase agreement with Northern States Power, a unit of Xcel Energy (NYSE: XEL).

North Star is a wholly-owned subsidiary of DESRI North Star Holdings and an indirect subsidiary of DESRI North Star Development LLC. DESRI North Star Development is indirectly, wholly owned by D. E. Shaw & Co. L.P. (DESCO LP). D. E. Shaw & Co. Inc. (DESCO Inc.) is the general partner of DESCO LP. 

BAL Advisory is an indirect, wholly owned subsidiary of Bank of America Corp., a bank holding company and a financial holding company. North Star stated that pursuant to the terms of the Membership Interest Purchase Agreement, BAL Advisory will acquire 100% of the non-controlling, passive Class A membership interests in DESRI North Star Holdings.

D. E. Shaw Renewable Investments LLC (DESRI) announced July 12 that it had acquired the 100-MW North Star Solar Project from Community Energy Inc. and has begun construction. Upon completion in late 2016, North Star will be the single largest solar energy project in the Midwest, and one of the largest in the U.S., the company added.

The North Star project will ultimately be made up of more than 400,000 crystalline photovoltaic modules using single-axis tracking technology that follows the sun as it rises in the east and sets in the west. This tracking technology helps to increase both the project’s output and the value of the output to the utility system.

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.