August of this year saw major development steps for several wind projects around the U.S., including two companion projects (149 MW apiece) in North Dakota of NextEra Energy (NYSE: NEE).
Project highlights during the month, as reported by Generation Hub, included:
- Brady Interconnection LLC on Aug. 25 filed with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission a Shared Facilities Agreement between Brady Interconnection, Brady Wind LLC and Brady Wind II LLC. Brady Wind and Brady Wind II are each developing wind facilities of approximately 149 MW. Brady Wind and Brady Wind II each have an application for market-based rates pending in front of the commission. They are part of NextEra Energy Resources LLC, a subsidiary of NextEra Energy. Brady Interconnection will own an approximately 19-mile, 230 kV generation tie line serving the Brady Wind and Brady Wind II projects in Stark County, North Dakota. The point of interconnection is at the Daglum Substation owned by Basin Electric Power Cooperative. The Brady Wind facility may start producing test energy as early as Oct. 25, 2016. The Brady Wind II facility may start producing test energy as early as Nov. 15, 2016.
- Filed with the Texas Public Utility Commission were interconnect deals for two lwind projects of Lincoln Clean Energy that would have staggered commercial operation dates but the same interconnection point. Oncor Electric Delivery Co. LLC filed with the commission on Aug. 19 a Standard Generation Interconnection Agreement with Dermott Wind LLC for a 253-MW project that is due in commercial operation on Aug. 30, 2017. The project’s Point of Interconnection is in Scurry County, Texas, at the Dermott Switching Station. This project to be made up of 110 General Electric wind turbines sized at 2.3 MW each. Oncor filed at the commission a similar agreement with Coyote Wind LLC for a project that is due in commercial operation on Aug. 30, 2018. The agreement covers a 242.5-MW wind farm that will be composed of 97 GE wind turbines of 2.5 MW each. The project’s Point of Interconnection will also be at the Dermott Switching Station.
- The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on Aug. 17 approved the July 12 filing by the New York Independent System Operator and interconnecting transmission owner the New York Power Authority of an executed Large Generator Interconnection Agreement for the in-construction, 77.7-MW project of Jericho Rise Wind Farm LLC. This wind farm is in Franklin County, New York. It will consist of 37 Gamesa G114 2.1-MW turbines. The project will interconnect to transmission facilities of NYPA at the existing 115 kV Willis Substation. The project’s commercial operation target date under this LGIA is in November of this year. A listed project contact is with EDP Renewables North America LLC.
- The U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) announced in the Aug. 18 Federal Register that it has gotten an unsolicited application for wind area leasing from Trident Winds LLC for a 765-MW wind project to be located offshore of the retired Morro Bay power plant in California. The bureau will now seek any competing offers for the tract. The project would be located, at its closest point, approximately 15 nautical miles offshore Point Piedras Blancas in water depths of about 2,900 feet. It would consist of about 100 floating units, each equipped with up to an 8-MW wind turbine generator and connected by inter-unit electrical cabling, with a single transmission cable exporting electricity to the mainland. The proposal also includes plans to increase the project to 1,000 MW at a later date. Trident Winds said it will seek a long-term power purchase agreement or a build-own-transfer transaction with one or more load serving utilities. Initial commercial operation is expected in the 2025 time frame.
- Filed on Aug. 16 at the Public Utility Commission of Texas was a Standard Generation Interconnection Agreement between CenterPoint Energy Houston Electric LLC and Chocolate Bayou Wind I LLC for a 149.5-MW project. The Chocolate Bayou Wind Generation Project will have a Point of Interconnection near CenterPoint’s Golden Substation, located in Brazoria County. Texas. This wind project will be comprised of sixty-five 2.3-MW wind turbine generators with a total net rating of 149.5 MW. This consists of Siemens 2.3-MW Type IV turbines. There is no firm commercial operation target date for the project. A project contact listed in the SGIA is with Pioneer Green Energy.
- Mt. Storm Wind Force LLC on Aug. 15 asked the West Virginia Public Service Commission for a decision that some changes, including a smaller size for its wind project (new size is 150 MW), are not material and do not require modification of the siting certificate for the facility or, in the alternative, for modification of the siting certificate. The revised project is expected to have a total generation capacity of 150 MW, which is 100 MW less than the total generation capacity authorized for the original project. When it was formed in 2001, Mt. Storm was wholly owned by US Wind Force LLC. In April 2015, interests in the project went to Mt. Storm, which is a wholly-owned subsidiary of NextEra Energy Resources.
- The New York State Board on Electric Generation Siting and the Environment issued an Aug. 12 notice about a pre-application meeting on the Bull Run Energy LLC wind project. Bull Run Energy, an affiliate of Invenergy Wind North America LLC, intends to file an application for a Certificate of Environmental Compatibility and Public Need for construction of a wind facility in Clinton County, New York. Construction would consist of up to 150 wind turbines. Bull Run proposes to interconnect the project with the electric system by constructing an approximately four-mile overhead 230-kV alternating current transmission line at a proposed switchyard to be built adjacent to the New York Power Authority’s Ryan-Plattsburgh 230 kV transmission line in the Town of Ellenburg.
- The Public Service Commission of Wisconsin on Aug. 11 issued a re-approval of the 102.5-MW Highland Wind Farm LLC project, with the new decision taking into account two issues that a state court had remanded back to the commission. Highland Wind Farm had gotten a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity to construct a 102.5-MW wind facility to be located in the towns of Forest and Cylon, St. Croix County, Wisconsin. But project opponents won a court decision in the case.
- The Oregon Department of Energy, which provides the staff for the Energy Facility Siting Council (EFSC), has issued a proposed order on the 500-MW Wheatridge Wind Energy Facility. The Aug. 5 proposed order recommends that the EFSC approve the application. The proposed facility would consist of up to 292 wind turbines divided into two groups: Wheatridge West and Wheatridge East. Following issuance of this Aug. 5 proposed order, the council must conduct a contested case proceeding. The applicant is Wheatridge Wind Energy LLC, a wholly‐owned subsidiary of Swaggart Wind Power LLC. The department received the preliminary application for the Site Certificate in December 2014.
- Baron Winds LLC, which is developing a 300-MW project, on Aug. 10 filed with New York State Public Service Commission a Preliminary Scoping Statement, a key document in its pursuit of a certificate of environmental compatibility and public need. Baron Winds is a subsidiary of EverPower Wind Holdings Inc. This facility would be located in Steuben County, New York.
- The Horse Creek Wind LLC affiliate of Starwood Energy Group Global LLC, in an Aug. 9 registration statement as a renewable energy generator filed with the Public Utility Commission of Texas, said its 230-MW project is due for commercial operation on Sept. 16. The project is located at Weinert, Texas. Also, the Electra Wind LLC affiliate of Starwood on Aug. 9 filed a registration statement with the Texas commission for a 230-MW wind project in Wilbarger County, Texas, that is due for commercial operation on Oct. 3.
- The U.S. Department of Energy on Aug. 9, on behalf of its Western Area Power Administration, issued a draft environmental assessment (EA) on the proposed Willow Creek Wind Energy Facility in Butte County, South Dakota. The EA reviews the potential environmental impacts of constructing, operating, and maintaining a 103-MW (nameplate) wind facility consisting of approximately 45 wind turbines. Wind Quarry Operations LLC proposes to construct the Willow Creek Wind Energy Facility. The project area is approximately 10 miles northeast of Newell, South Dakota. Wind Quarry proposes to interconnect the project to the Western Area Power Administration’s Maurine to Rapid City 115-kV transmission line, which passes through the project area.
- Algonquin Power & Utilities Corp. (TSX: AQN) announced Aug. 9 the achievement of commercial operation of the 200-MW Odell Wind Project, located in Cottonwood, Jackson, Martin and Watonwan counties, Minnesota. Odell consists of 100 Vestas V110-2.0 MW wind turbine generators. Odell Wind has a long-term Power Purchase Agreement with Xcel Energy’s (NYSE: XEL) Northern States Power subsidiary for the entire capacity of the facility.