147-MW Grant Plains Wind project in Oklahoma to go commercial in December

Grant Plains Wind LLC on Sept. 23 asked the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to accept its Market-Based Rate Tariff and grant it the authority to sell energy, capacity and ancillary services in wholesale transactions, other than as limited by the tariff, at market-based rates. 

Great Plains Wind (GPW) is constructing the Grant Plains Wind Facility (the “GPW Facility”), a 147-MW wind facility located in Grant County, Oklahoma. The GPW Facility will be interconnected to the transmission system owned by Oklahoma Gas and Electric (OG&E) and operated by the Southwest Power Pool (SPP).

The GPW Facility is expected to synchronize to the grid for purposes of test energy delivery on or shortly before Nov. 15, 2016, and to be commercially operational in December 2016. Applicant has been self-certified as an exempt wholesale generator under the Public Utility Holding Company Act of 2005 and the commission’s regulations.

The generation capability of the GPW Facility will be committed on a long-term basis to wholesale market deliveries in the SPP balancing authority area (BAA) under separate, long-term contracts with:

  • Steelcase Inc. for delivery of a 25 MW allocation of the GPW Facility’s output delivered to the SPP-controlled transmission network and financial settlement thereof, commencing one month after the commercial operation date for a 12-year term;
  • Nephilia Capital Ltd. Via Allianz Risk Transfer (Bermuda) Ltd. for delivery of 122 MW to the SPP-controlled network and financial settlement thereof, beginning April 1, 2017, reduced to 81 MW on Jan. 1, 2020, for a 10-year term; and
  • Oklahoma Municipal Power Authority (OMPA) for the long-term firm sale of 41.4 MW (capability of 18 wind turbines) of capacity and associated energy, for a 20-year term commencing Jan. 1, 2020, and ending on Dec. 31, 2039.

The end result of the foregoing supply commitments from the GPW Facility is that the full output is committed to the wholesale market in SPP commencing Jan. 1, 2017, with a firm unit commitment physical obligation directly to OMPA commencing for a 20-year term on Jan. 1, 2020.

GPW is wholly owned by Southern Renewable Energy LLC (SRE), which is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Southern Power. Southern Power is a wholly owned subsidiary of Southern Co. (NYSE: SO).

SRE owns and controls two other generating facilities in the SPP BAA:

  • Kay Wind LLC is an EWG with market-based rate authorization. Kay Wind owns a 299-MW wind facility in Kay County, Oklahoma, which is interconnected to the OG&E transmission system operated by SPP. This facility commenced an initial phase of commercial operations in December 2015 and will enter full commercial operations on Oct. 1, 2016, with all output committed under long-term firm power purchase agreements (PPAs) to Westar Energy and the Grand River Dam Authority (GRDA). The Westar PPA ends in 2036, and the GRDA PPA ends in 2035.
  • Grant Wind LLC is an EWG with market-based rate authorization. Grant Wind owns an approximately 151-MW wind facility in Grant County, Oklahoma, which is interconnected to the OG&E transmission system operated by SPP. The Grant Wind Facility commenced commercial operations in April 2016, with all output committed under long-term firm PPAs to East Texas Electric Cooperative, Northeast Texas Electric Cooperative and Western Farmers Electric Cooperative. The Grant Wind PPAs end in 2036. Grant Wind holds 90.1% of the membership interests in Grant County Interconnect LLC, an EWG that owns the generation tie line and interconnection facilities necessary to deliver the output of the Grant Wind Facility (as well as the GPW Facility) to the SPP-interconnected transmission network.

Also, SRE on June 30 acquired Passadumkeag Windpark LLC, an EWG with market-based rate authorization. Passadumkeag Windpark owns a 40-MW wind facility near Bangor, Maine, within the ISO New England BAA. The Passadumkeag Windpark sells approximately 38.5 MW of its output to Western Massachusetts Electric Co. under a long-term firm PPA ending in 2031.

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.