FERC okays General Electric buy of interests in geothermal, wind facilities

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on Nov. 21 approved an Oct. 12 application covering a passive investment by an affiliate of General Electric (NYSE: GE) in several geothermal and wind power facilities.

The application was from Enel Cove Fort LLC, Enel Stillwater LLC (Stillwater Geothermal), EGP Stillwater Solar LLC (Stillwater Solar), Origin Wind Energy LLC, Chisholm View Wind Project LLC, Prairie Rose Wind LLC, Prairie Rose Transmission LLC, Goodwell Wind Project LLC and EFS Green Power Holdings LLC. Under this now-approved deal, EFS will acquire a 1% interest in EGPNA Renewable Energy Partners LLC (REP) from a subsidiary of Enel Green Power North America Inc. (EGPNA).

The FERC approval noted: “Applicants state that the Proposed Transaction may not require authorization under FPA section 203(a)(1) and 203 (a)(2); however out of an abundance of caution, it nonetheless requests the Commission to authorize the Proposed Transaction. This order authorizes the Proposed Transaction without making any determination of jurisdiction.”

The affected companies are:

  • Enel Cove Fort owns a 25-MW geothermal facility (Cove Fort Facility) located in the PacifiCorp-East (PACE) balancing authority area (BAA). The Cove Fort Facility is a qualifying small power production facility under the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act of 1978 (PURPA). The output from the Cove Fort Facility is committed under a long-term contract to the Salt River Project. Cove Fort is authorized to sell power at market-based rates.
  • Stillwater Geothermal owns a 47.2-MW geothermal facility (Stillwater Geothermal Facility) located in the Nevada Power BAA. The Stillwater Geothermal Facility is a QF. The output from the Stillwater Facility is committed under a long-term contract to NV Energy. Stillwater Geothermal is an exempt wholesale generator (EWG) and is authorized to sell power at market-based rates.
  • Stillwater Solar owns a 22-MW solar facility (Stillwater Solar Facility) located in the Nevada Power BAA. The Stillwater Solar Facility is a QF. The output is committed under a long-term contract to NV Energy. Stillwater Solar is authorized to sell power at market-based rates.
  • Origin owns a 150-MW wind facility (Origin Facility) located in the service territory of Oklahoma Gas and Electric (Oklahoma Gas) within the Southwest Power Pool (SPP) market. The output from the Origin Facility is committed under a long-term contract to Arkansas Electric Cooperative Corp. Origin is an EWG and is authorized to sell power at market-based rates.
  • Chisholm owns a 235-MW wind facility (Chisholm Facility) located in the service territory of Oklahoma Gas within the SPP market. The output is committed under a longterm contract to Alabama Power. Chisholm is an EWG and is authorized to sell power at market-based rates.
  • Prairie Rose owns a 200-MW wind facility (Prairie Rose Facility) located within the Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO) market. The output from the Prairie Rose Facility is committed under a long-term contract to Northern States Power. Prairie Rose is an EWG and is authorized to sell power at market-based rates.
  • Prairie Transmission is a wholly owned subsidiary of Prairie Rose. Prairie Transmission provides interconnection service between the Prairie Rose Facility and the transmission grid.
  • Goodwell owns a 200-MW wind facility (Goodwell Facility) located in the service territory of Southwestern Public Service Co. within the SPP market. The output from the Goodwell Facility is committed under a long-term contract to Public Service Co. of Oklahoma. Goodwell is an EWG and is authorized to sell power at market-based rates.

EGPNA is a wholly owned subsidiary of Enel Green Power International B.V., which is a wholly owned subsidiary of Enel S.p.A., a traditional utility company owned in part by the government of Italy. EGPNA through its wholly owned subsidiary EGPNA REP Holdings LLC (REP Holdings) owns a 51% ownership interest in REP, consisting of 100% of the Class A membership interests in REP. The Class A membership interests are active voting securities.

REP controls the facilities named above and certain non-utility generation projects companies (called the Non-Utility Projects Companies). The Non-Utility Projects consist of hydroelectric, geothermal, and solar generation facilities having a total installed capacity of approximately 335 MW. Applicants state that each of the Non-Utility Projects (other than one project in Canada) is a QF under PURPA.

EFS currently owns a 49% ownership interest in REP, consisting of 100% of the Class B membership interests in REP. The Class B membership interests in REP are passive non-voting securities. EFS is a wholly owned subsidiary of EFS Renewable Holdings LLC, which is part of GE. Through its subsidiaries, General Electric is a passive owner and investor in a number of generating facilities in the United States.

REP Holdings will sell a 1% interest in REP to EFS. As a result, the indirect 51% Class A membership interest in REP held by EGPNA through REP Holdings will decrease from 51% to 50%, and EFS’ 49% Class B membership interest in REP will increase from 49% to 50%. EGPNA will remain as manager of REP.  After the consummation of this transaction, the Class B membership interests will remain as passive interests that do not give EFS a voice in the day-to-day operations of REP or its subsidiaries and will not constitute voting securities. EGPNA will retain an indirect 50% Class A membership interest in REP, will be the manager of REP, and will have all day-today control over the operation and management of REP and its subsidiaries.

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.