More time sought for Emmet County wind project in Iowa

Emmet County Energy 10 LLC and 29 other related companies with numbers in their names up through Emmet County Energy 39 LLC, on Nov. 9 asked the Iowa Utilities Board for extra time to complete a wind project under the state’s renewable energy credit program.

The application said: “We are requesting an extension of our facility’s operational deadline. As requested we have attached a list of milestones that have been completed on the Project to date, and a list of milestones we hope to complete over the next year. We have expended substantial resources to become operational as can be seen by the list of milestones. Specifically, we have re-leased or secured verbal commitments for leasing on 48 properties on over 50% of the Project area.

“In addition we have spent over $551,000 in the last two years alone, not counting MISO interconnection payments. Our MISO interconnection payments for our J439 interconnection queue position, as detailed in the attached list of milestones, now totals $2,211,660.

“Unfortunately, our Project has had a difficult time extracting ourselves from the ill-fated bankruptcy of our earlier partners Edison Mission and National Wind, both of which also had their bankrupt assets bought by yet other firms. We are now just days away from completing this arduous process as described in the list of milestones, and are confident that our new partners, Tradewind Energy, will be able to move this Project forward quickly.”

Each of the project companies is owned by individuals.

The Nov. 9 filing doesn’t give a project size. An April 2015 fact sheet from MISO on queue #J439 gives a project size of 500 MW.

Past developments for the project include:

  • Emmet County Energy LLC received formal termination of the development agreement with Trishe Wind Energy Holdings – June 2016;
  • NRG Energy Gas and Wind Holdings signed an agreement for no claim to a security interest in the ownership interest – June 2016;
  • Completed FAA Obstruction Evaluation and Airspace Analysis – summer 2016;
  • Held two landowner information sessions – July 2016;
  • Held project informational session with Dickinson County Board of Supervisors and Zoning Officer- July 2016;
  • Punjab National Bank acknowledged it doesn’t have a lien with Trishe regarding Emmet County Energy LLC – October 2016. That resolves the final issue with Punjab National Bank.

The tasks still pending ahead of December 2017 operation include:

  • Seeking termination of development agreement and indemnification from Trishe – November 2016. This is the final step in the bankruptcy processes.
  • Agreement pending (99% complete) with Tradewind Energy to assist in completing the project – November 2016;
  • Marketing efforts for Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) with numerous firms who have shown interest – spring 2016-winter 2017;
  • Turbine deliveries and erection – August-October 2017;
  • Energize and test system – October 2017; and
  • Commercial operation – December 2017.

The board on Nov. 18 sent the companies a letter asking for more detail on various points, including a copy of the agreement with Tradewind Energy.

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.