78-MW Black Oak Wind project in Minnesota to go commercial on Dec. 23

Black Oak Wind LLC told the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission in a Dec. 20 notice that its wind farm in Stearns County is due for commercial operation with all turbines on Dec. 23.

The Minnesota commission in a Sept. 7 order had approved a July 20 application from Getty Wind Co. LLC and Black Oak Wind LLC to transfer Getty’s wind-farm site permit to Black Oak. Getty and Black Oak have been developing adjacent wind farms in Stearns County.

In their July 2016 permit-transfer application, the companies informed the commission that their parent company, Sempra Energy, planned to merge Getty into Black Oak, such that Black Oak will be the surviving entity, owning all project assets. Power from both projects will be sold to the same purchaser under a single power purchase agreement executed by Black Oak.

Incidentally, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on Sept. 29 approved an Aug. 19 application from Black Oak Wind LLC for authorization for Bankers Commercial Corp. to acquire 100% of the Class A membership interests in Black Oak’s direct parent, Black Oak Getty Holdings, and subsequently transfer 36.5% of those interests to Citizens Asset Finance Inc.

Black Oak is an exempt wholesale generator with market-based rate authority. The Black Oak Facility is situated within the Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO) market.

Says the Sempra website: “Black Oak Getty is Sempra U.S. Gas & Power’s 78-megawatt (MW) wind farm project located in Stearns County, Minnesota. … The project moved into full construction in spring 2016, creates about 250 construction jobs at peak and approximately seven full-time positions. Construction is expected to be completed in fall 2016, utilizing 39 wind turbines to generate enough electricity to power about 32,000 Minnesota homes. The entire output from the wind farm will be sold to the Minnesota Municipal Power Agency under a 20-year contract.”

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.