Iowa board grants deadline break for 500-MW wind farm project

The Iowa Utilities Board on Dec. 21 granted November requests from Emmet County Energy 10 LLC and related companies with numbers in their names up through Emmet County Energy 39 LLC for an extra year 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 MISO website shows that queue #J439 involves a 500-MW maximum capacity wind project that would interconnect into the MidAmerican Energy system on the O’Brien-Kossuth 345-kV line.

In July 2009, the board granted preliminary eligibility pursuant to Iowa Code for a wind energy conversion facility owned by each of the applicants. The applicants were originally given an operational deadline of Jan. 7, 2012. The board subsequently extended the operational deadline for the facilities to Dec. 31, 2016. Under the Dec. 21 order, the deadline is now Dec. 31, 2017.

The board noted in the Dec. 21 extension order: “The Applicants have been negotiating with a new partner, Tradewind Energy, LLC (Tradewind), to assist in completing the project and once the agreement with Tradewind is complete the project will be able to move forward quickly. The Applicants also provided an extensive list of project milestones completed to date and a detailed timeline of future milestones they expect to complete in order for the facilities to become operational prior to December 31, 2017. However, because of the number of extensions granted by the Board for these facilities, the Board finds that it is appropriate to require certain conditions be met during the next 12 months.”

The conditions include that the applicants file the following information with the board:

  • On or before March 1, 2017, the applicants shall file the amendment(s) related to closing the Asset Purchase Agreement. The Applicants shall attach an explanation for any amendments that may need to be clarified as it relates to eligibility for renewable energy tax credits.
  • On or before June 1, 2017, the applicants shall file a Power Purchase Agreement or letter of intent to purchase power produced by each facility.
  • On or before Sept. 1, 2017, the applicants need to file evidence demonstrating that the operations and management building and the substation construction have been completed.
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.