But Kenetech has responded by filing its own application for a site certificate, including for wind rights held, it believes, by Windtricity, Zond, NSP and other private parties, says the company's Bud Grebey. He notes it is not public knowledge who owns rights on a parcel, but that Kenetech is asking rights in two areas, northwest and southeast of Lake Benton. "If [NSP] can get a permit for land that is not theirs, we can do the same thing," says Grebey.
Kenetech says it wants to build a plant using 159 of its yet-to-be-built KVS-45 wind turbines, to be on line also in November of 1996. At the public hearing, Kenetech maintained that both its project and the 100 MW NSP proposal could be successfully built in the area. The company was not specific about who would buy the electricity.
NSP is also applying in court for a "declaratory judgement" so that it can use eminent domain -- compulsory purchase -- of wind rights if necessary. Kenetech is arguing that in an unregulated market, NPS should not be allowed to use eminent domain for a "competitor's" wind rights. Kenetech also says the matter should be settled in federal not state court. Hinschberger says she hopes for court a decision soon. NSP is proceeding with final negotiations with Zond. "We stand behind the selectionÉ. I view this as Kenetech is obviously disappointed."
Kenetech is also questioning Zond's ability to complete the project on time, pointing out that Zond has yet to develop the wind turbine it intends use. A delay, says Kenetech, would inhibit future phases of wind construction that Kenetech would like to compete for. Kenetech, however, has yet to build the wind turbine it has proposed for Buffalo Ridge. Public comments on the matter were received at the state Public Utilities Commission (PUC) by August 10. The commissioners may then consider the issue as soon as this month.