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Minnesota's Great River requests power purchase contracts for 100 MW

A 21 MW project in Minnesota developed by EnXco for Great River Energy has been delayed until 2004 due to transmission issues -- but that is not stopping Great River from seeking 100 MW more of renewable energy. The public utility, through administrative services provided by Split Rock Energy, the marketing agency it shares with investor-owned Minnesota Power, released a 100 MW request for proposals (RFP) in late March, closing the bids the last day of April. The utility is prepared to offer 25-year power purchase agreements for power that comes online by December 31, 2005. It prefers projects within its service area in Minnesota. After the RFP is fulfilled, the utility will get nearly 7% of energy from renewable resources. Great River already buys 6 MW of wind from a group of farmers in Minnesota and 6 MW from Chandler Hills in southwest Minnesota, and will buy the output of EnXco's 21 MW Stoneray project (Windpower Monthly, November 2002), also in the southwest part of the state, after transmission upgrades are made and the project is completed. Minnesota has a renewables portfolio standard that requires investor-owned utilities to buy renewables that amount to 4.4% of sales by 2012. While that does not apply to Great River, the state also has a non-binding renewable objective of 10% by 2015.

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