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Caithness Energy eyes PPA for 320 MW of wind, storage in Montana

Wind turbines. Author: Anne Marie Peterson. License: Creative Commons, Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic

August 23 (Renewables Now) - Caithness Beaver Creek, a unit of power producer Caithness Energy, is seeking regulatory assistance to contract 320 MW of wind and 160 MW/640 MWh of related energy storage capacity in Montana.

According to a regulatory filing with the Montana Public Service Commission (PSC) this month, the company’s plan calls for the construction of four separate wind parks of 80 MW each and four 40-MW/160-MWh battery storage systems. The specific plants will be regarded as qualifying facilities (QFs) under the Public Utility Regulatory Policy Act (PURPA), which requires utilities to buy power from independent power generators at utility avoided cost rates.

The developer has requested that utility Northwestern Energy purchases the output of the four wind farms after the parties have failed to set the terms of the contract through negotiations. PSC now has to determine rates and conditions of the power purchase agreement (PPA). All off the proposed wind parks have already been certified as QFs.

Caithness is seeking energy payment of USD 31.33 (EUR 27.11) per MWh for heavy load hours and USD 29.5 per MWh for light load hours, in addition to capacity payments of USD 81.45/MWh during on-peak hours and a USD 0.58/MWh payment for ancillary services.

The Montana PSC is expected to issue a decision on the contract terms by February 6, 2019. If approval is granted, Caithness expects to commission each of the four projects in 2020.

(USD 1.0 = EUR 0.865)

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Veselina Petrova is one of Renewables Now's most experienced green energy writers. For several years she has been keeping track of game-changing events both large and small projects and across the globe.

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