Faced with a delay of several months to a state decision on the Goodhue Wind project, a National Wind official said today that “all options are on the table” for the future of the planned wind development.
Senior wind developer Chuck Burdick said company officials are scrambling to re-evaluate the proposed 78-megawatt wind farm after the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission opted last week to delay a permitting decision and send it back to an administrative law judge, a process state officials estimate will take six months.
“We’re working very hard to find a path forward,” he said.
Central to the company’s woes is the expected loss of federal stimulus funding under a program company officials expected to provide a significant portion of the project construction costs.
The company needs to demonstrate “significant progress” on site construction by the end of the year to gain approval for the payments.
Burdick said lack of stimulus funding would likely raise the rates the company would need to charge to Xcel Energy. That, in turn, would take a re-negotiation of the company’s purchase agreement with the utility.
The company is still trying to determine other effects of the delay, said Burdick, a process he says will likely take several more days.
He equated the Goodhue Wind project to a ball of string, with one change affecting everything else down the line.
“You just hope it doesn’t unravel,” he said.
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