Tuesday, June 21, 2011
Unique “Wind Storage” provision in Power Purchase Agreement
Manitoba Hydro and Minnesota Power have signed a 250 MW Power Purchase Agreement which includes a unique provision whereby Minnesota Power can transmit electricity generated from their wind farms in the US state of North Dakota to the Canadian province of Manitoba where it will be “stored” in Manitoba Hydro’s hydroelectric reserves. When Minnesota Power transmits electricity northward to Manitoba, Manitoba Hydro will absorb it into its system – in essence storing the wind power, using the Manitoba system as a rechargeable battery. Minnesota Power will complete the second phase of its 82 MW Bison 1 Wind Energy Center in fall 2011 and recently announced its intent to build Bison II, an additional 105 MW, $170 million USD wind farm in North Dakota. Manitoba Hydro plans to construct two new hydroelectric stations on the upper Nelson River near Hudson Bay: the Keeyask and the Conawapa installations. The new hydro facilities would add another 1930 MW of electricity to the Manitoba Hydro system. The PPA also provides for construction of additional transmission capacity between Manitoba and the United States.