NorthWestern Energy (NYSE: NWE), and OwnEnergy, Inc., a developer of Community Wind projects, today announced that they have signed a 25-year Qualifying Facility Agreement, for the 9.7 megawatt Two Dot Wind Farm. The project is located in Wheatland County, near the town of Two Dot, about 90 miles NW of Billings.
OwnEnergy will sell the electricity from the Community Wind farm to NorthWestern Energy under the terms and conditions set forth by the Montana Public Service Commission in the QF-1, Option 3 electric tariff. OwnEnergy and NorthWestern negotiated a long-term rate substantially below the current Qualifying Facility rate of $69.21. In return, OwnEnergy obtained curtailment provisions that are significantly more favorable than those contained in new Qualifying Facility Agreements.
The project is being developed as a result of the partnership between OwnEnergy and Two Dot Wind, LLC, whose owners, Dave Healow and Dana Dogetrom, are local businessmen. Two Dot Wind Farm exemplifies the central principles of Community Wind development – local ownership as well as greater involvement and financial upside for members of the community. Furthermore, as a wind development approach, Community Wind has demonstrated that it creates a greater number of local jobs.
OwnEnergy has taken a leadership role in the high-growth Community Wind sector, where its CEO serves on the AWEA Board as an advisor on the segment. Through its proprietary development technology and local partnerships, OwnEnergy has driven down the time and cost of developing these small to mid-sized wind projects and made them competitive in the market.
Jacob Susman, Founder and CEO of OwnEnergy, said, “This is an exciting milestone for OwnEnergy, Two Dot Wind, LLC and the local Montana community. NorthWestern has once again shown true leadership, demonstrating that power generation can be environmentally friendly at the same time as being cost-effective.”
“Thanks to this agreement, our customers will benefit from the addition of a renewable energy source at a rate more beneficial to ratepayers,” said John Hines, Vice President – Supply. “With our other recent wind QF purchases, we are nearing the limit of installed wind capacity that we are allowed to purchase through this tariff.” The Montana Public Service Commission set a rate for NorthWestern Energy to purchase up to 50MW of wind generation. When the company reaches the cap, the MPSC will reexamine the wind QF tariff and related policies.
Construction of the Two Dot Wind Farm will begin by spring of 2012.
OwnEnergy, Inc. is a Community Wind developer of mid-sized, utility scale wind projects that enable landowners and communities to build and profit directly from their own local wind farms. The company is based in Brooklyn, New York. For more information about OwnEnergy visit www.ownenergy.net.
NorthWestern Energy provides electricity and natural gas in the Upper Midwest and Northwest, serving approximately 665,000 customers in Montana, South Dakota and Nebraska.