Tonbridge Power Inc., Toronto, Canada, has announced that Montana Alberta Tie Limited (MATL), its subsidiary, has received requests for long-term capacity on the Tonbridge Power Line from Invenergy Wind Montana LLC. The Tonbridge Power Line is a transmission line project that will interconnect the electricity markets of Alberta and Montana through a 230-kV transmission line.
As a result of last year's Open Season process that commenced on Feb. 3, 2005 and ended on April 15, 2005, MATL awarded 15-year Transmission Service Rights (TSR) contracts to GE Wind (175 MWs from North to South) and Great Plains Wind Energy (120 MWs from South to North). Invenergy has requested 125 MWs from North to South and 180 MWs from South to North for a term of 15 years commencing Aug. 1, 2007. All of the TSR requests that have been received from these three customers contain certain conditions precedent that must be satisfied before the TSR contracts become fully binding on MATL and the customers.
Under the terms of the tariff that MATL has filed for approval with the U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, MATL will post the Invenergy TSR requests on its Open Access Same time Information Site (OASIS) for a period of 30 days (the Public Notice Period) to allow other interested parties to submit competing expressions of interest. If competing expressions of interest are received during the Public Notice Period, MATL will hold a competitive bidding process for its remaining capacity. If no competing expressions are received during the Public Notice Period, the TSRs requested by Invenergy will be awarded to Invenergy. Under such circumstance, Invenergy will have until Dec. 31, 2006 to confirm satisfaction of conditions precedent for the TSRs so awarded. In all other respects, the conditions are consistent with the existing TSR contracts. Additional details of the competitive bidding process will be published on the MATL OASIS at the same time as Invenergy's TSR request is posted.
With the TSR requests from Invenergy, MATL now has received TSR requests for 300 MWs, MATL's total proposed path rating, in each direction. All of the capacity requests have come from new wind generation projects that will be located near Cut Bank, Montana.
The project is currently scheduled to complete the regulatory permitting stage by the end of September 2006, with construction commencing immediately thereafter and commissioning by the first quarter of 2007. The currently scheduled expected in service date is the second quarter of 2007.
"We are excited about the opportunity to develop our second wind project in Montana and work with the MATL team. Combining MATL's mission of opening up transmission capacity between Alberta and Montana with Invenergy's desire to capture some of the best wind speeds in North America should make for a successful project." said Kevin Smith, senior vice president of Invenergy. Invenergy just recently finished construction on its first Montana project near Judith Gap-a 135 MW, 90 turbine project.