Sometimes a letter is just a letter.  A letter sure isn’t a Power Purchase Agreement!  Kandiyohi’s Midtown Eco-Crapper is having about as much luck with its Power Purchase Agreement as Excelsior Energy, but they’re spinnin’ it just as wildly!  They have a deadline approaching for the option on the property for the burner, March 31, 2008, and to exercise the option they have to pony up $50,000 for the City, and meet conditions, one of which is a “commitment” to buy the power.  This seems to be another project that’s doomed but will take a long time to go down.  Not to worry, Excelsior has been over 6 years thus far, and it’s been a hilarious road…


They don’t have a PPA.  That’s very clear, though they’re trying to muddy it with “the letter.”  I did some checking on my own, made some phone calls, sent some emails, and nope, there’s NO Power Purchase Agreement.  What they’ve got is a letter saying there is no commitment!

Xcel letter to Kandiyohi – NOT a PPA

How can it be said any more clearly:

This letter is provided solely as an accommodation to Midtown with respect to the Option Agreement and does not create any obligation on the part of NSP to agree to any terms or conditions of a power purchase agreement, or to enter into a power purchase agreement with Midtown, or to issue or provide any approvals of any proposed power purchase agreement.  

Here’s the STrib report on this today:

Small step forward for wood-burning plant

The developer has exercised its option to buy land for the power plant in the East Phillips neighborhood.

By STEVE BRANDT, Star Tribune

Minneapolis officials are poring over a developer’s claim that it has met conditions to exercise an option to buy a city site for a wood-burning power plant in the East Phillips neighborhood.

Kandiyohi Development Partners asserted to the city in a letter received Friday that it has the necessary commitment from Xcel Energy to buy the plant’s power, one of the city’s conditions for selling its land.

That’s an abrupt change of stance in a week. Kandiyohi earlier asked the city to extend its March 30 deadline for exercising the option.

Kandiyohi’s chances appear to hinge on whether it has “a commitment to enter into a power purchase agreement” subject to reasonable conditions, as required by the option agreement. “By no means is it an ironclad agreement,” said burner opponent Jullonne Glad.

In a letter last week, Xcel acknowledged that it is negotiating with Kandiyohi. But the utility’s commitment contains a big if — if the developer and the utility reach an agreement. If so, Xcel said it will seek necessary management and regulatory approvals.

“We are negotiating with them,” said Xcel spokeswoman Mary Sandok.

Greg Goeke, who is managing the land sale for the city, said city officials will decide “in a day or two” whether the developer has met option conditions. Kandiyohi tried last July to exercise the option, but the city said it hadn’t made enough progress on the power sales agreement.

Kandiyohi said in the letter that it has exercised its option, sending the city a $50,000 check due. If the city agrees that Midtown has met all option conditions, it still must meet stiffer conditions to close on the land by the Oct. 2 deadline.

By then, the option agreement requires that Kandiyohi have all necessary government approvals, including a state emissions permit; demonstrate financing commitments, which it has obtained from Piper Jaffray; negotiate a neighborhood agreement, and have a signed power sales agreement.

Steve Brandt • 612-673-4438

And an interesting twist, also from the STrib, after noting the above reference to “Piper Jaffray commitments” I remembered something — Lois Quam’s new career path:

Quam, 46, talked recently about her new job spearheading environmental and health care investments at Piper Jaffray while evading questions on her political ambitions. 

Wonder if she recognizes the environmental harm of burning, the environmental harm of the Midtown Eco-Crapper — and that burning doesn’t do a thing for CO2, other than generate more!

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