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Filed under:ITC MN & IA 345 kV — posted by admin on September 7, 2014 @ 11:12 am

Cash-Register

Donate!!!  Yes, you!!   See that “PayPal” button up to the right?  Join the challenge to transmission that they don’t need and we don’t want!  No CapX 2020 has Intervened in the ITC Midwest MN/IA Certificate of Need, a public interest intervention focused on showing up to weigh in on the big picture issues (Important note, No CapX 2020 is aiding public participation, but not taking a position on route.).

(more…)

Motion for Reconsideration — ITC Midwest

Filed under:ITC MN & IA 345 kV,Nuts & Bolts — posted by admin on December 15, 2014 @ 3:36 pm

ITC MVP Study 3

It’s that time — ’tis the season.  Last month, the Public Utilities Commission filed its Orders in the ITC Midwest MN/IA transmission project docket granting the Certificate of Need and a Route Permit.

Order_Certificate of Need_201411-104931-01

In Minnesota, we have 20 days to file a Motion for Reconsideration, and that’s TODAY!  Two were filed:

Jagodiznski_Motion for Reconsideration – Route

No CapX 2020 Motion for Reconsideration – Certificate of Need

The applicant will get a chance to respond, and then the Commission will put it on their agenda… we shall see!

12/19 – Annual Hearing – Power Plant Siting Act

Filed under:Upcoming Events — posted by admin on December 12, 2014 @ 10:36 am

It’s that time of year… the time that we get to tell the Public Utilities Commission what does and does not work about the Power Plant Siting Act.  We’ve been doing it for years, 15 or so years, and have spent over a year now in a rulemaking on the PUC’s rules, Ch. 7849 (Certificate of Need) and Ch. 7850 (Power Plant & Transmission Siting) where some of these long complained of problems will be address (with any luck).  And now, again, it’s time to reinforce those comments with another round of comments:

Notice

How to file comments?  From the notice:

Notice2

After the hearing, now officiated by an Administrative Law Judge (new as of a few years ago), a report is issued to the PUC and then ???  It used to go to the legislature, guess I have to find out what happens now.

December 19, 2014 beginning at 9:30 a.m.

Public Utilities Commission

3rd Floor Large Hearing Room

121 – 7th Place East

St. Paul, MN  55101

Each of you who have experience siting and routing of large electric energy facilities — this is the time to weigh in.  You can do it in person, and you can do it by filing comments.

Here is the Power Plant Siting Act, which governs the siting and routing of large energy facilities:

Power Plant Siting Act – 216E

Here are some prior dockets (to access the entire docket, individual comments, etc., go to th PUC’s “SEARCH” site and plug in the docket numbers :

2000 Summary of Proceedings

2000 Report EQB

2001 Summary of Proceedings

2001 Report EQB

2002 Summary of Proceedings

2002 Report to EQB

2003 Summary of Proceedings

2003 Report to EQB

2004 Summary of Proceedings

2004 Report to EQB

2005 Report to PUC

2006 Report to PUC – Docket 06-1733

2007 Report to PUC – Docket 07-1579

2008 Report to PUC - Docket 08-1426

2009 Report to PUC – Docket 09-1351

2010 Report to PUC – Docket 10-222

2011 Report to PUC – Docket 11-324

2012 Report – Docket 12-360 -2012 Report Exhibits

2013 Report  – Docket 13-9650143-96999-01

Let the Badger Coulee hearings begin!

Filed under:BadgerCoulee - Wisconsin,Upcoming Events,Wisconsin — posted by admin on December 9, 2014 @ 9:38 am

Power line hearing today in Holmen

HearingSchedule

Public Comment period ends on January 5. Here’s a link!

And here are some articles about Badger Coulee:

Our view: PSC can't forget public service mission

Our view: PSC can’t forget public service mission

Rachel Teske: We don’t need power line expansion

And tell Michael Vickerman what you think of his support of the “it’s all connected” massive grid build-out:

Michael Vickerman: Badger-Coulee catalyst for renewable energy

And as to the Public Service Commission attendance at the hearings — what are you gonna do?

PSC commissioners may skip Badger-Coulee hearings

PSC chairman may attend public hearings after all

PSC Commissioner reverses course

PUC issues written orders in ITC docket

Filed under:ITC MN & IA 345 kV,Nuts & Bolts — posted by admin on November 25, 2014 @ 2:00 pm

gavel

It’s official!  Here are the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission Orders in the ITC Midwest MN/IA 345 kV Transmission Project case for their Certificate of Need and Route Permit — hot off the press:

Order_Certificate of Need_201411-104931-01

Order_Route Permit_14-0120_12-1337

Today the clock starts ticking.  If there’s anything that you, an “affected party” take issue with and want the Commission to reconsider, there is a 20 day window to file a Motion for Reconsideration.  That means you need to file it by December 15, 2014.

Not only is this relevant to the ITC docket, but as the first of the MISO MVP projects to come down the pike, it’s also relevant to the Badger Coulee docket now ongoing in Wisconsin (GO HERE and search for PSC Docket 05-CE-142) as the first MVP project in Wisconsin.

doh

Here’s the short version of the Certificate of Need Order:

Order_Short

Here are some issues for No CapX 2020 — this is the Commission’s interpretation — from the Certificate of Need Order:

1 2 3 4 5

So there ya have it!  Monday December 15, 2014 is the deadline for Motions for Reconsideration.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hearing dates, and CapX 2020 in the news

Filed under:BadgerCoulee - Wisconsin,Hampton-Alma-LaCrosse,Upcoming Events,Wisconsin — posted by admin on November 23, 2014 @ 10:55 am

CapX 2020 in the news… see below.

REMEMBER — IF YOU ARE SERVED WITH PETITION FOR CONDEMNATION, YOU HAVE ONLY 60 DAYS TO FILE YOUR REQUEST FOR “BUY THE FARM.”

And in Wisconsin — public hearings on Badger Coulee, La Crosse to Madison, start the week after next:

HearingSchedule

Condemnations start along CapX2020 powerline route

Posted: Friday, November 21, 2014 7:50 pm

To clear the way for an 11.4-mile segment of new transmission lines, a power utility has started the process of condemning properties stretching from Chester to Oronoco.

The project is part of CapX2020, a massive plan designed to upgrade the electric transmission system in parts of North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota and Wisconsin. In total, the plan will cost $2.2 billion, cover 800 miles and finish in late 2015.

CapX2020 has negotiated deals with 43 land owners to build this 161 kV segment to connect Rochester to the main network, according to project spokesperson Tim Carlsgaard. Tree removal work could begin on the those parcels yet this month.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

 

Icy water, eagles factor into CapX2020 river crossing

 

ALMA, Wis. — On a blustery November morning on an island in the Mississippi River, a construction crew was hard at work using a massive crane and welding equipment to tear down a 70-foot-tall section of lattice tower.

It was all part of a $30 million effort to string the new CapX2020 transmission lines across the Mississippi River near Alma. The project is a daunting one, requiring the use of barges to transport 3,280 cubic yards of concrete, a 250-ton crane and 6 miles of steel pipe to an island and a peninsula in the river being used for the river crossing. Making that work even more difficult has been the earlier-than-normal cold weather.

“It’s been cold. We’ve been fighting with the ice, so we’re looking to get done in the next couple of weeks,” Zach Pontzer said on Friday morning.

 

 

 

 

PSC Issues Notice of Hearing for Badger Coulee

Filed under:BadgerCoulee - Wisconsin,Laws & Rules,Upcoming Events,Wisconsin — posted by admin on November 1, 2014 @ 12:30 pm

The PSC has issued the Notice of Hearing for the Badger Coulee transmission project.  Dates, times, locations below.  Because there’s something even more important — look at the restrictions for those who want to comment:

CommentRestrictionsThere’s nothing in the docket of anyone, objecting to this.  WAKE UP!!!  Parties representing “the public” better stand up!

Here’s even more limitations, setting out the ways people can comment, and that a person may make only ONE comment:

PublicComments

And this too:

CommentRejection

Now ain’t that encouraging?  Doesn’t that make you want to run right out and comment?

But remember, there is the option of writing a “Non-Party Brief” as described in the Prehearing Memorandum — see p. 9:

Prehearing Memorandum_Scheduling

Non-partyBrief

Here’s the ALJ’s acknowledgement of that option, and how to do it, from the Prehearing Conference back in August (FYI, it’s Motion for Leave to file a non-party brief, not “relief”):

NonPartyBrief_Transcript

Here’s the Public Hearing schedule — you’ve got a month to get ready:

HearingSchedule

When you make your public comment, be sure to let Judge Newmark know what you think of all these restrictions.

Look what AWEA wants for us!

Filed under:Cost Recovery,Nuts & Bolts — posted by admin on @ 12:13 pm

AWEA-AEP XmsnGrid

There’s the Forbes article about American Wind Energy Ass (AWEA) advocating for this massive mess of new 765 kV lines.

Experts: Reducing Carbon Emissions and Increasing Grid Reliability are Doable

Experts?  Ummmm, AWEA?  No, they are NOT transmission experts, they are only expert in doing what their masters pay them to do.  Here’s their “vision” from a couple of years ago:

Green Power Superhighways

Report - Update to the Superhighways report that AWEA’s Michael Goggin wrote in fall 2013.

In Minnesota, there’s one paralleling the CapX 2020 line, then another cutting the state in two from Big Stone to the Metro, and another from Split Rock to Adams along I-90.  Who the hell do they think they are to advocate for this overkill of transmission?  And note that in the Dakotas, as always, they start at the big coal plants.  Infrastructure like this is the best way to assure coal never shuts down, adding capacity instead of shutting coal down and using that capacity.  And if they do it this way, then they can run our coal plants forever.  Oh, right… this is the plan AEP supports.

First and foremost, remember that this is about economics — money and profit from building transmission and providing transmission service — the grid IS electrically reliable, so says NERC in its latest State of Reliability 2013 Report:

2013StateofReliability

 

 

 

And here’s the NERC Report (one should be due out soon, used to be October, but they’ve pushed it back):

2013 NERC Reliability Assessment

What strikes me is that so many are willing to believe that the electric grid is not “reliable” and are willing to attribute economic issues like “congestion” to claims that the system is not reliable.  And then there’s their successful effort to shift cost allocation so that the generators no longer pay for transmission necessary to access and safely operate the grid.  In the past, generators paid, but then in the gas plant surge over a decade ago, so many were built without transmission upgrades that we were in transmission deficit, evidenced in the 2001-2004 SW MN 345 kV Four Certificates of Need (MN PUC Docket 01-1958).  Check this TLTG Table, click for a larger version:

TLTG_1-H_PUCDocket01-1958For their 1-H option, the one that the enviros agreed to in this project, acquiesced to (remember, this was the project where they got a group together and asked “What would it take to support this project?”), the system starts out with a 1475 MW deficit.  It’s not until they’ve fixed some long standing problems, such as the sagging Wilmarth line, and the FT. CALHOUN INTERFACE which is in the base case (!!!!), and after spending over $138 million including their wide ranging “base case” of necessary fixes, that they start actually adding some system capacity.  DOH!  Give me a break…

The real problem is failure to make those added generators pay for fixing the system impacts, and then the desire to add wind projects without making them pay for system impacts, and more importantly, of wanting to add wind on top of the existing coal generation, without removing the coal which would make plenty of room for wind.  The price of their wanting to “find a way forward for coal.”

American Wind Energy Ass, how dare you.  This one’s for you:

horsesassaward

From AWEA’s 2012 IRS 990 (the most recent one on Guidestar), p. 25 and 29, they’re getting paid a lot:

AWEA_2012_IRS990

 

AWEA p 25

 

AWEA p 29

 

ITC caught without conditional use permit!

Filed under:ITC MN & IA 345 kV,News coverage — posted by admin on October 27, 2014 @ 9:16 am

oops

ITC site needs a CUP

October 27, 2014

by Jill Roesler – Register Staff Writer (jroesler@faribaultcountyregister.com)
Faribault County Register

Within the past few months, several landowners in Faribault County have expressed their concern and dread over ITC Midwest’s upcoming installation of a large electric transmission line spanning 73 miles of southern Minnesota’s prime farmland.

Some residents have been able to rest easy knowing that construction will not begin until 2016; however, ITC Midwest has already begun their move into Faribault County.

During last Tuesday’s Faribault County Board of Commissioners meeting, Michele Stindtman, the Faribault County Planning and Zoning program administrator, addressed her discovery of an unauthorized staging ground outside of the city of Wells.

ITC Midwest, the company behind the construction of a new high-voltage electric transmission line in southern Minnesota, has set up a staging ground on a piece of property annexed by the city of Wells.

According to mn.gov, staging areas are required in 25 mile increments along the route to serve as a delivery and storage ground for construction equipment.

However, the staging area in question is not actually on the route; therefore, ITC needed to obtain rights to use the land from the affected landowners. “They would have asked the city for permission because it’s city property,” said Commissioner Bill Groskreutz addressing an inquiry as to who gave ITC permission to use the grounds. “But the city doesn’t have the authority to approve use because it’s outside the city limits; even if it is their property.”

Because the property is outside of city limits, the area still requires a conditional use permit (CUP) as issued by Faribault County Planning and Zoning. The piece of land being used by ITC is zoned A2, or a general agriculture site. The property includes three waste water ponds, a number of quonset huts, a rifle range and the ITC staging ground.

Stindtman spoke to Wells city administrator Robin Leslie about the unauthorized site and Stindtman suggested acquiring a conditional use permit that umbrellas the three areas the ITC staging ground, the waste ponds and the rifle range.

“Anything in A2 a rifle range, a waste pond, pretty much anything needs a conditional use permit,” Stindtman said. “It’s very black and white and we just need it to be taken care of.”

As of last Tuesday, Stindtman had not heard from Leslie.

ITC site needs a CUP

County not happy with little ‘village’

October 27, 2014
by Jill Roesler – Register Staff Writer (jroesler@faribaultcountyregister.com) , Faribault County Register

Within the past few months, several landowners in Faribault County have expressed their concern and dread over ITC?Midwest’s upcoming installation of a large electric transmission line spanning 73 miles of southern Minnesota’s prime farmland.

Some residents have been able to rest easy knowing that construction will not begin until 2016; however, ITC?Midwest has already begun their move into Faribault County.

During last Tuesday’s Faribault County Board of Commissioners meeting, Michele Stindtman, the Faribault County Planning and Zoning program administrator, addressed her discovery of an unauthorized staging ground outside of the city of Wells.

ITC Midwest, the company behind the construction of a new high-voltage electric transmission line in southern Minnesota, has set up a staging ground on a piece of property annexed by the city of Wells.

According to mn.gov, staging areas are required in 25 mile increments along the route to serve as a delivery and storage ground for construction equipment.

However, the staging area in question is not actually on the route; therefore, ITC needed to obtain rights to use the land from the affected landowners.

“They would have asked the city for permission because it’s city property,” said Commissioner Bill Groskreutz addressing an inquiry as to who gave ITC permission to use the grounds.

“But the city doesn’t have the authority to approve use because it’s outside the city limits; even if it is their property.”

Because the property is outside of city limits, the area still requires a conditional use permit (CUP) as issued by Faribault County Planning and Zoning.

The piece of land being used by ITC is zoned A2, or a general agriculture site. The property includes three waste water ponds, a number of quonset huts, a rifle range and the ITC staging ground.

Stindtman spoke to Wells city administrator Robin Leslie about the unauthorized site and Stindtman suggested acquiring a conditional use permit that umbrellas the three areas the ITC staging ground, the waste ponds and the rifle range.

“Anything in A2 a rifle range, a waste pond, pretty much anything needs a conditional use permit,” Stindtman said. “It’s very black and white and we just need it to be taken care of.”

As of last Tuesday, Stindtman had not heard from Leslie.

- See more at: http://www.faribaultcountyregister.com/page/content.detail/id/510344/ITC-site-needs–a-CUP.html?nav=5002#sthash.lQpFKh9s.dpuf

ITC site needs a CUP

County not happy with little ‘village’

October 27, 2014
by Jill Roesler – Register Staff Writer (jroesler@faribaultcountyregister.com) , Faribault County Register

Within the past few months, several landowners in Faribault County have expressed their concern and dread over ITC?Midwest’s upcoming installation of a large electric transmission line spanning 73 miles of southern Minnesota’s prime farmland.

Some residents have been able to rest easy knowing that construction will not begin until 2016; however, ITC?Midwest has already begun their move into Faribault County.

During last Tuesday’s Faribault County Board of Commissioners meeting, Michele Stindtman, the Faribault County Planning and Zoning program administrator, addressed her discovery of an unauthorized staging ground outside of the city of Wells.

ITC Midwest, the company behind the construction of a new high-voltage electric transmission line in southern Minnesota, has set up a staging ground on a piece of property annexed by the city of Wells.

According to mn.gov, staging areas are required in 25 mile increments along the route to serve as a delivery and storage ground for construction equipment.

However, the staging area in question is not actually on the route; therefore, ITC needed to obtain rights to use the land from the affected landowners.

“They would have asked the city for permission because it’s city property,” said Commissioner Bill Groskreutz addressing an inquiry as to who gave ITC permission to use the grounds.

“But the city doesn’t have the authority to approve use because it’s outside the city limits; even if it is their property.”

Because the property is outside of city limits, the area still requires a conditional use permit (CUP) as issued by Faribault County Planning and Zoning.

The piece of land being used by ITC is zoned A2, or a general agriculture site. The property includes three waste water ponds, a number of quonset huts, a rifle range and the ITC staging ground.

Stindtman spoke to Wells city administrator Robin Leslie about the unauthorized site and Stindtman suggested acquiring a conditional use permit that umbrellas the three areas the ITC staging ground, the waste ponds and the rifle range.

“Anything in A2 a rifle range, a waste pond, pretty much anything needs a conditional use permit,” Stindtman said. “It’s very black and white and we just need it to be taken care of.”

As of last Tuesday, Stindtman had not heard from Leslie.

- See more at: http://www.faribaultcountyregister.com/page/content.detail/id/510344/ITC-site-needs–a-CUP.html?nav=5002#sthash.lQpFKh9s.dpuf

ITC site needs a CUP

County not happy with little ‘village’

October 27, 2014
by Jill Roesler – Register Staff Writer (jroesler@faribaultcountyregister.com) , Faribault County Register

Within the past few months, several landowners in Faribault County have expressed their concern and dread over ITC?Midwest’s upcoming installation of a large electric transmission line spanning 73 miles of southern Minnesota’s prime farmland.

Some residents have been able to rest easy knowing that construction will not begin until 2016; however, ITC?Midwest has already begun their move into Faribault County.

During last Tuesday’s Faribault County Board of Commissioners meeting, Michele Stindtman, the Faribault County Planning and Zoning program administrator, addressed her discovery of an unauthorized staging ground outside of the city of Wells.

ITC Midwest, the company behind the construction of a new high-voltage electric transmission line in southern Minnesota, has set up a staging ground on a piece of property annexed by the city of Wells.

According to mn.gov, staging areas are required in 25 mile increments along the route to serve as a delivery and storage ground for construction equipment.

However, the staging area in question is not actually on the route; therefore, ITC needed to obtain rights to use the land from the affected landowners.

“They would have asked the city for permission because it’s city property,” said Commissioner Bill Groskreutz addressing an inquiry as to who gave ITC permission to use the grounds.

“But the city doesn’t have the authority to approve use because it’s outside the city limits; even if it is their property.”

Because the property is outside of city limits, the area still requires a conditional use permit (CUP) as issued by Faribault County Planning and Zoning.

The piece of land being used by ITC is zoned A2, or a general agriculture site. The property includes three waste water ponds, a number of quonset huts, a rifle range and the ITC staging ground.

Stindtman spoke to Wells city administrator Robin Leslie about the unauthorized site and Stindtman suggested acquiring a conditional use permit that umbrellas the three areas the ITC staging ground, the waste ponds and the rifle range.

“Anything in A2 a rifle range, a waste pond, pretty much anything needs a conditional use permit,” Stindtman said. “It’s very black and white and we just need it to be taken care of.”

As of last Tuesday, Stindtman had not heard from Leslie.

- See more at: http://www.faribaultcountyregister.com/page/content.detail/id/510344/ITC-site-needs–a-CUP.html?nav=5002#sthash.lQpFKh9s.dpuf

ITC site needs a CUP

County not happy with little ‘village’

October 27, 2014
by Jill Roesler – Register Staff Writer (jroesler@faribaultcountyregister.com) , Faribault County Register

Within the past few months, several landowners in Faribault County have expressed their concern and dread over ITC?Midwest’s upcoming installation of a large electric transmission line spanning 73 miles of southern Minnesota’s prime farmland.

Some residents have been able to rest easy knowing that construction will not begin until 2016; however, ITC?Midwest has already begun their move into Faribault County.

During last Tuesday’s Faribault County Board of Commissioners meeting, Michele Stindtman, the Faribault County Planning and Zoning program administrator, addressed her discovery of an unauthorized staging ground outside of the city of Wells.

ITC Midwest, the company behind the construction of a new high-voltage electric transmission line in southern Minnesota, has set up a staging ground on a piece of property annexed by the city of Wells.

According to mn.gov, staging areas are required in 25 mile increments along the route to serve as a delivery and storage ground for construction equipment.

However, the staging area in question is not actually on the route; therefore, ITC needed to obtain rights to use the land from the affected landowners.

“They would have asked the city for permission because it’s city property,” said Commissioner Bill Groskreutz addressing an inquiry as to who gave ITC permission to use the grounds.

“But the city doesn’t have the authority to approve use because it’s outside the city limits; even if it is their property.”

Because the property is outside of city limits, the area still requires a conditional use permit (CUP) as issued by Faribault County Planning and Zoning.

The piece of land being used by ITC is zoned A2, or a general agriculture site. The property includes three waste water ponds, a number of quonset huts, a rifle range and the ITC staging ground.

Stindtman spoke to Wells city administrator Robin Leslie about the unauthorized site and Stindtman suggested acquiring a conditional use permit that umbrellas the three areas the ITC staging ground, the waste ponds and the rifle range.

“Anything in A2 a rifle range, a waste pond, pretty much anything needs a conditional use permit,” Stindtman said. “It’s very black and white and we just need it to be taken care of.”

As of last Tuesday, Stindtman had not heard from Leslie.

- See more at: http://www.faribaultcountyregister.com/page/content.detail/id/510344/ITC-site-needs–a-CUP.html?nav=5002#sthash.lQpFKh9s.dpuf

ITC site needs a CUP

County not happy with little ‘village’

October 27, 2014
by Jill Roesler – Register Staff Writer (jroesler@faribaultcountyregister.com) , Faribault County Register

Within the past few months, several landowners in Faribault County have expressed their concern and dread over ITC?Midwest’s upcoming installation of a large electric transmission line spanning 73 miles of southern Minnesota’s prime farmland.

Some residents have been able to rest easy knowing that construction will not begin until 2016; however, ITC?Midwest has already begun their move into Faribault County.

During last Tuesday’s Faribault County Board of Commissioners meeting, Michele Stindtman, the Faribault County Planning and Zoning program administrator, addressed her discovery of an unauthorized staging ground outside of the city of Wells.

ITC Midwest, the company behind the construction of a new high-voltage electric transmission line in southern Minnesota, has set up a staging ground on a piece of property annexed by the city of Wells.

According to mn.gov, staging areas are required in 25 mile increments along the route to serve as a delivery and storage ground for construction equipment.

However, the staging area in question is not actually on the route; therefore, ITC needed to obtain rights to use the land from the affected landowners.

“They would have asked the city for permission because it’s city property,” said Commissioner Bill Groskreutz addressing an inquiry as to who gave ITC permission to use the grounds.

“But the city doesn’t have the authority to approve use because it’s outside the city limits; even if it is their property.”

Because the property is outside of city limits, the area still requires a conditional use permit (CUP) as issued by Faribault County Planning and Zoning.

The piece of land being used by ITC is zoned A2, or a general agriculture site. The property includes three waste water ponds, a number of quonset huts, a rifle range and the ITC staging ground.

Stindtman spoke to Wells city administrator Robin Leslie about the unauthorized site and Stindtman suggested acquiring a conditional use permit that umbrellas the three areas the ITC staging ground, the waste ponds and the rifle range.

“Anything in A2 a rifle range, a waste pond, pretty much anything needs a conditional use permit,” Stindtman said. “It’s very black and white and we just need it to be taken care of.”

As of last Tuesday, Stindtman had not heard from Leslie.

- See more at: http://www.faribaultcountyregister.com/page/content.detail/id/510344/ITC-site-needs–a-CUP.html?nav=5002#sthash.lQpFKh9s.dpuf

Frustrating morning at Public Utilities Commission

Filed under:ITC MN & IA 345 kV — posted by admin on October 23, 2014 @ 12:05 pm

Map_2345

Today, the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission approved the Certificate of Need and the Route Permit for the ITC Midwest transmission project.  The good news is that the route was modified and isn’t going to run right through the city of Sherburn, but the Commission did not direct ITC to remove the transmission lines from Fox Lake and Lake Charlotte and double circuit that line with the ITC project.

The ITC Midwest MN/IA 345 kV project is the pink highlighted part of the map above, and as you can see, it’s all connected.  This project enables connection of the Dakotas transmisison into the Split Rock – Lakefield Jct. line to Madison, via existing transmission and MVP projects 3, 4 and 5.  Not to mention all the other MVP projects — this is a BIG web of transmission:

MVP portfolio map

Commissioner Boyd, acting as Chair in the absence of Chair Heydinger, did acknowledge the importance of addressing the macro picture of cost apportionment of this group of projects to Minnesota, that we have this specific project to address, but we do have to deal with this larger cost issue, but in a different venue.  That validation helps, but when are we going to deal with it and how?  The FERC docket has long since passed, what position did Commission take during that MVP tariff and cost apportionment review?  It’s a bit late, because they’ve decided and now Minnesota has to live with it… or do we?  What options are there?

The thing that concerns me the most is that the Commission adopted the ALJ’s Findings without discussion of the meaning and impact of the de facto declaration that ITC Midwest is a “public service corporation.”  I’d asked that the “public service corporation” portion of Finding of Fact #1 be deleted:

FoF1Oh well, they didn’t touch it.

Also, I’d asked that Chair Boyd recuse himself due to his having been Co-Chair of UMTDI, cited again today by ITC Midwest as a foundational part of development of the MVP projects:

Upper Midwest Transmission Development  Initiative

UMTDI Summary Report – Final – September 30, 2010
UMTDI Summary Executive Report – September 30, 2010

Commissioner Boyd was gracious about not recusing, went over his involvement with UMTDI over the years, and noted that raising this was legitimate, I think he said “the right thing” or some such.  But he didn’t recuse.

I’d also asked Commissioner Lange to recuse herself, due to her long time employment with Izaak Walton League, intervenors in SUPPORT of this project, and all their transmission promotion and advocacy agreements and funding.  She said that she’d discussed it with PUC counsel during the break and they decided that her involvement with the Waltons did not rise to the level requiring recusal.  At least she talked about it, but given her position, and that of Bill Grant, her former boss at the Waltons who is now the Commerce Deputy Commissioner in charge of Energy, that’s pretty much cornering the market, and an issue that the Commission should tackle directly.

Oh well… waiting for the written order to come out, and it will probably be soon because there wasn’t much at issue.

And I should mention that Jeff Small, attorney for MISO, was not at all happy with my statements about the hearing and my characterization of MISO witness Chaterjee’s testimony, saying I’d misrepresented it.  To the extent that I said that I’d been able to ask “only 3 questions,” he’s technically right in that I was allowed to ask questions in three AREAS, and to which he objected to at the time, and I was able to ask a grand total of 8 questions, one of which was in response to a request for clarification by the witness, so really SEVEN questions.  The issue is unreasonable limitation of questioning, and the importance of the testimony elicited, limited as it was.  Small, however, believes I misrepresented Chatterjee’s testimony before the Commission, and the number of questions.  In my statements to the Commission, I asked them to refer to the transcript for the specifics, knowing that it was a representation and not a direct quote.  I’d copied the transcript at the library, cited it in our brief, and here is the ENTIRE session of question and answer, all 7 or 8 questions, depending on how you count, and Chatterjee’s response.  This was one of the most dreadful dockets I’ve participated in, between the limitations as a “limited’ Intervenor, the “Clean Energy Intervenors” advocacy for the project, and this was it for cross-examination — an Evidentiary Hearing short circuited and essentially tried on the pleadings, despite a last second change in position of Commerce-DER.  Check the transcript for questions to Dr. Rakow regarding is last minute change of position.  The public interest was pushed out of the mix, oh-so-relevant questions were not asked, and important issues were not reviewed.  Where the ALJ does a verbatim cut & paste of the Applicant’s proposed Findings of Fact, that is NOT thoughtful consideration, no way, no how.

Misrepresentations, Mr. Small?  Readers, you be the judge.  Here’s a copy of the testimony at issue, the FULL cross-examination.  Note the part in red:

                            90
12   JUDGE LAFAVE:  Ms. Overland.
13                   MS. OVERLAND:  Thank you.
14                          EXAMINATION
15   BY MS. OVERLAND:
16   Q    Good afternoon, Mr. Chatterjee.
17   A    Good afternoon.
18   Q    My questions are pretty narrow in scope and it
19        relates to your introductory comments this morning,
20        or this afternoon.
21                   MR. SMALL:  Your Honor, before we get too
22        far, the introductory statement is not one of the
23        three items that Ms. Overland said that her
24        cross-examination would deal with.
25                   MS. OVERLAND:  Your Honor, I wrote them
91
1        as he was making them, and they’re highlighted in
2        red right here, and those are the three.  They were
3        related to statements that he made.  I can repeat
4        them, if you would like?
5                   JUDGE LAFAVE:  Please.  What were the
6        three?
7                   MS. OVERLAND:  The three were first the
8        need to protect against 345 kV contingency.  Second
9        was have any of the MVP projects been disapproved.
10        And third was the MISO planning process regarding
11        transfer capability, needs to consider what capacity
12        transfer, why, and how much.
13                   Those were the three that I laid out.
14                   JUDGE LAFAVE:  Please proceed.
15                   MS. OVERLAND:  Thank you.
16   BY MS. OVERLAND:
17   Q    Okay.  First, I’d like some clarification about you
18        were discussing SPSs and why it would have to be
19        reconfigured if the 161 were used.  And you stated
20        that there was a need to reconfigure to protect
21        against 345 contingency.  Does that mean a fault of
22        the 345 system?
23   A    It could mean a number of things, but basically
24        referring to an outage of any of the 345 kV sections
25        that the SPS is protecting against.
92
1   Q    Thank you.  That’s what I needed to know there.
2                   And you were asked whether any of the MVP
3        projects have been disapproved.
4                   Do you know how many MVP projects have
5        been approved at this point?
6   A    So the MVP project, the thumb loop in Michigan did
7        receive approval in Michigan.  The Illinois project
8        in Illinois, ATXI project, did receive approval.
9        Those are the two.  Oh, and Brookings to Twin Cities
10        project also did receive approval in this Commission
11        here.  Other than that, I’m not aware of any other
12        MVPs at this point that have received approval.
13   Q    And are you aware if the Brookings project received
14        approval by this Commission — first, are you aware
15        that our Commission here in our state laws divide
16        siting and routing and need determinations?  Are you
17        aware of that?
18   A    Yes, I am.
19   Q    Okay.  Well, was the certificate of need for the
20        Brookings project approved before or after there was
21        such a thing as an MVP project?
22   A    So I believe the Brookings project was an Appendix B
23        project at the time that it received approval.
24        Appendix B refers to an MTEP appendix, which refers
25        to projects that are under evaluation in a MISO
93
1        planning process.  So, yes, I believe the Brookings
2        project was approved prior to the approval of
3        Brookings by MISO or the directors when it moved
4        from Appendix B to Appendix A.
5   Q    So then at the time that it was approved, it did not
6        have MVP status; is that correct?
7   A    That’s right, because the MVP status is given only
8        after the project is approved as an MVP, which is an
9        MTEP line.
10   Q    Thank you.
11                   You were also asked questions about costs
12        per megawatt of transfer capability and how the
13        planning process works.  And you stated that the
14        planning process needs to consider what capacity or
15        transfer and why and how much.  Is it possible to
16        make a short little statement about — well, in this
17        case, what capacity you’re transferring, why, and
18        how much?
19   A    In what context?
20   Q    In the context of MVP 3.
21   A    Sure.  So different transferring analyses that MISO
22        performs and different planning processes have
23        different context, right.  That’s why transfer
24        capability is important.  Because you’re
25        transferring power from A to B.  What are you
94
1        transferring, why are you transferring, how much is
2        the quantity that is good enough?  Is the transfer
3        capability of 2,000 megawatts good enough, or 5,000
4        or 6,000?  Where do you stop?
5                   So as pointed out in my direct testimony,
6        the transfer analysis that MISO did run is run in a
7        different planning context, but is impacted by
8        MVP 3, and that is in the context of capacity export
9        limits and import limits.  As you know, in MISO’s
10        resource adequacy auction, local resource zone one,
11        which is where Minnesota is located, was limited by
12        transmission and therefore had a capacity export
13        limit, a very small capacity export limit, in the
14        range of 200 to 300 megawatts.
15                   That was significantly mitigated by the
16        Mid-MISO MVP and the out-year analysis MISO
17        identified an increase as stated in my direct
18        testimony of over 2,000 megawatts of transfer
19        capability.  Again, that is important because that
20        is a transfer capability analysis where an objective
21        function is defined.  You’re trying to move capacity
22        resources or, capital P, capital R, planning
23        resources.  These are baseload units that you’re
24        moving from local resource zone one for utilization
25        in all of the other MISO local resource zones for
                            95
 1        every load to meet their local — to meet their
 2        planning reserve margin requirement.
 3                   So you know how much you need and you
 4        know what you’re transferring, you’re transferring
 5        capacity resources, baseload units, and wind also,
 6        but wind has a very small capacity credit value.
 7        And we identified a significant benefit there.  So
 8        that is an important context.
 9                   In the context of MVP analysis where
10        you’re transferring renewables, you’re looking at an
11        off-peak scenario, which is, in the 8,760 hour
12        simulation you’re looking at the big bulk, the
13        majority of the time you’re actually transferring
14        low cost generation.  And that kind of transfer
15        analysis, if you could do 8,760 transfer capability
16        analyses with 8,760 snapshot simulations, that is
17        very good, if you can actually estimate based on
18        your price of your generation and price of your load
19        where are you transferring how much, as we all know,
20        it’s impractical to do that.
21                   And that’s why MISO uses PROMOD analysis,
22        which is a production cost modeling with a
23        transmission system in it where real-time LMPs are a
24        consequence of generation prices and load prices.
25        And that is the PROMOD study in the MVP analysis.
96
1   Q    And then to clarify, the PROMOD studies are strictly
2        an economic analysis?
3   A    When you say economic analysis, it can be construed
4        as, well, it ignores reliability constraints, so
5        that is not the case because a PROMOD analysis
6        respects all the transmission limitations that are
7        modeled in the case as well.  So — and that is how
8        it values congestion.  Because when it sees that
9        you’ve gone over transmission limits, it will do an
10        efficient redispatch around that just as the market
11        would and it would curtail transfers or have a
12        negative impact on the most efficient set of units.
13        And, therefore, when you mitigate that transmission
14        constraint through a transmission project, you would
15        see a savings in your adjustment production cost.
16                   MS. OVERLAND:  I think that answers it
17        really well.
18                   Thank you.  That’s all I have.
19                   THE WITNESS:  Thank you.
20                   JUDGE LAFAVE:  Thank you very much.
21                   Ms. Anderson?
22                   MS. ANDERSON:  Nothing further.  Thank
23        you.
24                   JUDGE LAFAVE:  Ms. Currie?
25                   MS. CURRIE:  No questions.
97
1                   JUDGE LAFAVE:  Mr. Small?
2                   MR. SMALL:  Yes, Your Honor, I have maybe
3        a couple of questions for Mr. Chatterjee.
4                   FURTHER DIRECT EXAMINATION
5   BY MR. SMALL:
6   Q    In your response to Ms. Overland’s questions about
7        the approval of MVP projects, you mentioned a few
8        examples of projects that were at various stages of
9        development; is that correct?
10   A    That is correct.
11   Q    And you mentioned one in particular, which was the
12        Illinois Rivers Project.  Do you remember that?
13   A    Yes, I do.
14   Q    And is the Illinois Rivers Project a single MVP?
15   A    No, it’s not.  It’s — it is comprised of different
16        MVPs, I forget, but it goes from Palmyra to
17        Meredosia to Pawnee to Pana, from Pana to Sugar
18        Creek.  I believe it was broken down into two maybe
19        three separate MVPs.
20   Q    And that description of the number of MVPs, can that
21        be found in the MVP study that was entered into the
22        record today?
23   A    It can be.
24   Q    Okay.  So your description was not that there was
25        just approval of one MVP, but the entire Illinois
98
1        Rivers Project; is that correct?
2   A    That is correct.
3                   MR. SMALL:  Thank you, Your Honor.
4                   JUDGE LAFAVE:  Thank you.
5                   Ms. Jensen?
6                   MS. JENSEN:  Nothing, Your Honor.
7                   JUDGE LAFAVE:  Ms. Agrimonti?
8                   MS. AGRIMONTI:  Nothing, Your Honor.
9        Thank you.
10                   JUDGE LAFAVE:  Ms. Overland, based on the
11        question of Mr. Small, anything further to follow up
12        on that point?
13                   MS. OVERLAND:  Nothing, thank you.
14                   JUDGE LAFAVE:  Thank you very much.
15                   (Witness excused.)
16                   JUDGE LAFAVE:  Thank you, Ms. Overland.

horsesassaward

Motions for Reconsideration are due 20 days after the Commission’s written Order is filed.    

216B.27 REHEARING; CONDITIONS PRECEDENT TO JUDICIAL REVIEW

ITC Midwest is NOT a “Public Service Corporation”

Filed under:ITC MN & IA 345 kV — posted by admin on October 21, 2014 @ 11:23 am

PUC Sept 11 2014

October 23, 2014 @ 9:30 a.m.

Minnesota Public Utilities Commission

121 – 7th Place East, 3rd Floor Meeting Room

St. Paul, Minnesota

Thursday, the ITC Midwest, LLC application for its MN/IA Transmission Project is before the Public Utilities Commission.

WATCH Live Webcast

PUC Staff filed Staff Briefing Papers which gives us some idea what PUC staff is thinking about it:

Staff Briefing Papers_201410-103871-01

From these Staff Briefing Papers, it’s clear staff is discounting the importance of the judge’s “Finding of Fact” that ITC Midwest is a public service corporation.  The judge started out his Recommendation with this finding, the erroneous part highlighted:

FoF1

PUC Staff, however, glossed over this in the narrative, and then used the summary which did not highlight the erroneous part.  So today I filed a letter of clarification:

NoCapX_PUC_Oct 21 2014

This is the most important part, a big deal, yet so simple:

Minn. Stat. Ch. 322B does not equal Minn. Stat. 301B.01 (or Ch. 301B).

301B PUBLIC SERVICE CORPORATIONS
322B LIMITED LIABILITY COMPANIES

Will the Public Utilities Commission care?  We shall see.


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image: detail of installation by Bronwyn Lace