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.).
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:
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:
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:
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.
The PUC staff has filed its “Staff Briefing Papers” for the October 23, 2014 meeting:
Once more with feeling, the meeting is October 23, beginning at 9:30:
MN Public Utilities Commission
121 – 7th Place East, 3rd Floor Large Hearing Room
St. Paul, MN
Here’s the part that’s particularly disturbing, and which should be changed — the first Finding of Fact — ITC is NOT a public service corporation:
One small step… and a giant leap! A tCapX 2020 related ransmission easement settled, and at more than twice the original offer. Yeah, we can live with that.
The troubling thing is that the appraisal didn’t really make sense, and they way they came to the appraisal amount didn’t add up. But despite that, the bottom line was good, so we’re not going to quibble.
Onward, heading up north for transmission hearings for the Not-so-Great Northern Transmission Line.
Stop everything — FREEZE — mark your calendar for October 23 at the PUC!
The ITC Midwest MN/IA 345 kV Transmission Project Certificate of Need (12-1053) and the Routing Permit(12-1337) will come before the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission on October 23, 2014.
Thursday, October 23, 2014 @ 9:30 a.m.
Minnesota Public Utilities Commission
121 – 7th Place East, 3rd Floor
St. Paul, Minnesota
It’s #2 on the agenda, so it will begin at a little after 9:30, but get there by 9:30 because these things sometimes go FAST!
In the No-CapX-2020-Exceptions-to-ALJ-Recommendation, I’d requested Oral Argument for the parties. Will there be a public comment option? If you’re interested in making your comment directly to the Commission at that meeting, email firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com and request time for public comment. They don’t always allow public comment, so it would be best to ask for it ASAP.
Some time before October 23, staff will post their “staff briefing papers,” one for the Certificate of Need, and one for the Route Permit, and also DoC-EERA (the routing side of Commerce) will have their recommendations too focused on the route. I’ll send them around before the meeting, but do keep an eye on the dockets over the next week! The Briefing Papers will give you an idea where staff is on this, if they have a recommendation.
They’ll be looking at the ALJ’s Recommendation and Exceptions filed by the parties. Here’s the ALJ’s Recommendation:
And here are the DNR, No CapX, DOC DER and ITC Comments and Exceptions filed:
Well this is getting interesting. Mayo Clinic has weighed in, opposing the Badger Coulee transmission project because it wants to build more revenue generating options in Onalaska! Cheaper power, they claim… how many rate increases, how often, for Minnesota and Wisconsin ratepayers?
Mayo — if you’d just direct your resources to challenging need for this project, it’s vulnerable, and you could make a difference! Put your money where your clinics are and just say no!
Today in the Post Bulletin:
LA CROSSE, Wis. — Mayo Clinic Health System-Franciscan Healthcare objects to one of the routes for the Badger-Coulee power transmission line because it could stymie development on its new 187-acre property in Onalaska or its 8-year-old clinic a few miles away.
Although the La Crosse-based system has not determined its plans for the parcel it bought in February, chief administrative officer Joe Kruse said Monday that he and CEO Tim Johnson have filed an objection with the Wisconsin Public Service Commission to the southern route of two proposed pathways.
Noting that Mayo-Franciscan traces its roots to the first hospital in western Wisconsin, the letter from Johnson and Kruse says, “Our future site at 1240 Sand Lake Road will continue the evolution of Mayo in the Midwest.”
Mayo-Franciscan is not alone in its objections. About 100 units of government, including La Crosse County and the city of Onalaska, as well as hundreds of residents, have filed objections to the Badger-Coulee project.
More than 1,600 Onalaska residents have sent dissenting letters, said Brea Grace, the city’s land use and development director, adding that city officials also will be able to speak at public hearings.
ATC and Xcel say the line would improve system reliability, deliver cheaper power for Wisconsin consumers and provide a pipeline for wind energy from Minnesota and Iowa to population centers to the east.
The three-member PSC will determine whether the project is necessary and serves the public interest. The commission can approve, deny or modify the proposal and will select the route if the project is approved.
CapX 2020 construction is marching on. The other day I went down to Rochester and saw the structures coming out of the “North Rochester” substation heading east.
Here’s the CapX 2020 page on youtube!
In the inbox today, this well produced video from GRE, if only the subject matter wasn’t so depressing — it’s construction of the CapX 2020 Brookings-Hampton 345 kV transmission line, now almost complete:
I’ve been saying this for so many years, that electric demand is down, down, down, and instead, Xcel Energy (and all the others) have been saying it’s going UP, UP, UP (even though Mikey Bull said years ago that they wouldn’t need power for a while), and they’re applying for and getting Certificates of Need for all these permits for utility infrastructure that are obviously designed to market and sell the surplus, and the Public Utilities pretends to be oblivious (I say “pretends” because I cannot believe they’re that unaware and uninformed.).
This is a must read:
Here’s the short version from Xcel:
2024 is expected to be about what it was back in 2007, the industry peak year. DOH! But note this — there’s a “small capacity surplus in 2016.” DOH!
And given the surplus which we’ve known has been present and looming larger, that’s why they then ask for withdrawal of the Certificate of Need for the Prairie Island uprate because it isn’t needed (and really, that was just what, 80 MW or so? Or 80 MW x 2 reactors, 160 MW?). If they don’t need that small uprate, why on earth would they need so much more?
But what do I know…
Hollydale Transmission Line was clearly not needed, and they withdrew that application…
CapX 2020 transmission was based on a 2.49% annual increase in demand, and for Hampton-La Crosse in part supposedly based on Rochester and La Crosse demand numbers, yeah right, we know better, but that was their party line. Again, DOH, it didn’t add up to needing a big honkin’ 345 kV transmission line stretching from the coal plants in the Dakotas to Madison and further east, but who cares, let’s just build it…
ITC MN/IA 345 kV line — the state said the 161 kV should be sufficient to address transmission deficiencies in the area, but noooooo, DOH, that wouldn’t address the “need” for bulk power transfer (the real desire for the line).
Here’s a bigger picture of the bottom line (I’m accepting this as a more accurate depiction, not necessarily the TRUTH, but close enough for electricity), keeping in mind that these are PROJECTIONS, and that they’re adding a “Coincident Peak adjustment” which should be included in the “peak” calculations):
Notice the only slight reduction in coal capacity, just 19 MW, nuclear stays the same, a 320 MW decrease in gas, a 128 MW reduction in Wind, Hydro, Biomass, which I hope includes garbage burners and the Benson turkey shit plant , slight increase in solar of 18 MW, and Load Management also a slight increase of only 80 MW. This is Xcel Energy with its business as usual plan, which has to go. We can do it different, and now is the time.
Will someone explain why we paid so much to uprate Monticello, and paid to rebuild Sherco 3?
From the archives:
October 20th, 2009
May 7th, 2013
Tomorrow is the last PUC Rulemaking Advisory Committee meeting.
9:30 – 11:30 a.m.
Public Utilities Commission
121 – 7th Place East, Lower Level Meeting Room
St. Paul, MN
For the docket, go to PUC’s “SEARCH DOCKETS” and search for 12-1246.
Here are the No CapX 2020 and United Citizen Action Network comments filed earlier today (whew, busy day today!)
And the North Route Group:
And from Marie McNamara, Goodhue Wind Truth:
Also heard from, Deb Pile, Dept. of Commerce:
See that pink highlighted transmission line? That’s the ITC Midwest part of MISO MVP 3, and Exceptions to the ALJ’s Recommendation are due at 4:30 p.m. today. Look, made it under the wire by 30 minutes!!!
Here’s the ALJ’s Recommendation, for your reading displeasure:
And here are the DNR Comments and Exceptions filed after I’d posted the others:
And here are the rest posted earlier:
A major issue with that Recommendation is that it’s a cut and paste of ITC Midwest’s dream, it’s wish list, and what a wish list it was. ITC Midwest got exactly what it wanted, so is it any surprise they’d file this letter today — oh, please…
It’s final… that is, the FINAL meeting notice was just issued, one more go round on these draft rules for Certificate of Need (Minn. R. Ch. 7849) and Power Plant Siting Act (siting and routing of utility infrastructure) (Minn. R. Ch. 7850).
We’ve been at this for about a year and a half, maybe more, and to some extent we’re going round and round and round.
Here are the September 2014 drafts, hot off the press:
Send your comments, meaning SPECIFIC comments, not “THIS SUCKS” but comments on the order of “because of _______, proposed language for 7950.xxxx should be amended to say_______.” It’s a bit of work, but it’s important, for instance, the Advisory Task Force parts are important because we were just before the PUC on this last week, trying to reinforce that Task Force’s are necessary, despite Commerce efforts to eliminate and/or neuter them. That despite ALJ orders otherwise, the Final EIS should be in the record BEFORE the Public Hearings and Evidentiary Hearings (just lost a Motion to require this last month).
How can you comment? The best way is to fire off an email to the Commission’s staff person leading this group:
If you’re up to it, sign up on the PUC’s eDockets, and file your Comment in Docket 12-1246. If you’d like your comment filed there, and can’t figure it out, please send it to me and I’ll file it for you. It’s important that these comments be made in a way that the Commission will SEE, in a way that they cannot ignore, when this comes up before them.