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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.).

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Cardinal-Hickory Creek at yesterday’s WI PSC mtg

Filed under:Uncategorized — posted by admin on July 2, 2021 @ 12:02 pm
Jewell Jinkins Intervenors (JJI) well represented at Public Service Commission meeting

Cardinal-Hickory Creek: PSC reopens power line proceedings in wake of secret communications

Oh yeah, it was a very weird meeting at the Wisconsin Public Service Commission. The Cardinal-Hickory Creek transmission was #41 (and #42 for closed session) on the agenda, but #1-40 were treated as a “consent agenda” and they rammed those through in maybe 5 minutes, maybe less (I couldn’t get online with laptop, phone, and fortunately, tablet worked)… I was late to the party! Just a couple of seconds late though…

Here’s the windup with the Applicants’ request and the comments filed on Tuesday:

Cardinal-Hickory Creek Transmission in trouble!

There’s a recording of the meeting, but WordPress won’t allow it!

Right after the meeting, the Public Service Commission filed a notice:PSC_Notice-of-Intent_415003Download

In our Reply, Reply_Rescind-and-Rehearing_JJI, we noted that there was a PSC staff memorandum filed on June 29, 2021, a memo that was not made public, and lo and behold, it was filed, and reveals important information that for sure should have been in the docket prior to the PSC meeting yesterday:PSC-Memorandum_6-29-2021_414998Download

Let’s see, Applicants filed Motion 6/28 in court, and Commission joined in that Motion… and the following day, Applicants file request to rescind at the Commission… hmmmm… related? WELL, DOH! Important information for the public and intervenors not part of the court case to know? WELL, DOH!

As we say in transmission, “IT’S ALL CONNECTED!”

How is this action before and by the Commission anything but an attempt to pull the jurisdictional rug out from under the Court? No CPCN, no jurisdiction, it’s moot. Please, prove me wrong!

And consider the Circuit Court judge’s Order of May 25, 2021 (underlining added, not in original):DECISION-AND-ORDER-on-Tainted-Panel-and-Discovery-Issues-322Download

The likely “tainted body” wants to undo its tainted decision before the court has a chance to rule on it? Doesn’t pass the smell test.

Cardinal-Hickory Creek Transmission in trouble!

Filed under:Uncategorized — posted by admin on @ 12:00 pm

Oh my, take a little time off, and look what happens!

Cardinal-Hickory Creek: Secret messages with former regulator prompt utilities to seek new permit for power line

Here are the Petitions from ITC and ATC filed Monday, June 28, 2021 at 10:00 a.m. and 10:09 a.m.:ATC-ITC_Rescind-Reopen_414396DownloadDPC_Support-ATC-ITC_414398Download

And it’s instantly on the agenda for TOMORROW’S Commission meeting (meeting starts at 10:30 a.m.).

Listen to Live Broadcast HERE!

The “notice” was provided on Tuesday. June 29, 2021 at 3:15 p.m., not even 36 hours before the meeting (note there’s a “CS memorandum of 6/29” where Commission staff offers background and suggestions that we don’t get to see):

OBJECTION!!! Ja, you betcha, from Jewell Jinkins Intervenors and others:Reply_Rescind-and-Rehearing_JJIDownload

What are we asking for? It’s pretty simple:

DALC and WWF filing just came in and they have a very different take:DALC-WWF_Reply_414829Download
Klopp_Objection_414660
DownloadGrice-Objection_414798DownloadZastrow-Hendrickson_Objection_414719Download

And ATC and ITC’s scheme is getting some coverage:

Controversial transmission line through Iowa/Wisconsin suffers setback

Owners Of Controversial Power Line Project Ask To Refile Application After Messages With Regulator Surface

Do we really need to do this AGAIN?!?!?!

Filed under:News coverage,Reports - Documents — posted by admin on March 15, 2021 @ 10:38 pm

CapX 2020 is now “Grid North Partners.” Do we really need to go through this AGAIN? Contact them at info@gridnorthpartners.com to be added to their mailing list.

WHAT ABOUT DISTRIBUTED GENERATION DO YOU NOT UNDERSTAND?

2020 CapX2050 Vision Report:  CapX2050_TransmissionVisionReport_FINAL.pdf

How much more transmission can you possibly need? Oh, right, it’s not based on “need” anymore, and you’ve got your new “business plan” and make a lot more on capital expenditure ROI than selling electricity.

Need? Demand is down, down, down, not back to 2006 levels.

And those billions in CapX 2020 expenditures sure worked for you, rates are up, up, up!

May I live as long as Myer Shark and continue to be a pain in your corporate patoot! Have portable office, will travel… and I do so miss being on the road. Here we go!

This is just so nauseating though… as if there isn’t enough to do…

Cardinal-Hickory Creek Xmsn to Federal Court

Filed under:Uncategorized — posted by admin on December 13, 2019 @ 11:54 am

Driftless Area Land Conservancy and Wisconsin Wildlife Federation have filed a Complaint in the Western Wisconsin District Federal Court!

Some press coverage:

Wis. power line opponents take fight to federal court

Environmental Groups Sue Wisconsin PSC Over Approval Of Transmission Line

Here are the filings:

19-cv-1007 DALC-WWF Complaint – Download 

19-cv-1007 Exhibit A – Download 

19-cv-1007 Exhibit B – Download 

19-cv-1007 Exhibit C – Download

19-cv-1007 Exhibit D – Download 

19-cv-1007 Exhibit E – Download 

19-cv-1007 Exhibit F – Download

Posted by Carol A. Overland

Rehearing for Cardinal-Hickory Creek?

Filed under:Uncategorized — posted by admin on October 17, 2019 @ 10:58 am

Just filed yesterday, the Jewell Jinkins Intervenors request that the Wisconsin Public Service Commission take another look at their decision approving the CPCN and routing for the Cardinal-Hickory Creek transmission line:

This is the final shot before the Commission at this PSC CPCN approval. The next possible step is Wisconsin’s Circuit Court, due 30 days after they (likely) reject this Petition. Other intervenors are planning on heading that way, ones with solid backing and resources.

345kV Wilmarth – Faribault – North Rochester (N of Pine Island)…

Filed under:Uncategorized — posted by admin on September 23, 2019 @ 6:12 pm

That’s the CapX 2020 345kV line crossing Minnesota’s Zumbro River at the White Bridge Road looking towards the “North Rochester” substation just north of Pine Island. Now they’re proposing yet ANOTHER 345kV line coming in from the west to “North Rochester.” It’s called the Wilmarth (Mankato, the garbage burner and gas plants there)-Faribault-North Rochester line, proposed for the “B” list (which typically moves up to the “A” list the following year) in the 2020 MTEP report.

Here’s the chart, sortable (very interesting by state and by “Geographic Location — meaning company), this line is on the bottom of the spreadsheet, highlighted in red, with no cost estimate:

Per the MISO spreadsheet:

Studied during the MN 44 exploratory analysis, this project adds a 345 kV line between Mankato and Rochester. The line will stop at a new 345 kV yard in Faribault to support the local 100 kV system.

Low voltages exist in the Owatonna and Faribault areas during P2 and P6 events. Load growth has brought the system to capacity. In addition to this, overloads due to future high wind scenarios occur throughout south central MN.

In the 2017 Biennial Electric Transmission Planning Report, the project was REJECTED as an “alternative” to the ongoing Wilmarth-Huntley 345kV line, but here it comes again?? From that Report:

Alternatives:  Several solutions such as rebuilding the South Bend to Blue Earth to Huntley 161 kV, a new Freeborn to West Owatonna 161 kV circuit, and a new Wilmarth to North Rochester 345 kV circuit were also studies to relieve the congestion observed.

This is absurd. It’s just like the WIREs-WRAO Report from 1998. The WRAO report rejected 20+ “alternatives” for the be-all and end-all of transmission, Alternative “3j,” the Arrowhead Transmission Project:

… and then slowly but surely they’ve been building each and every rejected “alternative” ever since. Here we go again, another transmission line that isn’t needed, but that will facilitate export.

We do NOT need another transmission line in southern Minnesota.

More transmission? CapX 2050? They’re NUTS!

Filed under:Uncategorized — posted by admin on August 19, 2019 @ 6:09 pm

First there was CapX 2020 transmission (following Arrowhead transmission, which was supposed to be the be-all and end-all of transmission)(and the SW MN 345kV line, precursor to CapX 2020. CapX transmission was based on a forecasted 2.49% increase in demand, which as we know, didn’t happen.

And there was the MISO 17 project MVP Portfolio:

Tomorrow, the Wisconsin Public Service Commission is making its decision regarding the Cardinal-Hickory Creek transmission project, the southern part of MVP #5 above, and the LAST of the MVP projects to go through state administrative approval.

So today, this press release:

FINAL-CapX 2020 Press Release

And this in the STrib:

Minnesota utilities will study if the $2B CapX2020 grid improvements were enough

The study beginning in January will look at whether renewable energy goals and other factors will bolster need to build out more improvements on transmission grid. 

By Mike Hughlett Star Tribune AUGUST 19, 2019 — 3:05PM

Photo: DAVID JOLESA utility worker assesses electrical power lines in south Minneapolis.

Minnesota’s largest power companies and several other Upper Midwest utilities will study how their transmission network must be bolstered to meet increasingly aggressive renewable energy goals.

The study is being launched at a time when space on the region’s Midwest’s grid is already tight — even after a $2 billion transmission expansion that was completed just a couple of years ago.

That project, called CapX2020, was the work of Xcel Energy, Great River Energy, Minnesota Power, Otter Tail Power and seven other electricity providers in Minnesota, Wisconsin and the Dakotas. CapX2020 took over seven years to complete and included 800 miles of new high-voltage lines.

Ten of the 11 utilities involved in the earlier project Monday announced the “CapX2050” study, which they are aiming to complete in January. The study “will look at maintaining a safe, reliable and cost-effective electric grid as the system adds more carbon-free energy,” the utilities said in a statement.

CapX2020 was the largest transmission project in the Upper Midwest since the 1970s, and it was aimed partly at freeing up power line capacity for burgeoning renewable energy production.

The U.S. electrical grid was built to serve large centralized power plants, but wind and solar farms are more dispersed, often requiring transmission build outs. Xcel has stated plans to produce 100% carbon-free power by 2050, while other utilities also are planning for significantly more renewables.

Also, Minnesota’s DFL Party has strongly backed raising Minnesota’s overall carbon-free energy goal to 100% by 2050.

The CapX2020 project isn’t enough to meet those long-term needs and the grid is essentially “at capacity,” an energy analyst at the Union of Concerned Scientists told the Star Tribune last year.

Xcel’s latest long-term resource plan, filed this spring, came to a similar conclusion. “Many of these (CapX2020) lines planned in the early 2000s and completed over the recent past are already fully-or-nearly-fully subscribed,” the plan said.

So that said, here’s Xcel Energy’s Integrated Resource Plan’s Appendix on transmission:

The schedule for IRP hearings was just released, it’s in October, so there’s time to make time for it:

We know Xcel Energy gets a “handsome” rate of return for transmission capital expenditures (hence “CapX transmission), so of course they want to build more.

How about shutting down some of those coal plants, and freeing up some capacity? How about siting solar on every rooftop, over every parking lot, putting the generation at load so we don’t need transmission? Oh, but wait, that makes too much sense, especially where a utility wants to keep control of the generation, and the expenditures, and rake in the dough.

Time to pay attention to the IRP. URP!

Transmission Costs

Filed under:Uncategorized — posted by admin on July 6, 2019 @ 9:24 am

I’ve been noticing that in the transmission applications for… at least a decade now… that they don’t provide the costs estimates as they did previously. For example, for the Arrowhead Project, there was a detailed estimate of everything down to the cost of the structures, the wires, salvage value of removed lines, land cost, etc., and now, it’s just one number, plus contingency (at a much higher percentage that earlier) and AFUDC. They say they use MISO cost numbers, but don’t provide that info.

Well, lookie what I found:

Soooooo…. back to looking up info on claim that this Dodge County Wind 345kV is part of the “regional grid.”

Haven’t seen anything in this area since the utility pipedream of WRAO, most of which is already built.

See that red dotted line running east along I-90?  Split Rock (S. Falls) to Lakefield Junction was the 01-1958 “SW 345kV lines” way back when.

It’s my belief that ITC’s MVP lines 3 and 4 connecting from Lakefield Jct., and heading into the northern part of Iowa was the rest of the “I-90” line, but perhaps not? Time will tell… as will the MTEP!

Quacks like a conflict…

Filed under:Cardinal-Hickory,News coverage,Nuts & Bolts,RUS EIS — posted by admin on December 12, 2018 @ 11:20 am

Looks like a conflict, quacks like a conflict, but maybe it’s just a duck?  A duck following the money?

ELPC in the news:

“It doesn’t fully do what’s required … which is to rigorously explore and objectively evaluate all reasonable alternatives,” said Howard Learner, executive director of the Environmental Law and Policy Center. “It assumes that a huge and expensive interstate transmission line must be built and doesn’t fully and fairly evaluate all reasonable alternatives.”

Here’s the full article:

Power line opponents pan draft review of Dubuque-Middleton transmission project

Here are links to the USDA RUS EIS:

RUS EIS for Cardinal-Hickory Creek released!

Let’s think about this… it’s hard to wrap my head around… Howard Learner opposing a transmission project?  After all the dough Environmental Law and Policy Center got to promote transmission?  Remember the transmission love fest held by ELPC where transmission opponents were not allowed to attend??

Here’s the press release from the ELPC site:

New Environmental Study of Proposed Cardinal-Hickory Creek Transmission Line Improperly Rejects Alternatives

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Chuck Tenneson, charles@driftlessconservancy.org, 608-930-3252

Sarah Eddy, seddy@elpc.org, 312-795-3710

DODGEVILLE, Wis., Dec. 10, 2018 – The draft environmental impact statement (EIS) released recently by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Utilities Service (RUS) for the proposed Cardinal-Hickory Creek transmission line includes only a cursory review of non-transmission alternatives to the high-voltage line such as greater energy efficiency, local renewables, and energy storage, despite requirements in federal law that alternatives be considered thoroughly. The draft EIS admits that non-transmission alternatives, along with lower-voltage and underground alternatives, were “not carried forward for detailed analysis.”

The proposed Cardinal-Hickory Creek transmission line in southwest Wisconsin would cut a swath through the state’s scenic and ecologically unique Driftless Area. The cost of the project would be borne by electric ratepayers in Wisconsin and other states and energy experts have concluded that the new transmission line is not needed due to flattened demand for electricity in Wisconsin and recent advances in energy technology.

The costs and environmental damage that would be created by the transmission line has sparked opposition and legal challenges from local grassroots citizens and conservation groups. Wisconsin’s Dane and Iowa Counties voted to oppose the transmission line and have intervened in the Public Service Commission proceedings to fight the project.

“We wouldn’t think of putting a power line across the Grand Canyon, so why would we think of putting one through one of the most beautiful and unique landscapes in the Upper Midwest?” Said Dave Clutter, executive director of the Driftless Area Land Conservancy. “We have a national treasure in the Driftless Area, and we should treat it like one.”

“RUS is required by federal law to ‘rigorously explore and objectively evaluate all reasonable alternatives’ to proposed transmission lines like the Cardinal-Hickory Creek project,” said Howard Learner, one of the Environmental Law and Policy Center attorneys representing DALC. “RUS cannot simply look at different environmentally harmful routes for this huge transmission line and call it a day.”

“Iowa County residents have come together to adamantly oppose this unneeded high-voltage power line, which would irreversibly damage the landscape, ecology, and recreation economy we depend on,” said Betsy D’Angelo, a member of the Driftless Defenders’ leadership team. “There are alternatives that can improve our electric system without damaging the Driftless Area’s most important natural areas.”

“The draft environmental impact statement for the Cardinal-Hickory Creek project ignores the reality of new technology that has improved energy efficiency and decreased the demand for electricity,” said David Meylor, chairman of the Western Dane Preservation Campaign, the Mount Horeb area citizens group formed to oppose the line. “Recent analyses of electric demand demonstrate that the expensive, invasive Cardinal-Hickory Creek transmission line project simply isn’t needed.”

“The proposed Cardinal-Hickory Creek Transmission line will have a significant negative impact on fish and wildlife habitat and the management of public lands in Southwestern Wisconsin and in light of other energy alternatives should not be constructed,” stated George Meyer, Executive Director of the Wisconsin Wildlife Federation.

The proposed Cardinal-Hickory Creek transmission line would install towers of up to 175-feet along a 100-mile route that would affect sensitive natural areas and disrupt economic activity. The project could cost ratepayers more than $1 billion during the life of the project, including a profit margin for the transmission line’s utility owners that is guaranteed by Wisconsin law.

Legal counsel for the Driftless Area Land Conservancy will be reviewing the RUS’s draft EIS in greater detail and will submit comprehensive public comments to the agency. Members of the public are strongly encouraged to submit comments before the deadline of Feb. 5, 2019.

###

Issued by:

Driftless Area Land Conservancy

Driftless Defenders

Environmental Law and Policy Center

Western Dane County Preservation Campaign

Wisconsin Wildlife Federation

RUS EIS for Cardinal-Hickory Creek released!

Filed under:Cardinal-Hickory — posted by admin on December 3, 2018 @ 5:29 pm

It’s out, the USDA’s RUS EIS for Cardinal-Hickory Creek transmission project:

Draft Environmental Impact Statement – November 2018

From the RUS Notice, how to send in comments and list of public meetings:

RUS page for Environmental Review for Cardinal – Hickory Creek Transmission Line Project – Iowa & Wisconsin

 


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image: detail of installation by Bronwyn Lace