LTE in Dodgeville Chronicle

Filed under:Cardinal-Hickory,ITC MN & IA 345 kV,News coverage,RUS EIS,Wisconsin — posted by admin on December 8, 2016 @ 8:12 am

mvp345

See the lower 1/2 of MISO’s MVP project 5, running from near Dubuque, IA to the northeast to the “Cardinal” substation near Madison?  That’s the Cardinal – Hickory Creek transmission line.

The Dodgeville Chronicle ran my Letter to the Editor, just in time for the meeting last night, held by Rural Utilities Service, about the Cardinal – Hickory Creek transmission project:

From 4-7 p.m. on Wednesday, December 7th, the Rural Utilities Service (RUS) is hosting a scoping meeting at the Deer Valley Lodge in Barneveld. RUS will again collect scoping comments for its Environmental Impact Study as it decides on a loan to Dairyland Power Cooperative for a share of project costs. RUS held scoping meetings October 31-November 3, 2016 – why more scoping meetings now?

The Cardinal-Hickory Creek transmission project stretches from a substation near Peosta, across the Mississippi River and Wisconsin, near Dodgeville, to a substation near Madison. Last April, as reported in this paper, American Transmission Company’s Jon Callaway reported that the project schedule had been pushed out to 2018 or beyond. The reasons weren’t clear, and should be specified and made part of the RUS record.

Cardinal-Hickory Creek and the under-construction Badger-Coulee transmission lines are MISO’s (Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc.) MVP project “five” revealed five years ago in MISO’s MTEEP 11 report. That was 2011, and it was “postponed” in 2016. Why the delay? MISO’s 12.38% rate of return for construction has been successfully challenged in federal court. There’s a glut of electricity where even marketing electricity cross country is not alleviating the industry’s overproduction. MISO’s MVP economic modeling no longer hold under current scenarios. And maybe the delay is that and more!

Now’s the time to tell RUS to consider the economics, need and causes of delay in its financing decision. If delay is right for the project developers, RUS should also delay, and put financing on hold.

Carol A. Overland, Esq.
Red Wing, MN

RUS’ Cardinal-Hickory Creek meetings

Filed under:Cardinal-Hickory,Laws & Rules,News coverage,Nuts & Bolts,RUS EIS,Upcoming Events,Wisconsin — posted by admin on December 7, 2016 @ 7:16 am

20161206_1655071

Slow evening at Rural Utilities Service’s (RUS) scoping meeting for the Environmental Impact Statement for the Cardinal – Hickory Creek transmission project.  RUS is involved because Dairyland Power Cooperative (DPC) plans to hold a 9% undivided interest in the project, and are looking to RUS to provide the funding.  RUS held two more meetings, following on prior meetings October 31 and November 1 & 2, because their notice for those meetings went out a day late, so another Notice went out:

Notice of Intent To Hold Public Meetings and Prepare Environmental Impact Statement (October 18, 2016

Second Notice_2016-27988-2

Where’s my prior post on these meetings?  It’s gone! Here’s the dates and locations (click for larger version) — the last one is tomorrow in Barneveld, Wisconsin:

noice12-6-7-2016

So to make quick work of it, this is cut and pasted from the RUS Cardinal Hickory Creek page:

I had a quick chat with Dennis Rankin who’s in charge of the environmental review on this and the Dairyland Q-1 South projects, and had a few quick things to register, particularly that ATC has announced that the project is delayed:

ATC postpones Cardinal-Hickory Creek project – The Dodgeville Chronicle -Dodgeville, WI

I had this article and a few comments to add tonight, and will file more detailed comments before the deadline — now January 6, 2017.

Overland-Legalectric Preliminary Comments Cardinal-Hickory Creek(don’t worry, I’ll get this looking pretty by the deadline!)

20161206_1654551

On the way in, there was new transmission marching across the countryside, so ugly:

xmsn-mvp

And look how close to this house in New Vienna, right up near the garage, and not far from the house either — this line cut right through the middle of town:

20161206_1550331

20161206_1551041

newvienna1

But all in all, it was a beautiful day for a drive today!

20161206_1543442

CapX 2020 — It’s over, it’s done, all but the cost recovery

20140512_161838_resized

CapX 2020 at Highway 61 south of Wabasha

Monday, they had their CapX 2020 Love Fest at the Hampton substation, and I didn’t even get an engraved invitation.  It’s a depressing point in time — 12 years on this project — and they got all they wanted, in some places not where they wanted it, but it’s up, and so many people affected.  Having it routed somewhere, anywhere, is what they cared about, and supposedly it’s now “in-service,” though I wonder.  Is it time to have a big bonfire of all the boxes of files?

This was about the Minnesota portions, but South Dakota, North Dakota, and Wisconsin is permitted as well, the superhighway from the coal fields of the Dakotas to Madison and beyond.  Yeah, I could have camped out and crashed the party, but I had another commitment, so couldn’t spend the day hanging out waiting, watching.  Maybe I should have…

capx_hrl_energized_20160926_113428-medLeft-to-right: Mark Kotschevar, Rochester Public Utilities; Dave Geschwind, Southern MN Municipal Power Agency; Teresa Mogensen, Xcel Energy; Chris Kunkle, Wind on the Wires; Ben Porath, Dairyland Power Cooperative; Priti Patel, MISO; Tim Noeldner, WPPI Energy. From CapX Press Release

How much was “Wind on the Wires” (f/k/a Izaak Walton League) (and many other orgs?) paid for their promotion of transmission?

In the press:

STrib (is it really $2.1 billion?  Any recent reports?):

Last Minnesota leg of $2.1 billion electricity mega-project done

From WKBT (video here):

CapX2020 transmission line completed

And Wisconsin Public Radio:

Collaborative Utility Project Connects Electric Transmission From South Dakota To Wisconsin

Rochester Post-Bulletin:

Drone patrols the power line

It’s up and running — get out those gauss meters and check it out.

20140512_161913_1_resized

CapX 2020 at Hwy. 61 looking towards the Mississippi

September 26 — Mark Your Calendars!!

Filed under:Hampton-Alma-LaCrosse,News coverage,Upcoming Events — posted by admin on September 16, 2016 @ 11:50 am

hamptonsubstation

CapX 2020/Xcel Energy is holding a PR shindig, firing up the Hampton – La Crosse leg of its transmission build-out.  Their scheme, their scam, is nothing to celebrate.  But yes, there’s an event coming up… and it should be appropriately observed… where did I put that “No CapX 2020” banner?

September 26, 2016

Time?  They’re not telling…

Hampton Substation

Highway 52 and 215th Street (N. of Hwy. 50)

This project has been 12 years of my life… first got wind of it in 2004 at a MAPP NM-SPG meeting, though really, it was apparent with the release of the WIREs-WRAO Report from 1998.  That was 18 years ago.  Transmission is not rocket science!  As we say, “It’s all connected!”  Oh, but wait… for the purposes of the Minnesota Certificate of Need proceeding, we couldn’t connected all the dots, and the CapX folks insisted that it only went to La Crosse!!!  Oh, please…

terminatelax

Anyway, the planed shindig was reported in the Rochester Post Bulletin:

Nice try, Tim. My identity is a more closely guarded secret than Colonel Sanders’ recipe. But if you’d like to send me a piece of cake, I can’t stop you.

Have messages in to both Tim Carlsbad and Grant Stevenson, but the timing is top secret, no invitation is forthcoming, so I guess I’ll just have to crash.  Tom Hillstrom quit, went to Met Council, and is now back with Xcel as contractor, is he in on this?  Better check with “Hilly” too!

Where’s the Hampton substation?  As you approach from the south on Hwy. 52, north of Hwy. 50, there’s this ugly Corten steel “Gateway to the Metro” of transmission towers, with the Hampton on the west side, at 215th Street — can’t miss it:

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20140411_150213_resized

DSCN0155

Scoping Mtg. TOMRROW – Rochester Gas Pipeline

Filed under:Laws & Rules,News coverage,Nuts & Bolts,Upcoming Events — posted by admin on February 28, 2016 @ 8:13 pm

Map

Tomorrow it’s a meeting or two about a pipeline, but that’s not all… it’s about a gas plant at the beginning of this pipeline route!

First the pipeline — Minnesota Energy Resources Corporation is the applicant, and it’s PUC Docket 15-8858, a docket for a pipeline route on the west and southern edges of Rochester, Minnesota, starting at the “Westside” substation on the west side of town, along the big gas transmission pipeline that runs parallel with Hwy. 14.  From there it goes a section west, and then south and around to the east.

mtg

Meeting Presentation for tomorrow

And lo and behold, last week, Rochester Public Utilities announced its long planned natural gas generating plant for that same location as this pipeline starts, at 19th St. NW and 60th Ave. N. W.  This proposed plant was at issue during the CapX 2020 Transmission Certificate of Need docket, where RPU discussed building a natural gas plant in its RPU_34945_Report_June_2005.  Here’s the 2015_update_rpu_infrastructure_study.  During the CapX 2020 CoN hearing, that notion was pooh-poohed, but we knew better.  And voila, here it is!

First they brought it up at RPU Board meetings over the summer:

PUB- Resolution 4315 – Resolution: West Side Energy Station

Westside Energy Station Epc – Bids in Minnesota

And finally, last week, RPU made it’s plans to add new natural gas generation VERY public:

A New Generating Station for Rochester

Back in that CapX 2020 Certificate of Need proceeding (PUC Docket 06-1115) it was an issue because the “need” used to justify CapX 2020 transmission to Rochester was so very small that it could be met with this RPU planned natural gas plant.  Here’s what I wrote in the 2008 No CapX 2020 Initial Brief:

Most importantly, the need is overstated. In addition to modeling performed with all local generation off line, infrastructure planned was not considered. For example, in Rochester, there are FOUR 161kV lines planned that were not taken into consideration, and which could well serve Rochester’s needs. In addition, RPU, the Rochester utility, has planned for new generation at the West Side substation (Ex. 100, lower left corner), where two of those four lines will be connection to serve Rochester. Ex. 157, Report on the Electric Utility Baseline Strategy for 2005-2030 Electric Infrastructure, June 2005, Summary p. S-21-S-22. Specifically, this report recommends actions that have been taken by RPU, resulting in the Westside Substation and transmission from it to serve the city:

Consider taking options on approximately 100 acres of land within the RPU service territory near a high pressure gas line and transmission facilities under RPU control for installation of future combustion turbine capacity.

…Around 2014, assuming that new generation is required in accordance with the long range plan and that generation has not been installed in connection with the transmission issue, begin the process for installation of approximately 50-100MW of natural gas-fired generation for an inservice date of 2018. The generation should be low capital cost with as low an operating cost as is consistent with expected operating capacity factors.

Id.

Local load as a reason for CapX is not supported by the evidence. The need, even if assumed, can be met in other ways, and these small amounts, if assumed in its entirety, cannot justify a project of this size.

And here we are, deja vu all over again.  Guess we need to make sure that phased and connected actions are considered in this pipeline environmental review.

And another thing, this pipeline environmental review — the PUC, despite that Sandpiper case, ordered a “comparative environmental analysis.”

PUC_Order – February 3, 2016, PUC eDockets #20162-117966-01

Nope, that “environmental review lite” is NOT sufficient…

Xcel’s bogus demand forecast basis for CapX

arrowdownRemember Xcel’s CapX 2020 peak demand projections of 2.49% annual increase?  How wrong can they be?  And how unjustified was their basis for a Certificate of Need for CapX 2020?  And how are they held accountable for those gross misrepresentations?  But now it’s time to pay, and who will pay?  This is why the rate case in progress, PUC Docket 15-826, is so important.

On the other hand, I love it when this happens… Xcel Peak Demand is again DOWN!  There’s a trend, and it’s called decreased demand.  Demand has yet to exceed the 2007 peak, and now it’s 8 years…

XcelPeakDemand2000-2015

Here’s the Xcel Energy SEC 10-K filed a couple days ago:

2015 – Xcel Energy 10-K

Is it any wonder they want to get away from a cost based rate a la their “e21 Initiative” scheme?  Particularly now that the bill for CapX 2020 is coming due and their newest rate case (PUC Docket GR-15-826) is now underway?

And the specifics, and note how they inexplicably forecast a 2016 peak of 9,327, which is based on a “normal weather conditions” assumption:

2015-Xcel Peak Demand Chart

Dairyland’s Q-1D South transmission in the news!

Filed under:BadgerCoulee - Wisconsin,Hampton-Alma-LaCrosse,News coverage,Wisconsin — posted by admin on October 4, 2015 @ 7:46 am

End of the Line

Today’s big news in the La Crosse Tribune, hot on the heels of tapping Oktoberfest’s Golden Keg, is a pretty extensive piece on Dairyland’s upgrade of its Q-1D South transmission line through Onalaska to La Crosse.  Note the “amp up capacity” which is exactly what they’re doing:

Residents worried by plans to rebuild transmission line, amp up capacity

9 hours ago  •  By Chris Hubbuch

TOWN OF ONALASKA — Dairyland Power Cooperative’s plans to replace a 65-year-old power line have raised concerns of residents living near the high-voltage line.

Originally constructed in 1950 through farmland, the 161-kilovolt line now cuts through back yards and in some cases directly over homes that were built around it as development pushed north, first along the Hwy. 35 and later the Hwy. 53 corridor.

Some residents worry about the health effects of living so close to the line — especially if Dairyland is able to push more electricity through it.

Darlene Adams lives directly under the lines in a mobile home on Kimberly Street and says she can hear them crackle when it rains or snows.

“It sounds like water on a frying pan,” Adams said.

Adams said she didn’t think about the line when she bought the home but has since become concerned about health effects.

“What is it doing to my house?” she said. “I’ve wondered, but no one has contacted me.”

The La Crosse-based utility has been working for most of the past decade to replace the Q1 line, which connects power plants in Alma and Genoa to the electric grid and delivers power to customers in surrounding rural areas.

The segment from Genoa to La Crosse was replaced in 2013, and the majority of the northern section is being rebuilt as part of CapX2020, a new transmission line nearing completion. Work is set to begin this month on a segment north of Holmen.

That leaves a nine-mile stretch, known as Q1-D South, running from Briggs Road in Holmen south into the town of Medary.

Dairyland hopes to begin construction in late 2016, but Chuck Thompson, who is in charge of siting and regulation for Dairyland, said designs for the replacement line are not complete.

In general, plans call for 95- to 115-foot steel poles to replace the existing wooden H structures, which range in height from 55 to 85 feet, although the company will need special clearance for some poles in the flight path of the La Crosse Regional Airport.

The estimated cost is between $7 million and $8 million.

Dairyland also plans to use a larger wire that will be able to carry more than twice as much electricity at the same voltage.

Carol Overland, a Red Wing, Minn., attorney who has fought transmission projects on behalf of citizens and ratepayers, said that will result in about twice as much EMF, which Dairyland hopes to mitigate by raising the wires.

A form of radiation given off by electricity, EMF is present anywhere there are electric wires or appliances.

Studies have found possible links between EMF exposure and increased risk of childhood leukemia, but according to the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences studies have not found links to adult cancers.

There are no federal regulations on EMF levels in homes, though the NIEHS recommends reducing exposure.

“It’s regarded as tin hat stuff, but it’s real,” Overland said. “Very real.”

Michael Yeager said his daughters, now 33 and 37, grew up playing under the wires, which cut through his yard. he suffers from multiple sclerosis, and one of his daughters has a tumor in her knee.

“I really wonder if something’s going on here,” he said. “Now they’re planning on getting bigger yet.”

Dairyland provides EMF monitoring at the request of people living near its lines but the utility does not retain that data, nor has it modeled the likely emissions from the rebuilt line.

Thompson said such modeling is not required.

“The RUS does not require us to do that,” he said. “The (state) requires it in their analysis. The federal process does not.”

Ann Kathan recently moved her family into a cottage next the home where she grew up on County Road OT. She planned to raise her 6-year-old twins there while caring for her aging parents, Lois and Bob.

But since learning about Dairyland’s plans to rebuild the line about 70 feet from her kids’ bedroom, she’s become concerned about the potential health effects of EMF.

She opposes the rebuild and plans to move unless the line is removed.

“In good conscience we cannot live in that house,” she said. “This is devastating.”

Federal money, but no state permit

Kathan, who has been contacting residents along the line in an effort to rally opposition, said Dairyland has been less than transparent, giving little information about the plans or the process.

“It’s just a gigantic black hole of missing information,” she said.

Overland was frustrated that Dairyland ran a legal notice in the La Crosse Tribune on Aug. 28 — with two paragraphs describing the project and an illegible map — without publishing any additional information about the project.

“There’s no application on line, nothing for anyone to look at and figure out what’s going on and then comment on,” Overland said. “What’s the point of making comments if we don’t know the plan?”

Because Dairyland is replacing an existing line, the utility does not need permission from Wisconsin regulators. But in order to receive low-interest financing from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Dairyland must submit an application to the Rural Utility Service, which will determine what level of environmental review is necessary.

Thompson said the RUS application process requires Dairyland to collect public comments before submitting the application, which is why it was not available.

Dairyland has since agreed to extend the public comment period until Oct. 13, is publishing a second legal notice and has posted maps and basic information about the project on the company’s website.

State Sen. Jennifer Shilling and Rep. Steve Doyle, whose district is crossed by the line, said they’ve heard from concerned constituents but are limited in what they can do, because the project is not subject to state authority.

Both lawmakers said they encouraged Dairyland to listen to residents’ concerns.

Some residents along the line would like Dairyland to consider an alternative route — along Hwy. 35 or Hwy. 53 — or running it along the same poles as Xcel Energy’s 161-kv line that also bisects the area.

Chuck Thompson, who is in charge of siting and regulation, said the other routes present problems — Hwy. 35 has scenic easements, right-of-ways that extend into front yards, and is in the airport flight path; combining routes is also a challenge.

“When you start combining transmission lines the height goes up,” he said “It gets more difficult to put these lines together.”

And to move the line Dairyland would need permission from the Wisconsin Public Service Commission.

Thompson said burying the line — another common suggestion — would cost about 10 times as much.

“It’s difficult any time you’re in a city to route transmission,” Thompson said.

Urban planning

Dairyland could not provide the number of home within 300 feet of the line, but a Tribune analysis found the line crosses 142 developed residential properties and at least another nine multi-family properties with 84 apartments.

It crosses another 31 developed commercial properties, according to the Tribune’s analysis.

Much of the development occurred in the 1960s and 70s, prior to state statute that prohibits utilities from running anything higher than a 35kv line over a residence — or the construction of a residence under an existing line.

Kurt Childs, Dairyland’s director of land and design services, notes that homes built within the 80-foot right-of-way were constructed in violation of the company’s easement.

Who — if anyone — signed off on such plans is not clear.

“It really is a perfect example of a lack of urban planning,” Doyle said. “To have a mobile home directly under an existing line seems to me ludicrous.”

Kathan objects to the rebuilding project and thinks Dairyland should relocate the line away from the homes that were built around it, arguing that they are responsible for acting on new information about EMF.

“There really was not a choice,” she said. “People did not choose to be bombarded with EMF, because they did not know.”

And in a sidebar:

Public comments sought

Dairyland Power Cooperative is planning to rebuild about nine miles of 161-kilovolt transmission line, which runs from Briggs Road in Holmen through the city and towns of Onalaska and into the town of Medary south of the La Crosse River.

A fact sheet and maps of the project are available on Dairyland’s website, at http://www.dairynet.com/power_delivery/project_updates.php.

Dairyland is accepting public comments until Oct. 13 to be forwarded to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Utilities Service, which will oversee the environmental review of the project.

Comments can be emailed to Chuck Thompson at cat@dairynet.com or mailed to Dairyland Power Cooperative, 3200 East Ave. S., La Crosse, WI 54602.

Please contact Dairyland and ask them to provide information!

Chuck Thompson, Manager, Siting & Regulatory Affairs, Dairyland Power Cooperative, 3200 East Avenue South, La Crosse, WI  54602-0617, or via email at cat@dairynet.com  (608) 787-1432.

Here’s what little they have told us about this project:

And what I figure the magnetic field exposure would be if line is running at capacity it’s rated for (click chart for larger version):

Q-1 161 kV 795 ACSS_ Calculated Magnetic Field

Comments sent on Q-1D South rebuild!

Filed under:BadgerCoulee - Wisconsin,Hampton-Alma-LaCrosse,Laws & Rules,News coverage,Nuts & Bolts,RUS EIS,Wisconsin — posted by admin on September 25, 2015 @ 1:47 pm

mailbox

SENT!  On behalf of No CapX 2020 I sent the following Comments:

No CapX 2020_Q-1D South_Comment_9-25-2015

I’ve asked how many times for more information, nada, still nothing.  N-O-T-H-I-N-G!

Of particular note is this handy-dandy chart that Bruce McKay had put together for the Brookings docket, and I plugged in the voltage, amps, MVA and here’s what we get for magnetic fields for various options of this 795 ACSS 161 kV transmission line — CLICK FOR A BIGGER VERSION, this is all that will fit in this format:

Q-1 161 kV 795 ACSS_ Calculated Magnetic Field

OK, Dairyland, USDA RUS — let’s see your calculations, let’s have disclosure of the peak and normal amps, the MVA, everything.  Show me this is wrong!  Note at what point mG levels drop to a 2-4 mG “safe” range.

For those of you who haven’t yet asked for an extension of time to comment, or who haven’t yet sent in comments, there’s still time, until 11:59 p.m. Sunday!

Send Comments, via email to BOTH:

  • Chuck Thompson, Manager, Siting & Regulatory Affairs, Dairyland Power Cooperative, 3200 East Avenue South, La Crosse, WI  54602-0617, or via email at cat@dairynet.com  (608) 787-1432.
  • Dennis Rankin, Engineering and Environmental Analyst,  USDA RUS, 1400 Independence SW, Mailstop 1571, Washington D.C., 20250-1571, or via email at dennis.rankin@wdc.usda.gov    (202) 720-1953

And who knows — with all the requests coming in, maybe they’ll extend the Comment period!!

Let us know, Chuck!

Book_Borchwriting

PR shill hits it out of the park!

Filed under:Hampton-Alma-LaCrosse,News coverage — posted by admin on September 24, 2015 @ 4:43 pm

PB_ForumRochester Post Bulletin’s CapX 2020 Forum — 11/7/2010

Oh, Tim Carlsbad really did it today!  SNORT!!!  He’s doing a great job, though I do think he’s really needed back in sex trafficking at the UN.

This was a long, long, day, and here it is, I’ve arrived… I’ve reached the pinnacle of my illustrious legal career, well, second to the Senator Steve Murphy letter to a certain Minnesota Mayor… and… well… it’s certainly up there with the infamous Michael Murphy complaint to the Goodhue County Sheriff!

What the heck am I snorting about?

It’s the Carol Overland question!  But it’s not a question.  We all know it’s a statement,because CapX 2020 is transmission they don’t need and we don’t want!

Here ’tis, but be sure to swallow your coffee, tea, or even beer, first [with some comments, like this!] — wonder why they blocked me from making comments — guess I’ll have to do it here with No CapX 2020:

Answer Man: When power usage is generally flat, why build a power line?

Posted: Thursday, September 24, 2015 10:25 am

Dear Answer Man, you’ve been just about the only consistent source of local information on the CapX2020 power line. Can you remind me, why was this power line needed in the first place? Has power consumption been going up so much that a $2 billion power line was needed?

That’s a very good question, and tough to answer because the information is always a little dated, the project spans a huge area and involves many power utilities with different needs, and infrastructure of this kind is built in anticipation of future demand. The CapX people would tell you that it’s the largest power transmission system built in the state in 35 to 40 years, and that it was needed because the demand for electricity in the region has grown about 2 percent a year for the past decade.

It’s about 800 miles long and will cost more than $2 billion when the final checks are written.

When I asked Tim Carlsgaard, communications and public affairs manager for Xcel Energy, to recap the rationale for CapX2020, he called this “the Carol Overland question,” a reference to the activist attorney from Red Wing who was a leader in trying to stop the project.

I’m sure Carol will enjoy seeing her name attached to this question.

“Each CapX2020 utility will have a different answer to this question,” Carlsgaard said by email. “Concerning demand, you need to look at the Resource Plans that each utility must file with the respective public utilities commissions. Nevertheless, there are many factors as to why you build transmission, including meeting peak demand, regional reliability and providing capacity to support renewable energy development.

He also said the CapX lines “are helping the individual utility partners meet the Minnesota renewable energy mandate of 25 percent by 2025 (30 percent by 2020 for Xcel). As you know, there are not a lot of wind turbines within 20 miles of Rochester. I’m sure you are aware of the wind developers who have attempted to build wind farms in the vicinity of the Rochester metro area and were denied. … most of the wind farms in the Upper Midwest are located in far western and southern Minnesota and eastern Dakotas.”

Actually, I’m not aware of a gold rush in the immediate Rochester metro area for wind farms, though there are plenty in Dodge and Mower counties. But in any case, renewable energy is one reason the lines were needed.

Regarding power usage, project opponents have said from the beginning that electricity use has been flat for several years and will actually decline in the near term, thanks to conservation measures and greater efficiency. According to a filing last year by Xcel, which is a lead partner in the project, the utility said its “current forecast indicates a slight downward correction, projecting average growth over the 2017-2022 period to be less than 0.60 percent compared to the September 2013 update, which indicated average growth of 0.90 percent.  [CapX 2020 was predicated on their 2.49% annual increase, which we knew then, and their SEC filings now demonstrate, is utter bull-poo-poo.  The “Answer Man” still can’t admit that major “miscalculation.”]

“This lower expected growth rate in customer demand represents a 22 MW reduction in the forecasted median Peak Demand in 2017, growing to a 190 MW reduction by 2021, and a 388 MW reduction in 2024.”

The U.S. Department of Energy says that residential energy consumption in Minnesota was more or less flat from 2004 to 2011, which is the most current report I could find on that score. [somebody didn’t look very hard, they disclose this in their quarterly SEC filings, here’s the June 30, 2015:  Xcel Energy admits “growth” is down]Rochester Public Utilities and SMMPA are also partners in the project. According to a report in 2012, [note he’s citing an Xcel Resource Acquisition Compliance that I posted!  Yup, he sure has the answers…] the CapX upgrades to the 161kV lines around Rochester were expected to relieve transmission “constraints,” which will “benefit RPU in that it can rely more on imported power to meet its electric supply obligations.” Conversely, RPU can “reduce its reliance on internal generation to meet its reliability goals,” which is important with the closing of its smoke-belching, coal-fired generators at Silver Lake.

To my reader’s point about me being the best source of information on CapX2020 over the years, especially during the permitting process: I defy you to find a reporter who has followed this more closely, and I’ve posed more questions than I’ve answered.

Plan for Q-1D South near LaX?

Filed under:BadgerCoulee - Wisconsin,Hampton-Alma-LaCrosse,News coverage,RUS EIS,Wisconsin — posted by admin on September 5, 2015 @ 5:43 am

QuestionMarks_crop

What’s the scoop??!!??

Deadline for comments is Sunday, September 27, so technically I’d say it’s Monday, September 28, but to be safe, send your comments in by Friday, September 25.

The notice says to send your comments to Dairyland’s Chuck Thompson, and that they’ll forward them to the USDA.  Ummmm, no, I’m not at all comfortable with that.  I recommend you send to both:

  • Chuck Thompson, Manager, Siting & Regulatory Affairs, Dairyland Power Cooperative, 3200 East Avenue South, La Crosse, WI  54602-0617, or via email at cat@dairynet.com  (608) 787-1432.
  • Dennis Rankin, Engineering and Environmental Analyst,  USDA RUS, 1400 Independence SW, Mailstop 1571, Washington D.C., 20250-1571, or via email at dennis.rankin@wdc.usda.gov    (202) 720-1953

What’s the plan for the 161 kV transmission line upgrade that Dairyland Power Cooperative plans for its “Q-1D South” transmission line that runs south of the Briggs Road substation in Holmen, WI, through Onalaska, and south across 90 to somewhere near or in La Crosse?

Who knows?  They’re sure not telling…  All we’ve got to go on is the notice, below.  From that notice, here’s a closeup of that map in the “Notice” published last week:

mAPNot OK.  Call and ask for more information, take 2 minutes and call, ask what it is that we’re supposed to be commenting on:

  • Chuck Thompson, Dairyland: (608) 787-1432
  • Dennis Rankin, RUS: (202) 720-1953

I’ve been on google earth and cannot figure out where this thing terminates.  Can you?  Please check it out and let me know.

DairylandNotice


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image: detail of installation by Bronwyn Lace