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 impermissibly affecting rail communication

Filed under:BadgerCoulee - Wisconsin,Hampton-Alma-LaCrosse,RUS EIS,Wisconsin — posted by admin on November 5, 2016 @ 10:11 am

With all these highly volatile oil tankers whizzing by, we need secure rail communication networks.  But what did we just learn?  CapX 2020 transmission is affecting rail communication, along Hwy. 35 in Wisconsin, and that’s not OK.  “…the combination of those lines with another nearby 69-kilovolt line likely triggered the interference.”  Really?  Combination?  Not addition of a big honkin’ 345 kV line?

CapX 2020 transmission owners are now fixing it, which involves what?  And why was that info so long in coming, where BNSF has already spent over $1 million to fix CapX 2020’s interference problem?  Shouldn’t that be on CapX owners?

CapX transmission lines interfering with railroad signals in Buffalo County

Owners of the recently completed CapX2020 transmission line are making modifications to a nine-mile stretch in Buffalo County where a combination of high-voltage power lines is interfering with signals on nearby railroad tracks.

The problem is expected to generate several million dollars in additional expenses for the transmission line and BNSF Railway.

BNSF crews discovered the problem in May, shortly after the completion of a second transmission line that’s part of the $500 million project to link the Twin Cities, Rochester and La Crosse. CapX reported it this week to Wisconsin utility regulators.

“We knew this was a risk,” said project manager Grant Stevenson. “It’s not that the line is not operating as expected.”

The 345-kilovolt line runs from Alma to Holmen, hugging the railroad corridor for about nine miles, where a 161-kilovolt Dairyland Power line shares the same towers. Stevenson said the combination of those lines with another nearby 69-kilovolt line likely triggered the interference.

The systems are regulated by the Federal Railroad Administration and are set up to go into safe mode if a problem arises — for example, closing gates even if no train is approaching.

“That’s by design,” said David Peterson, who teaches railroad engineering and operation at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. “Everything is on stop or red.”

BNSF spokeswoman Amy McBeth said the fail-safe design worked as intended.

The railroad initially deployed flaggers in the field and installed insulated joints and another signal to mitigate the intermittent interference. McBeth said BNSF has spent about $1 million on those short-term solutions.

Xcel Energy, the lead partner of the 11 utilities that built the transmission line, is expected to begin work this month on a more permanent solution that is expected to cost roughly $2 million.

Over the winter, crews will install an aluminum wire below the conductor that is intended to reduce interference. A second copper wire will be buried in the railroad right-of-way next spring.

Stevenson said there are 27 landowners near Cochrane, Wis., who will be affected by the construction, though he said it will be on a much smaller scale than during construction of the 345-kilovolt line.

Even with the additional costs, Xcel says the 48.6-mile Wisconsin segment of the project is below the $183.3 million price tag approved by the Wisconsin Public Service Commission. The costs are shared by electricity customers in 15 Midwestern states and one Canadian province.

The entire 156-mile Hampton-Rochester-La Crosse project was energized in September. It was the fourth line in what is now a $1.85 billion project to connect wind-rich areas of western Minnesota and the Dakotas to population centers where that electricity is needed.

Dairyland’s Q-1 in the news today!

Filed under:Q-1 Upgrade,RUS EIS,Wisconsin — posted by admin on June 26, 2016 @ 8:53 am

Dairyland’s Q-1D South Environmental Assessment

Comments are due July 1, 2016 — send to:

USDA’s Dennis Rankin:  dennis.rankin@wdc.usda.gov

(I’d also cc DPC’s Chuck Thompson:  cat@dairynet.com)

By U.S. Mail:

Dennis Rankin
Environmental Protection Specialist
USDA Rural Utilities Service
1400 Independence Avenue S.W.
Mailstop 1571, Room 2242
Washington, DC  20250-1571

In today’s La Crosse Tribune!  This is about as detailed an article as there is in today’s news — thanks for the digging, Chris Hubbuch:

Dairyland rules out alternatives for high-voltage rebuild

Dairyland Power Cooperative has completed an environmental study of its planned replacement of a high-voltage power line that runs through densely developed areas between Holmen and La Crosse.

Originally constructed in 1950 through farmland, the 161-kilovolt line known as Q-1D South now cuts through back yards and in some cases directly over homes that were built around and under the line as development pushed north along the Hwy. 35 and later Hwy. 53 corridors.

In an environmental assessment filed with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the La Crosse-based utility argues the line has become unreliable — it’s blamed for two sustained and five momentary outages between 2009 and 2014 — and is critical to serving La Crosse.

Dairyland plans to replace the existing H-frame wood structures with 95- to 115-foot steel poles and a larger conductor that will be capable of carrying more electricity.

The rebuilt line would cross as many as 14 dwellings that were constructed underneath the existing line. There are 42 dwellings and four businesses within the 80-foot right of way.

Despite the concerns of residents who fear negative health and safety impacts from the high-capacity lines, Dairyland argues that alternative routes would be too costly and problematic, and that state codes prohibiting the construction of high-voltage lines over dwellings don’t apply to its rebuild plans.

“In this case on our existing right of way we’re exempt,” said Chuck Thompson, who is in charge of siting and regulation for Dairyland. “We can stay over those structures.”

The nine-mile segment is part of Dairyland’s 70-mile Q-1 line, which connects its coal-fired generators in Alma and Genoa to La Crosse. Dairyland has rebuilt the other segments during the past decade.

Dairyland plans to begin reconstruction of the final segment in September and have the new line electrified in early 2017. It’s expected to cost about $11.9 million.

The project has generated strong opposition from residents who live along the line. Dairyland received 45 public comments when the plans were revealed last summer.

Ann Kathan and her family live in homes built within the right-of-way and have led the charge against the project. She argues the lines expose residents to harmful electronic and magnetic fields, which she fears will be worse with the new conductors.

Kathan also contends that with coal-fired generators making up nearly 90 percent of Dairyland’s generation assets, the company’s long-term viability may be shaky.

“Why would our community support the building of a line that will far outlive us when Dairyland will not?” she asks.

Thompson said the rebuilt line should have lower EMF readings “under normal load” but concedes the new conductors will be capable of carrying more electricity, which would increase EMF.

Dairyland minimizes the health risks of EMF.

“Epidemiological and toxicological studies have shown no statistically significant association or weak associations between EMF exposure and health risks,” the company wrote in its environmental assessment. “While the general consensus is that EFs pose no risk to humans, the question of whether exposure to MFs can cause biological responses or health effects continues to be debated.”

No alternatives

Residents along the line have called on Dairyland to consider an alternate route, but Dairyland argues that is impractical.

The company decided against using one of its own 69-kv routes, arguing that would cost more than twice as much money, create new conflicts with residences and businesses, and result in an additional 17 structures exceeding airport height restrictions.

Dairyland also ruled out using nearby Xcel Energy towers because running lines on the same poles would increase the chances of both going down at the same time and because the cooperative might be forced to buy out residences under the Xcel route.

Burying the line would cost more than $100 million, according to Dairyland’s estimates.

Dairyland also notes that rerouting its line would require permission from the state’s Public Service Commission, which could take up to five years and add to the project costs.

Carol Overland, a Minnesota attorney who fought against two recent high-voltage transmission projects — CapX2020 and Badger-Coulee — says Dairyland is offering conflicting readings of the law in order to “have it both ways,” saying it is exempt from PSC regulations in some cases but subject to them in others.

“It’s questionable,” she said. “(But) who’s going to question it?”

She also contends Dairyland broke the Q1 project into segments — in violation of the National Environmental Protection Act — in order to avoid having to do a more in-depth environmental impact study.

Because Dairyland is replacing an existing line, the utility does not need state or federal approval for the project.

But in order to receive low-interest financing through the USDA, Dairyland must submit an application to the Rural Utilities Service, which requires the environmental assessment. Public comments on that document are being accepted through Wednesday.

Zoning changes

The only other hurdle for the project is height restrictions around the La Crosse Regional Airport.

The existing ordinance limits the height of structures within three miles of the airport using a grid of 40- to 160-acre squares that climb like steps away from the runways. An aeronautical study is required for any proposed structure that would exceed that limit.

With more detailed geographical data provided by Dairyland, the new ordinance establishes higher height limits in a contour pattern — more like a ramp.

Airport Director Clinton Torp said the new height restrictions more accurately follow FAA guidelines and will cut down on the number of permits and variances the city must consider for structures that exceed the height limit.

Under the new ordinance, Dairyland estimates it will need variances for only three — rather than 24 — of its towers.

Torp said once the city incorporates Dairyland’s data into its GIS system, landowners and developers will be able to use an online map to see the exact height limit for any spot within the airport zoning district.

A committee of the La Crosse Common Council is scheduled to consider the ordinance change July 5.

Kathan said Dairyland has used its financial power to “side step” local ordinances.

“How is it fair to the people of the city of La Crosse that the people with the most money and political influence don’t have to comply with the laws. It changes the rules,” she said. “Shouldn’t Dairyland have to demonstrate a need and balance that against the public safety purpose of the ordinance?”

And a prior article on the Dairyland Q-1 D South line:

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

Q-1D South Comment Period Extended!

Filed under:BadgerCoulee - Wisconsin,Nuts & Bolts,Q-1 Upgrade,RUS EIS,Wisconsin — posted by admin on October 2, 2015 @ 11:17 am

SUCCESS!!!  But… but… but only extended by 10 days…  HUH?  We still don’t have much to go on here, and major details like the capacity of this project, well, they’re still leaving us in the dark.

Here’s the new info posted on the Dairyland Power Cooperative site:

 

Compare the posted Corridor Map with the ones I’d received a couple weeks ago, note how much is M-I-S-S-I-N-G!

Appendix_A_Q1D_South_Sheetmap_150616_June 2015

The most obvious thing missing is the access roads, every single one of them.  What else?

And look what’s added.  I think the big difference is that this is “environmental” information, based on the subjects they listed in their first notice, like prime farmland, wetlands, etc.  It’s not the construction/technical layer.  So by looking at these new maps, we get the picture of what they think impacts are, and we can at least get a feel for that.

On the first map, there’s a brown area along the river/creek, but I can’t tell what color that would be on the legend… yellow?  On the third map, there’s a huge section with many different markings, covering the Wildlife Refuge.  H How would 95 – 115 foot tall towers this close to the ledge of the drop off into the Wildlife Refuge not have an impact on the protected (and unprotected!) migratory birds in this corridor?  What does the greatly increased tower height do to the viewshed from below on the Missisisppi?  They’re lowering towers and configuring horizontally for the La Crosse River Floodplain, so doesn’t this mean there are avian considerations?  And what about the Airport Overlay that limits structure height?

And check out this “Fact Sheet.”  Briggs Road to La Crosse Tap (Q-1D South) 161 kV Rebuild Project – Fact Sheet

Dairyland Power Cooperative says:

“Can you tell me about the Project?”  Well, not much, this is a two pager.  Focus is on using existing RoW.  Note they do point out existing and temporary access routes.  I would guess that this is something they’d have to have easements for… do they have easements?

“Why is the Project needed?”  They raise reliability problems, but these were addressed in the Badger Coulee, and the record there says Badger Coulee addresses these problems.  Oh, but it’s also impacting the fiber optic service on these structures.  Hmmmm, fiber optic.  Leased to who and for how much?  I don’t see any information on the fiber optic upgrade that would logically occur with upgrade of the electrical part of this line.  DISCLOSE PLEASE!

“What if the line is not rebuilt?”  This isn’t a rebuild, this is an upgrade.  Higher towers, from 45 – 85 feet now to 95-115 feet.  BIG DIFFERENCE!  Capacity?  Who knows, they’re not telling me, but folks, I have some ideas, based on the MISO disclosure of use of 795 ACSS conductor.  This is conjecture, because I’m still waiting for information from Dairyland, with the 437 MVA Peak taken from prior docket info, and the 84 MVA Average as a low-ball number (because they always understate capacity).  Click on table for a larger version that’s not cut up by the sidebar on the right:

Q-1 161 kV 795 ACSS_ Calculated Magnetic Field

“How are environmental impacts considered?”  As they state, this is a financial project, they’re doing this for financing.  Financing approval is a “major governmental action.”  Think not, Dairyland?  RUS?  Let’s discuss it in the alley!  Dairyland’s blurb states that “RUS has determined that the project would require the preparation of an Environmental Report (ER) to analyze potential impacts to the natural and human environments.”  ER?  How does this not require an EIS?  How is an ER compliant with NEPA?  How is it that Dairyland is allowed to segment these Q-1 projects out and that Marshland – Briggs Road required a full blown EIS and this doesn’t?  IT’S ALL ONE PROJECT, this upgrading the Q-1 line!

Read their new documents carefully, and take a good look at the new maps, comparing with the other ones.  What’s your take?

As always in this, take a few seconds and ask for more information, and when you’ve reviewed this stuff disclosed today, send comments to:

  • 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

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

Here’s the full blurb from Dairyland’s Chuck Thompson, hot off the press this morning:

Dairyland Power Cooperative is hereby extending the 30-day comment period related to prime farmlands, farmland of statewide importance, 100-year floodplains, wetlands, and other comments for the Q-1D South 161 kV rebuild.  Under this expanded period, comments should be submitted in writing to Dairyland Power Cooperative within 10 days of the publication of this notice.

Dairyland Power Cooperative, 3200 East Avenue South, La Crosse, WI 54602-0817, is planning to rebuild approximately nine miles of 161 kilovolt transmission line in La Crosse County (Q-1D South Project).  The Q-1D South Project begins just south of the Briggs Road Substation near the Village of Holmen and ends at the La Crosse Tap south of the La Crosse River near Keil Coulee Road. Constructed in the 1950s, the line is now in poor condition and reaching the end of its service life.  The rebuild will occur along the existing 161 kV alignment within the existing right-of-way.  It has been determined that the Project, as proposed, will be located in a prime farmlands, 100-year floodplain, and wetlands. The Project will occupy 126 square feet of prime farmland, 12.6 square feet of farmland of statewide importance, 63 square feet of 100-year floodplain, and 50.4 square feet of wetlands.

Dairyland Power Cooperative believes that there is no practicable alternative that will avoid locating the Project in prime farmlands, farmland of statewide importance, 100-year floodplains, and wetlands.  Additional information on the project can be found at:  http://www.dairynet.com/power_delivery/project_updates.php for sheet maps and a fact sheet.

Copies of all comments received will be forwarded to the U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Utilities Service for consideration prior to approval of financing assistance or taking other Federal action related to the Project.

Send your comments to:  Chuck Thompson, Dairyland Power Cooperative, 3200 East Ave South,
La Crosse WI 54602 or email your comments to cat@dairynet.com.  

 

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

Dairyland’s N LaX-LaX 161 kV Tap maps

Filed under:BadgerCoulee - Wisconsin,Hampton-Alma-LaCrosse,RUS EIS,Wisconsin — posted by admin on September 8, 2015 @ 3:39 pm

There’s a lot to learn about this 9 mile short little project, and it’s been hard to find information.  VERY difficult to find anything on it.  Yet some progress!

birdie-eveninggrosbeak

 

 

 

Here are a few tidbits, but there’s still a lot more to find.

Dairyland Q-1D South Sheetmaps

From our friends at MISO, from a July 2015 subcommittee meeting (same slide as was presented in several earlier meetings):

MISOslideFrom MISO – see p. 23: 20150727 WSPM Item 05b Review of Reliability Projects ATC DPC

But go figure — MISO testimony says that the Badger Coulee line will eliminate reliability problems with this and other 161 kV infrastructure in the area:

MISO Post Hearing Initial Brief 05-CE-142 p 72015-01-30 Docket 05-CE-142 Post-Hearing Brief by MISO__ p 7

So let me see if I understand this — they’re saying that there’s a “reliability” problem with a number of utility facilities, of which “North La Crosse — La Crosse Tap 161 kV line (Dairyland’s Q-1D South) is one, and that building the Badger Coulee line “solves” those problems.  So they use this to justify permitting the Badger Coulee line… DONE!  But now they want to rebuild this La Crosse — La Crosse Tap 161 kV line (Dairyland’s Q-1D South).

  • If Badger Coulee is permitted, then why rebuild?
  • Or conversely, if they’re going to rebuild, why do they need Badger Coulee?

Were you lying then, or are you lying now?  Or maybe both?

Anyway, here’s a start on the info I’ve been looking for — the MAPS!  Click the map for a larger version:

Sheet Map Index

Sheet Map 1

Sheet Map 2

Sheet Map 3

Sheet Map 4

Sheet Map 5

Sheet Map 6

Sheet Map 7

Sheet Map 8

Sheet Map 9

Sheet Map 10

Sheet Map 11

REMEMBER: The 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.

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
  • 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

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

UPDATE: Dairyland’s Q-1 “upgrades” through La Crosse

Filed under:BadgerCoulee - Wisconsin,Hampton-Alma-LaCrosse,News coverage,Nuts & Bolts,RUS EIS,Wisconsin — posted by admin on August 30, 2015 @ 6:30 am

DairylandNotice

“Upgrade” through Holmen, Onalaska, La Crosse, from Briggs Road to some substation south of 90.

This is a “notice” found in the La Crosse Tribune on Friday.  Take a close look, yes, it’s hard to read, but multiple searches of the Notices section online have NOTHING, nada…

This is another USDA Rural Utilities Services project, yet here, there’s no indication of the status of the project, no RUS contact, and they want comments sent to DAIRYLAND, and we’re to trust they’ll send them to whoever.

Where’s the link to the USDA RUS site?  Where’s the link for the project application.  WHERE’S A DECENT MAP!!??!!??!!??

WHAT KIND OF NOTICE IS THIS?

$50 says it’s USDA’s Stephanie Strength on this project, as she was on the Dairyland Q-1D going north from Briggs Rd. to Marshaland, as she was on the Dairyland financing for its share of CapX 2020.

Any Comments you send to Dairyland’s Chuck Thompson, I’d advise you also send any comments or questions to (?? NOTE: Stephanie Strength’s two emails are NOT working… so who is Project Manager?):

Stephanie Strength, Project Mgr.

Dairyland Q-1D South Upgrade
USDA Rural Development Utilities Programs
1400 Independence Avenue SW, Room 2244
Mail Stop 1571
Washington, DC  20250-1571

… or by email:

stephanie.strength@wdc.usda.gov (doesn’t seem to be working!)

stephanie.strength@usda.gov

The map, for starters, is awful, can’t even see it, nothing identified but lines for a couple of major highways, but anyone in the area knows this line, running up and down Hwy 35. from near Briggs Road substation through Onalaska going south and darting with Xcel’s line on the other side, back and forth, through trailer parks, towards 90, across and then south.

This is what this line looks like, going right through people’s back yards, front yards, and over homes, directly overhead, right next to it, how can Dairyland think this should be “upgraded” — it should be torn down:

Kimberly St

And at Ulman St., there are two trailers right up against the structures:

Ulman_St[1]

It’s bad enough that Dairyland is planning this upgrade, but how does any city allow this to happen?  In what world is it OK to allow development under a transmission line?  On the other side of Hwy. 35 it’s the same thing, an Xcel transmission line over a trailer park.  This shows zero regard for human life.

North Dakota xmsn complete — more coal on the wires!

Filed under:News coverage,Nuts & Bolts,RUS EIS — posted by admin on August 3, 2014 @ 4:55 pm

Hearing Ex. 13, Big Picture Map

See that line up there going through North Dakota?  They’ve just finished it, it’s ready to energize.  And of course, it’s clear that now that Minnesota Power has bought the DC line that’s been used for coal, that now the coal will go over CapX lines off through Minnesota to Wisconsin and points east.  HUH?  Yes, they allude to in a “We’ve completed this new transmission line” article it not-so-subtly:

The reassignment of an existing transmission line also means more transmission facilities are needed.

… and:

“Once built, the bulk flow of electricity moves to the new line, which frees up capacity on the underlying system.”

DOH!

The USDA/RUS documents say it very clearly:

Minnkota has proposed the construction of approximately 260 miles of 345-kilovolt (kV) transmission line from Center to Grand Forks, N.D., to deliver additional energy recently secured from Milton R. Young 2, a 455-megawatt (MW) coal-fi red plant near Center, N.D., owned by Square Butte Electric Cooperative.

… and this:

To bring the energy generated by Young 2 into the Red River Valley, Minnkota will construct a new 345-kilovolt (kV) transmission line from Center to Grand Forks. Building the new transmission line will enablethe existing DC transmission line from theMilton R. Young Station to carry more renewable wind energy.

Here’s that original RUS document:

Scoping Report_Appendix I

There’s still the shifted coal into the Eastern Interconnect and proposed expansions to deal with — those mentioned in the federal opinion tossing out the 2007 “Next Generation Energy Act” saying “no go” under the Commerce Clause:

Very logical, makes a lot of sense.  It’s not like Minnesota Power’s taking that line would make them shut down a coal plant!

So now we have one more transmission line in the superhighway from the Dakotas to Madison and beyond…

250-mile transmission line to Grand Forks completed

Minnkota Power Cooperative’s 345-kilovolt line spans from near Center, N.D., to Grand Forks, where the co-op is based. The $353 million project began construction more than two years ago, according to a news release.


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image: detail of installation by Bronwyn Lace