Put on your waders — CapX 2020 Report!

CapXCap1

It’s out, the report from U of M Humphrey School of Public Affairs about CapX 2020, headlining it as a “Model for addressing climate change.

Transmission Planning and CapX 2020: Building Trust to Build Regional Transmission Systems

Oh, please, this is all about coal, and you know it.  This is all about enabling marketing of electricity.  In fact, Xcel’s Tim Carlsbad testified most honestly that CapX 2020 was not for wind!  That’s because electrical energy isn’t ID’d by generation source, as Jimbo Alders also testified, and under FERC, discrimination in generation sources is not allowed, transmission must serve whatever is there.  And the report early on, p. 4, notes:

Both North and South Dakota have strong wind resources and North Dakota also has low-BTU lignite
coal resources that it wants to continue to use. New high-voltage transmission lines are needed to
support the Dakotas’ ability to export electricity to neighboring states.

See also: ICF-Independent Assessment MISO Benefits

Anyway, here it is, and it’s much like Phyllis Reha’s puff piece promoting CapX 2020 years ago while she was on the Public Utilities Commission, that this is the model other states should use:

MN PUC Commissioner Reha’s Feb 15 2006 presentation promoting CapX 2020

So put on your waders and reading glasses and have at it. Here’s the word on the 2005 Transmission Omnibus Bill from Hell – Chapter 97 – Revisor of Statutes that gave Xcel and Co. just what they wanted, transmission as a revenue stream:

CapX_Xmsn2005

And note how opposition is addressed, countered by an organization that received how much to promote transmission.  This is SO condescending:

HumphreyCapXReport

… and opposition discounted because it’s so technical, what with load flow studies, energy consumption trends, how could we possibly understand.  We couldn’t possibly understand… nevermind that the decreased demand we warned of, and which demonstrated lack of need, was the reality that we were entering in 2008.

XcelPeakDemand2000-2015

And remember Steve Rakow’s chart of demand, entered at the very end of the Certificate of Need hearing when demand was at issue???  In addition to NO identification of axis values, the trend he promoted, and which was adopted by the ALJ and Commission, has NOT happened, and instead Xcel is adjusting to the “new normal” and whining that the grid is only 55% utilized in its e21 and rate case filings.  Here’s Steve Rakow’s chart:

rakownapkindemand

Reality peak demand trajectory was lower than Rakow’s “slow growth” line, in fact, it’s the opposite from 2007 to present.  Suffice it to say:

ManureSpreader

Beautiful day, but CapX transmission has sprung up

Filed under:Buy the Farm,Hampton-Alma-LaCrosse — posted by admin on April 3, 2016 @ 6:37 pm

20160403_173838[1]

It was such a beautiful day today.  Got a good share of garden work in, pulled and raked out the back 40″, well, half of it anyway, and cut down all the big milkweed stalks.  We grabbed a sub and went out for a picnic.  The river had crested last week or earlier, but it was still very “spring brown” though there were a lot of fishing boats out, and people fishing from shore too.

Next stop, a look at CapX 2020 transmission now that it’s strung.  It is so depressing.  These are photos just south of us here in Red Wing, north of Rochester, by Oronoco, along the White Bridge Road.

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And here’s that “boat landing” that was brought up the last day or so of the hearing, the one that’s now permanently closed and now a locked gate at the road going down to the river:

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Oh, how depressing…

Filed under:Buy the Farm,Hampton-Alma-LaCrosse — posted by admin on January 19, 2016 @ 3:04 pm

CapX_CannonFalls1

On the way to Stephanie Henriksen’s Memorial Service today, along Hwy. 19 on the west side of Cannon Falls, I saw the CapX 2020 foundations in the ground, and Cor-Ten steel poles lined up, poised for installation.  Dog, how depressing…  On the way back, there was a big cement truck coming onto 19 from an access road, and we drove up Hwy. 52 and back and got an eyeful — Alan got some photos.  The one above is on the north side of the Cannon River, and this one below is on the south side, on the Sandstroms’ property, that’s one of the shop buildings in the background:

20160119_135640_resized

Just a bit further south, it is to be right up against the school’s soccer fields.

Landowners and Church snapshot

To think that they’re doing this… how is this justified?  And with no prior notice until moments before the public hearings at the very end of a couple year long process… OBSCENE!

Here’s the latest compliance filing in the 09-1448 docket, with photos:

20161-117244-01_1-14-2016

Another Buy the Farm win in MN Supreme Court!

Filed under:Appeal,Buy the Farm,Laws & Rules,News coverage — posted by admin on March 4, 2015 @ 4:15 pm

cheeringsection

YES, another Buy the Farm win, just released today!

OPA131474-030415

Check it out, read the decision.

On MPR: Supreme Court backs farmers in CapX 2020 powerline fight

On KSTP: State Supreme Court Rules Against Utility Companies in Farmland Dispute

For all of you across the country who live in states that do not have a “Buy the Farm” option, and that’s all of you anywhere but here in Minnesota, send our “Buy the Farm” to your state legislators and tell them you need it.  The relevant text is below, and if you click on it, you’ll get the Legislative Revisor’s site for the whole Minn. Stat.  216E.12.

216E.12, Subd. 4.Contiguous land.

(a) When private real property that is an agricultural or nonagricultural homestead, nonhomestead agricultural land, rental residential property, and both commercial and noncommercial seasonal residential recreational property, as those terms are defined in section 273.13 is proposed to be acquired for the construction of a site or route for a high-voltage transmission line with a capacity of 200 kilovolts or more by eminent domain proceedings, the owner shall have the option to require the utility to condemn a fee interest in any amount of contiguous, commercially viable land which the owner wholly owns in undivided fee and elects in writing to transfer to the utility within 60 days after receipt of the notice of the objects of the petition filed pursuant to section 117.055. Commercial viability shall be determined without regard to the presence of the utility route or site. Within 60 days after receipt by the utility of an owner’s election to exercise this option, the utility shall provide written notice to the owner of any objection the utility has to the owner’s election, and if no objection is made within that time, any objection shall be deemed waived. Within 120 days of the service of an objection by the utility, the district court having jurisdiction over the eminent domain proceeding shall hold a hearing to determine whether the utility’s objection is upheld or rejected. The utility has the burden of proof to prove by a preponderance of the evidence that the property elected by the owner is not commercially viable. The owner shall have only one such option and may not expand or otherwise modify an election without the consent of the utility. The required acquisition of land pursuant to this subdivision shall be considered an acquisition for a public purpose and for use in the utility’s business, for purposes of chapter 117 and section 500.24, respectively; provided that a utility shall divest itself completely of all such lands used for farming or capable of being used for farming not later than the time it can receive the market value paid at the time of acquisition of lands less any diminution in value by reason of the presence of the utility route or site. Upon the owner’s election made under this subdivision, the easement interest over and adjacent to the lands designated by the owner to be acquired in fee, sought in the condemnation petition for a right-of-way for a high-voltage transmission line with a capacity of 200 kilovolts or more shall automatically be converted into a fee taking.

(b) All rights and protections provided to an owner under chapter 117 apply to acquisition of land or an interest in land under this section.

(c) Within 120 days of an owner’s election under this subdivision to require the utility to acquire land, or 120 days after a district court decision overruling a utility objection to an election made pursuant to paragraph (a), the utility must make a written offer to acquire that land and amend its condemnation petition to include the additional land.

(d) For purposes of this subdivision, “owner” means the fee owner, or when applicable, the fee owner with the written consent of the contract for deed vendee, or the contract for deed vendee with the written consent of the fee owner.

House Bill 2047 — Washington State does Buy the Farm!!!

Filed under:Buy the Farm,Laws & Rules — posted by admin on February 16, 2015 @ 7:20 pm

OH HAPPY DAY!!!!

Washington State is working on “Buy the Farm” and a bill was introduced last Monday:

House Bill 2047

It’s been referred to House Judiciary — here’s the page for status of bills:

CHECK STATUS OF HOUSE BILL 2047 HERE

Is this exciting or what?!?!

 

PUC Rulemaking — send Comments on Drafts

Filed under:Buy the Farm,Laws & Rules,Nuts & Bolts,Upcoming Events — posted by admin on September 1, 2014 @ 9:40 am

pilesofiles

The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission is winding up its rulemaking on the Certificate of Need (Minn. R. Ch. 7849) and Siting/Routing (Minn. R. Ch. 7850) chapters.  My clients Goodhue Wind Truth and North Route Group have been participating all along, and their experience with the Certificate of Need and Routing/Siting process has helped inform this record and we sure hope leads to more sensible and workable rules, AND increased public participation.

Now is the time to download and make your comments on what should be included, what’s included that’s important and needs to go forward, and what needs to be reworded.

August 13 Draft 7849

7850 July 8 draft

August 13 Ch. 7850 comparison

Send Comments to:

  • kate.kahlert@state.mn.us
  • and/or post to the Rulemaking Docket.  To do that go HERE to the eDocket Filing Page, register if you’re not registered (it’s easy and almost instant), and post to Docket 12-1246.

It’s highly likely that the LAST meeting of the PUC’s Rulemaking Advisory Committee will be the one on September 24, 2014 (9:30 a.m. at the PUC, in the basement).

A few things that need work:

  • Ch. 7849 & 7850: Need language mirroring statutory language regarding testimony by members of the public UNDER OATH (ALJs have refused to offer people opportunity to testify under oath, and PUC has stated that it makes a difference, “but were those statements made under oath” and if not, less weight.
  • Ch. 7849: Advisory Task Forces need language of statute, and membership not limited to “local units of government.”
  • Ch. 7849 & 7850: Transcripts available online — need to address this in rules and reporter contracts.
  • Ch. 7849: Scoping and Alternatives — compare with Ch. 7850.  Similar process?
  • Ch. 7849.1450: When is it Commerce EER & DER
  • Ch. 7849 & 7850 – timing should be similar for completeness review, etc.
  • Ch. 7850: Public Meeting separate from Scoping Meeting (Public Meeting is to disseminate information, Scoping Meeting is for intake).
  • Ch. 7850: Power Plant Siting Act includes “Buy the Farm.”  Need rules regarding Buy the Farm.

Now is the time to review the drafts, above, and send in Comments.  There may be, I hope there are, revisions released prior to the next meeting, but usually it happens just before, and there’s no time.  So here’s where we are now, and Comments would be helpful.

Some Buy the Farm background

Filed under:Buy the Farm — posted by admin on August 18, 2014 @ 7:52 am

WhiteBridgeRd_Xmsn2

Here are some photos I took yesterday of the CapX 2020 transmission project being constructed at White Bridge Rd. over the Zumbro River — UGLY UGLY UGLY, it’s ugly wherever it goes.

From KAAL-TV, filmed yesterday near Pine Island and Oronoco:

Locals Sound Off on CapX 2020 Project

A long-time energy activist recently called “Buy the Farm,” Minn. Stat. 216E.12, Subd. 4, MY statute.  And in a way, it is… For at least 15 years now, since the Chisago and Arrowhead Project, its been a constant mantra.  I’ve been raising “Buy the Farm” in the administrative dockets, the courts and the legislature.  If I had a dollar for every “Buy the Farm” flyer I’ve handed out at transmission line meetings and hearings, every mile driven across Minnesota, every hour greeting attendees, every legislator hounded, I’d never have to work again.

Buy_the_Farm Flyer

In 1999, World Organization for Landowner Freedom went to the Appellate Court after Minnesota Power filed for an exemption of its Arrowhead Transmission Project at the Environmental Quality Board and the exemption was granted by the EQB.  Minnesota Power requested this exemption because the line was so short it was exempted from a Certificate of Need, so what the heck, let’s try to get it exempted from Power Plant Siting Act’s Routing requirements as well… and they did.  One “unintended consequence” was that because it was exempted from the Power Plant Siting Act, landowners affected by the project were not able to elect “Buy the Farm” because it is part of the Power Plant Siting Act.  But of course, I don’t think that was “unintended” at all.

What did the court say to our argument that the landowners didn’t receive notice that exemption would mean they couldn’t elect Buy the Farm?  Well, can you spell “raspberries?”

Due process challenge to notice to landowners

In eminent-domain proceedings for projects subject to the siting act, landowners can elect condemnation and compensation for owner’s entire fee interests.   See Minn. Stat.  116C.63, subd. 4 (2000) (take-the-whole-farm option).  WOLF argues that due process requires that notice to landowners should have included notice that if an exemption is granted, the take-the-whole farm option will not be available to them.  The siting act is unambiguous, however, and provides all the notice required that the take-the-whole-farm option does not apply to projects exempted from the act.  MP complied with the specific application-for-exemption notice requirements in the siting act.  See Minn. Stat.  116C.57, subd. 5 (2000).  No one challenged the sufficiency of notice to landowners in the proceedings before the board.  We find WOLF’s argument on this issue meritless.

Ja, tell that to the landowners under the 345 kV line… (and btw, sufficiency of notice WAS raised).

In 2001, when the legislature changed the definition of “High Voltage Transmission Line” to a transmission over 100 kV, utilities realized it would mean lines such as the SE Metro line or the Chisago Transmission Project would be affected, so they went to the legislature to get the threshold for Buy the Farm raised to 200 kV.  There was strong resistance, we stormed the Capitol, showed up and testified, but they won, lined up their toady legislators and got it through.  The result?  Landowners under all of these 69 kV “upgrades” to 115 kV and 161 kV are not able to elect the “Buy the Farm” option, despite it now being categorized as “High Voltage Transmission.”

Then the utilities began their transmission build-out, and massive it is.  Having to comply with “Buy the Farm” would greatly increase their construction costs, though they are required to sell BTF land acquisitions within a few years.  And over a decade later, in the St. Cloud area, with the first of the CapX 2020 projects to wind through the courts for condemnation, Xcel fought kicking and screaming against landowner elections of Buy the Farm and demands for relocation compensation.  Jerry Von Korff led the charge for landowners and No CapX 2020 and United Citizens Action Network filed an Amicus brief.  Xcel lost:

Buy the Farm — A Win For The Home Team!

That decision, for the landowners fighting for their right to elect Buy the Farm and for an award of relocation expenses, was a big slap upside the head for those utilities trying to limit landowner compensation — Xcel fought it through the Appellate Court and all the way to the Minnesota Supreme Court — losers again:

Minnesota Supreme Court Opinion – Court File A11-1116

WhiteBridgeRd_Xmsn

Did they learn?  Naaaaaaaaaah… and here they go again, with another great win for landowners in the District Court:

Minar Order_Buy the Farm

This decision establishes yet another point on the “Buy the Farm” line showing that landowners do have rights, and can elect the Buy the Farm option.

What’s particularly important in this case is that the judge recognized that it’s NOT about the substantive issues of EMF, that causation is not at issue in an eminent domain condemnation proceeding (anymore than it is in an administrative permitting proceeding, but see Power Line Task Force v. Public Utilities Commission (2001) for the appellate view on EMF and the PUC’s responsibility for safe electricity), that experts are utterly irrelevant and should be disregarded and really, shouldn’t have been admitted — that framing by Xcel is distraction:

EMF_MinarOrder

If only the Public Utilities Commission and the Administrative Law Judges working these cases would get that message.

The trend continues… Buy the Farm is the law in the state of Minnesota.  Utilities, get used to it.  If you want to take land, pony up.

Will Xcel challenge this District Court decision?  We shall see, and if they do, we’ll have Amicus “pen” in hand to again join the fracas in support of landowners.

20140817_141359_resized_2

 

Flo & David Minar & Cedar Summit WIN!!!

Filed under:Brookings Routing Docket,Buy the Farm — posted by admin on August 15, 2014 @ 6:49 am

MinorOrder

That says it all!

Here’s the full decision:

Minar Order_Buy the Farm

This is a big day, a victory for landowners who have a utility condemning their land for transmission.  Over and over, the utilities are losing, and landowners’ rights are affirmed by the court.  Yet because the utilities refuse to recognize their election of Buy the Farm (Minn. Stat. 216E.12, Subd. 4), landowners end up in a long involved and expensive legal wrangle — at what point will the court start holding utilities accountable for their abuse of process?  Because their objections are so unreasonable, utilities should be required to pay for more than landowners expenses in standing up for their rights, there should be additional damages awarded, say for “intentional infliction of emotional distress” or Rule 11 sanctions, something to wake them up to the abusive nature of their challenges.  The law is what it is, and as landowners have to continue to fight, it will probably become even more focused on landowner rights, session by legislative session, due to the utilities’ actions.

Take a few minutes today to let your state Representative and Senator know how important it is to protect landowner rights in utility condemnations and to uphold the Buy the Farm option!

State Representatives contact info

State Senators contact info

Once more with feeling: CONGRATULATIONS, DAVE AND FLO MINAR!!!!

In the STrib:

Utility must buy the farm its towers stand on, judge rules

In the Roch Post Bulletin:

‘Buy the Farm’ ruling puts Capx 2020 on the hook

And ASAP, take a trip over to Cedar Summit Farm, have a look around, check out their pasture fed organic dairy cows, and give them a big THANK YOU to let the Minar’s know that you support their efforts to preserve landowner rights.  Oh, and then there’s the milk… cheese… ice cream… and more!  They’re located just north of New Prague, on Drexel Ave. (Co. Rd. 15), just past 260th (Co. Rd. 2).

cedar-summit

 

 

 

Eminent Domain in WSJ

Filed under:Buy the Farm,ITC MN & IA 345 kV — posted by admin on May 18, 2014 @ 9:38 am

Map from 20132-83982-01-1

I’ve just spent the last week dealing with transmission need and routing, both primary issues in eminent domain and condemnation for transmission lines (well, two days, but prep before, and the aftermath likgers…).  Here’s what the Wall Street Journal has to say, that “abusers are making a comeback.”  Abuse?  Well, how about Xcel Energy challenging landowners’ exercise of “Buy the Farm” under Minn. Stat. 116E.12, Subd. 4?  How about ITC Midwest, a private transmission-only company, wanting to build a transmission line and thinking they have power of eminent domain in Minnesota?

 Minn. Stat. 117.025, Subd. 10.Public service corporation.

“Public service corporation” means a utility, as defined by section 216E.01, subdivision 10; gas, electric, telephone, or cable communications company; cooperative association; natural gas pipeline company; crude oil or petroleum products pipeline company; municipal utility; municipality when operating its municipally owned utilities; joint venture created pursuant to section 452.25 or 452.26; or municipal power or gas agency. Public service corporation also means a municipality or public corporation when operating an airport under chapter 360 or 473, a common carrier, a watershed district, or a drainage authority.

Subd. 11.Public use; public purpose.

(a) “Public use” or “public purpose” means, exclusively:

(1) the possession, occupation, ownership, and enjoyment of the land by the general public, or by public agencies;

(2) the creation or functioning of a public service corporation; or

(3) mitigation of a blighted area, remediation of an environmentally contaminated area, reduction of abandoned property, or removal of a public nuisance.

(b) The public benefits of economic development, including an increase in tax base, tax revenues, employment, or general economic health, do not by themselves constitute a public use or public purpose.

An important consideration is how it’s defined in 216E.01, Subd. 10:

Wall Street Journal: Eminent Domain Abusers Are Making A Comeback: Cities and states are back to grabbing private property for the private profit of others.

By Dana Berliner
In Atlantic City, a state agency recently decided to bulldoze the home that Charlie Birnbaum’s parents bought 45 years ago and that he now uses as a piano studio and a base for his piano-tuning business, as well as renting out two suites. New Jersey’s Casino Reinvestment Development Authority wants to replace it with an unspecified private development around the Revel casino, which emerged from bankruptcy a year ago.

Mr. Birnbaum is represented by my organization, the Institute for Justice, in trying to save his business and his parents’ former home. He was served with condemnation papers on March 14, and the first hearing will be on May 20. After a lull in cases of eminent-domain abuse over the past several years, we are increasingly hearing complaints from home and business owners about government attempts to take property for private development projects.

If Mr. Birnbaum’s story sounds familiar, that’s because it is a repeat of what the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority tried in 1996. In that case the New Jersey authority tried to take the home of an elderly widow, Vera Coking, as well as Sabatini’s Italian Restaurant and a jewelry store, for a proposed limousine parking lot for Donald Trump’s Plaza Hotel and Casino.

The case garnered national attention and started a groundswell of interest in eminent-domain abuse. In 1998 a New Jersey district court denied the taking for the parking lot. Mrs. Coking stayed in her house for many years. Meanwhile, across the country home and business owners started resisting eminent domain. Courts began to take notice.

 

Then in 2005, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled by 5-to-4 in Kelo v. New London that a whole neighborhood in the Connecticut town could be condemned on mere economic speculation—on the hope that new homes and businesses would be built in the same location and that these would produce more property taxes and “economic development.”

The decision shocked the nation. In the years that followed, 44 states changed their laws to make eminent domain for private development more difficult. State courts also stepped into the gap—nine high courts, including New Jersey’s, placed state constitutional limits on eminent domain. Chastened by this wave of opposition, most cities and agencies became much more careful in their use of eminent domain.

Unfortunately, this breathing spell seems to be ending. This latest condemnation by the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority is part of a new wave of eminent-domain abuse, as cities and redevelopment agencies try to regain some of the power they lost:

• California actually abolished its redevelopment agencies in 2011. Now cities and powerful development interests have launched a ballot initiative to restore the redevelopment agencies and greatly expand their power to seize properties for private projects.

• In Colorado, Denver suburbs and other cities have been on a spree of condemnations for shopping malls.

• Minnesota, Alabama and Illinois have added powers to state and municipal agencies to condemn for such projects as sports stadiums, industrial developments and business-district economic development.

• Philadelphia is taking an artist’s studio for a private development.

• A Louisiana port agency is taking one private commercial port to be replaced by . . . another private commercial port.

• New York never stopped abusing eminent domain—taking property for Columbia University, the Brooklyn Nets and the ever-present “mixed-use development” across the state.

This renewed eagerness to seize private property for the private profit of others comes despite its poor track record.

• Nine years after the Kelo taking in New London, Conn., nothing but weeds occupies the area once populated by more than 70 homes and businesses.

• The 22-acre Atlantic Yards project in Brooklyn, N.Y., was supposed to include several office towers, thousands of housing units, retail, parks and other amenities to accompany the Barclays Center sports arena. But construction plans change, and the project will now include far less than originally promised.

• A thriving cigar and coffee lounge in San Diego was bulldozed in 2005, supposedly for a hotel. The space remains an empty parking lot nine years later.

The condemnation of Charlie Birnbaum’s building in Atlantic City is a classic example of eminent-domain abuse. The agency has no plan for the property. Promises of economic growth are made with no plausible substantiation of how it will happen. Mr. Birnbaum’s house is at the very edge of the area being taken and could easily be left alone. A judicial decision should come this year at the trial court, and the case is almost certain to be appealed.

The last outbreak of eminent-domain abuses spurred a grass-roots movement that seemed to chasten land-grabbing bureaucrats. With luck, these latest manifestations of government arrogance may prompt more pushback by home and business owners and result in greater private-property protections.

Ms. Berliner is the litigation director for the Institute for Justice, which represents Charlie Birnbaum, and represented the homeowners in both the Atlantic City eminent domain battle and the Kelo U.S. Supreme Court case.

(more…)

Peter Valberg, Xcel’s EMF witness, is at it again…

Filed under:Brookings Routing Docket,Buy the Farm — posted by admin on April 26, 2014 @ 11:14 am

valberg.d0ac0dde

A version of the old “joke,” how do you know Peter Valberg, Ph.D., is lying?  His lips are moving…

Xcel Energy is challenging Florence & Dave Minar and their Cedar Summit Farm’s election of Minnesota’s Buy the Farm law, which allows landowners facing utility condemnation to say, “You must buy us out.”  This is the law in Minnesota, but Xcel Energy hasn’t gotten the message.

Subd. 4.Contiguous land.

(a) When private real property that is an agricultural or nonagricultural homestead, nonhomestead agricultural land, rental residential property, and both commercial and noncommercial seasonal residential recreational property, as those terms are defined in section 273.13 is proposed to be acquired for the construction of a site or route for a high-voltage transmission line with a capacity of 200 kilovolts or more by eminent domain proceedings, the owner shall have the option to require the utility to condemn a fee interest in any amount of contiguous, commercially viable land which the owner wholly owns in undivided fee and elects in writing to transfer to the utility within 60 days after receipt of the notice of the objects of the petition filed pursuant to section 117.055. Commercial viability shall be determined without regard to the presence of the utility route or site. Within 60 days after receipt by the utility of an owner’s election to exercise this option, the utility shall provide written notice to the owner of any objection the utility has to the owner’s election, and if no objection is made within that time, any objection shall be deemed waived. Within 120 days of the service of an objection by the utility, the district court having jurisdiction over the eminent domain proceeding shall hold a hearing to determine whether the utility’s objection is upheld or rejected. The utility has the burden of proof to prove by a preponderance of the evidence that the property elected by the owner is not commercially viable. The owner shall have only one such option and may not expand or otherwise modify an election without the consent of the utility. The required acquisition of land pursuant to this subdivision shall be considered an acquisition for a public purpose and for use in the utility’s business, for purposes of chapter 117 and section 500.24, respectively; provided that a utility shall divest itself completely of all such lands used for farming or capable of being used for farming not later than the time it can receive the market value paid at the time of acquisition of lands less any diminution in value by reason of the presence of the utility route or site. Upon the owner’s election made under this subdivision, the easement interest over and adjacent to the lands designated by the owner to be acquired in fee, sought in the condemnation petition for a right-of-way for a high-voltage transmission line with a capacity of 200 kilovolts or more shall automatically be converted into a fee taking.

(b) All rights and protections provided to an owner under chapter 117 apply to acquisition of land or an interest in land under this section.

(c) Within 120 days of an owner’s election under this subdivision to require the utility to acquire land, or 120 days after a district court decision overruling a utility objection to an election made pursuant to paragraph (a), the utility must make a written offer to acquire that land and amend its condemnation petition to include the additional land.

(d) For purposes of this subdivision, “owner” means the fee owner, or when applicable, the fee owner with the written consent of the contract for deed vendee, or the contract for deed vendee with the written consent of the fee owner.

For some reason, they hired shill Peter Valberg, Ph.D., to testify — I don’t see anything in “Buy the Farm” that makes this relevant.  Oh well…

So now, on to the “mistatements” when Valberg testified.  There were a couple of things he said that were patently false (not direct quotes, but the essence of what he falsely claimed):

The grid is 60 Hz so there’s no danger from ionizing radiation.

The EMF doesn’t transfer because it’s low frequency.

The magnetic fields were calculated at the “thermal limit” and the maximum was 100 mG at the centerline, and then decreased going outward.

1) 60 Hz — The grid is 60 Hz so there’s no danger from ionizing radiation.:

Folks, it’s basic physics, in which Valberg has a Ph.D., and basic electrical engineering, that the frequencies on the grid are NOT limited to 60 Hz and in fact go lower and go far, far higher.  Art Hughes, Ph.D. was doing research on impact of frequencies in the 1,000-1,500 Hz range when he died, in a pig barn, where he was doing the experiments.  Frequencies on the grid go up to the levels where it’s ionizing radiation.  HUH?  Yes, corona is that high, it’s ultra violet range, and it’s simple to demonstrate, just take a look at how utilities check for damage to the lines:

EPE_2013111816011292 The Ultraviolet Detection of Corona Discharge in Power Transmission Lines

Corona discharge is at that “ionizing” level, and if there is particulate matter nearby (and where isn’t there particulate matter nearby), that particulate matter picks up the ionization:

Link to abstracts of Henshaw’s corona & criteria pollutant articles

Here’s a chart of where corona shows up on the frequency spectrum: Chart

Easy to read Wiki on “corona discharge”

Here are two very interesting patent applications about corona and UV from transmission lines:

US5986276 – APPARATUS AND METHOD FOR ELIMINATING X-RAY HAZARDS FROM ELECTRICAL POWER DISTRIBUTION

EP1691461A1 – ELECTRIC POWER SYSTEM SUPPRESSING CORONA DISCHARGE FROM VIEWPOINT OF ENVIRONMENT

2) The EMF doesn’t transfer because it’s low frequency.

Ummmm… what does Valberg think line loss is?  And corona and line loss is a significant problem for utilities.  They use the corona detectors, as above, to find sources of major losses:

EPE_2013111816011292 The Ultraviolet Detection of Corona Discharge in Power Transmission Lines

3) The magnetic fields were calculated at the “thermal limit” and the maximum was 100 mG at the centerline, and then decreased going outward.

And let’s take a look at the magnetic field levels as addressed in the CapX 2020 Brookings-Hampton routing docket, because the levels were certainly not calculated for the “thermal limit,” as Valberg testified yesterday, they were calculated for at most 1/3 of the thermal limit amperage:

Affidavit of Bruce McKay

From the Brookings-Hampton application, pages 3-20 to 3-22, and look at the amps (click chart for larger pdf):

Brookings1Brookings2Brookings3

Now, note the range of amps, 1005.9, 841, 826.7 are the highest I see, but look at the thermal limits, and folks, this is IN THE CAPX 2020 CERTIFICATE OF NEED RECORD:

Schedin IR 3

In this Information Request response, they admit that the thermal limit for amps for this line is much greater than 1,000:

ShedinIR3

So building on these numbers, from the Affidavit of Bruce McKay above:

 

McKayChart

As Miss Helen Lee Murphy’s math teacher friend would agree, 390.71 mG and 304.92 mG are both above 100 mG.

Some other similar mG transmission posts — do you see a trend?

CapX Hampton – La Crosse – Affidavit – Bruce McKay

Hiawatha Project — McKay Affidavit and Exhibits – Final

Here is a chart from the Split Rock-Lakefield Jct. line with various conductor sizes with voltages, amps, and MVA:

Ex 35 App 7 Conductor spec

Some past posts about Valberg:

The ongoing saga of the Fargo-St. Cloud transmission line

CapX info dump in the Fargo docket (another McKay Affidavit here)

Peter Valberg, stop it!  It’s a matter of record, and you’re misrepresenting at best:

 


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image: detail of installation by Bronwyn Lace