More Denial of Intervention in Xcel Rate Case

Filed under:Cost Recovery,FERC,Laws & Rules,Rate Case - Transmission — posted by admin on May 3, 2016 @ 11:35 am

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WOW… can you believe??  It’s not just me, it’s not just denial of Intervention of No CapX 2020.   See 20162-118122-01_Denial2_Overland-NoCapX Intervention.  Intervention as a party in this Rate Case is only open to those who sold out to Xcel Energy and it’s “business plan” agenda of e21.

This is the most recent Order in the Xcel Energy Rate Case:

Order Denying Intervention – SunShare & ILSR

Here are their Intervention Petitions:

ILSR_Intervention_20164-120145-01

SunShare_Intervention_20164-120144-01

To see the full Rate Case docket, go to the PUC’s Search Documents page, and search for Docket 15-826.

And the Order… Dig this, parroting Xcel’s objections:

Order1

And this, even worse, as if the interests of the “Clean Energy Organizations” who bought into, stumped for, and sat quietly during the legislative hearings about Xcel Energy‘s e21 Initiative are the same as the interests of SunShare and Institute for Local Self-Reliance – ILSR:

Order2

This is SO offensive.  There is no consideration that the perspectives are different, only statements that the issues, the concerns, are the same.

The late, great Myer Shark, rate case Intervenor extraordinaire, would spin in his grave at the limitations of participation in this rate case.

Myer Shark, Lawyer Who Fought Utility, Is Dead at 94

In the Matter of the Complaint by Myer Shark, et al …

Encourage public participation? Yeah, right…

Filed under:FERC,Laws & Rules,Rate Case - Transmission — posted by admin on February 10, 2016 @ 12:01 pm

horsesassaward

I haven’t given out one of these in a long time, but here we go, the Horse’s Ass Award to Xcel Energy and Office of Administrative Hearings, based on the bias and double standards for participation and obstructions to intervention in the latest Xcel Energy rate case (PUC Docket GR-15-826).

Yes, Intervention in the rate case denied again:

20162-118122-01_Denial #2_Overland-NoCapX Intervention

And I quote:

Further, the Petition states that purposes for which No CapX 2020 was “specifically formed” (fn omitted) was to participate in dockets which are now closed, raising the question of why No CapX 2020 continues to exist.

aghast

H-E-L-L-O?!?!?!  This rate case docket is all about shifting the CapX 2020 and MISO MVP 17 project portfolio transmission costs from one scheme to another.   I specifically cited all the references to CapX 2020, MISO MVP, and transmission.

dohHere’s what has gone before…

Intervention Petition II

Xcel objection to second petition to intervene

Overland-NoCapX_Intervention Petition 2

Intervention Petition I

20161-117574-01_Order Denying Intervention Petition 1

No CapX 2020_Response to Xcel’s Objection

20161-116957-02_Xcel’s Objection to Intervention

NoCapX 2020 and Carol A. Overland_Intervention Petition Packet

And in a parallel track, note the double standard in pleading.

  • Note that Xcel has objected only to the Overland/No CapX 2020 intervention.
  • Note that Xcel has not objected to those who participated in the “e21 Initiative” which is the basis for this rate case “multi-year rate plan” and transmission shift.
  • Note how little the other “intervenors” say.
  • Note they do not state their interests.
  • Note they do not state how their interests are different from general ratepayers.
  • Note they do not state how their interests will not be represented by OAG and Commerce.

OAH has approved Interventions of “The Commercial Group,” “Suburban Rate Authority,” and “City of Mineapolis.”  I’m sure the approval of “Clean Energy Organizations” will soon follow, despite the lack of specific pleading and the apparent conflict with one “attorney” representing so many organizations that either have differing positions and interests, or which are adequately represented by other organizations and don’t need to intervene… funny how this double standard works…

Read the Petitions:

Petition to Intervene of the Commercial Group

Petition to Intervene of Suburban Rate Authority

Petition to Intervene 0f City of Minneapolis

Petition to Intervene 0f “Clean Energy Organizations”

Petition to Intervene of MN Chamber of Commerce

Check out each of these petitions.  Look at the pleading, what’s stated, and as importantly, what is NOT stated.  What are their interests?  How are the “interests” different than general ratepayers in their class?  How are their interests not represented by Office of Attorney General and/or MN Dept. of Commerce?

So what to do?  Participating in the public hearing is not sufficient, and if that’s the limited offering, well, there’s no Discovery for a public participant.  What’s next?  Fight for the privilege of an unfunded intervention, as if there’s nothing else to do?  The issues raised by Overland/No CapX 2020 will not be addressed otherwise.  And thos overt quashing of participation is not consistent with the “public” in “Public Utilities Commission” and the Commission’s mandate.

Meanwhile, FERC just denied the 2010 Petition for Intervention too in the case regarding the cost allocation for these CapX and MISO MVP projects, yes, that took them 5 1/2 years to do, so why now?  Check this out:

FERC Order – Docket ER09-1431 (p. 8)

Odd that should come up now… naaaah, not really.

booted-out

CapX & MVP cost allocation and a stroll down memory lane…

Filed under:Cost Recovery,FERC,Rate Case - Transmission — posted by admin on February 2, 2016 @ 1:58 pm

ferclogo

Today a FERC order came out addressing a Petition for Limited Intervention Out-of-Time made by No CapX 2020 and United Citizens Action Network, filed on May 20, 2010, nearly 6 years ago.

FERC Intervention-NoCapX & U-CAN  FERC Docket ER09-1431

This was SO far back, 2010, back when the CapX Applicants and the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission were ramming through CapX 2020 Certificate of Need BEFORE there was any cost allocation scheme solidified.

CapX

And it was at the time that MISO was hammering together the MISO MVP 17 project transmission Portfolio.

MVP portfolio map

Now that CapX 2020 transmission rate recovery is before the Commission, the Minnesota PUC, FERC goes back into history to make sure that No CapX 2020 and United Citizens Action Network are not part of the discussion:

ER09-1431_Order Denying Reconsideration (denial of No CapX & U-CAN Petition on p. 8)

So this just happens to come up when cost allocation and recovery are at issue in the Minnesota PUC Rate case… and Xcel’s attorney is working so hard to keep us out of that docket.

 

Well, look who’s intervened in the rate case!

Filed under:Cost Recovery,FERC,Rate Case - Transmission — posted by admin on January 26, 2016 @ 6:20 pm

doh

Fresh Energy, Sierra Club (national?  Northstar Chapter?  ??), Wind on the Wires, NRDC, MCEA have joined together under MCEA to intervene in the Xcel Energy “transmission driven” rate case.

CEO+Petition+to+Intervene

So… are all of them in agreement on positions?  Some were e21 Initiative participants, some were not.  WOW openly is a supporter of transmission, so what position might they take in this rate case?

And then there’s their role in Xcel Energy’s e21 Initiative and their role in this:

Letter & e21 Initiative Report_201412-105629-01

I wonder what standards they’ll be held to…

Fresh Energy makes no mention of whether they’re rate payers and claims it “works in the public interest…”  Oh my…

Sierra Club gives no indication which branch, office, or what.  Is it Sierra national?  Is it the NorthStar office?  The Madison office?  Inquiring minds would like to know.

Wind on the Wires, the Waltons spin-off, doesn’t address whether they’re ratepayers — and they’re an industry special interest group, a trade organization, “focused on prioritizing the delivery of large amounts of all types of wind energy to markets in the Upper Midwest, and represents members who produce wind power and technology who have a direct interest in energy rates at issue in this case,” as RECIPIENTS!

NRDC — their interest in this is???  Not at all clear.

MCEA as Intervenor, as “attorney” and its interest is?  Again, not at all clear.

And are these entities setting up for a conflict of interest, or are they all in lockstep?  Some participated in e21 and some did not.  Some participated in transmission and some did not.

And this statement… “Without Petitioners’ continued participation in both dockets (the rate case and the alternate rate design, 15-662) it is more likely that the two proceedings will reach inconsistent outcomes due to divergent goals.”  Please explain what the heck that means, and please, let’s get specific about the “divergent goals.”

And here’s one admission that is important in this “transmission driven” rate case:

By the same token, Petitioners are interested in supporting renewable energy expansion from sources of all scales, including transmission infrastructure to support such projects.  To the extent that NSP is proposing grid modernization projects both in this rate case and in a parallel Commission docket, Petitioners will be able to add unique perspective on these proposals and their usefulness in meeting efficiency and clean energy goals.  Grid modernization and transmission funding under this rate have a direct bearing on the legal rights of Petitioners’ members, as well.

Yes, please explain.

 

 

No CapX 2020 Non-Party Brief

Filed under:BadgerCoulee - Wisconsin,Cost Recovery,FERC,Wisconsin — posted by admin on February 2, 2015 @ 10:16 am

question_marks

Leave it to the PSC to say, “Hey, here’s an open door” and then make it a screen door that’s locked!  In the Badger Coulee docket, the ALJ offered an opportunity to file “Non-Party” briefs and then it turned out the transcripts weren’t posted on ERF until the Thursday afternoon before the Friday brief deadline.  Thankfully Frank Jablonski offered to send the early transcripts sans corrections on Tuesday when I asked. I’d filed a quick Motion for Extension, no word on that yet, but brief has been filed:

NoCapX Motion for Extension to File Non-Party Brief

How is one supposed to write a brief without transcripts?  Oh, right, we’re not supposed to.  Oh well…  So here we go:

No CapX 2020_Non-Party BriefFILED TODAY!!!

In this docket I was compelled.  There were such important things that were utterly ignored.

For example, check the record about cost allocation, rate recovery, return on investment… Look at the testimony of Hodgeson (ATC) and Hoesly (NSP-Wisconsin).  Hodgson’s not exactly credible on the stand — when questioned about rate impacts on ratepayers, nada, he refused to address impacts on ratepayers, only that “benefits” will go to utilities:

Untitled4

Trying again:

Hodgson1Untitled2Untitled3

Nothing about Schedule MM, nothing about Schedule 26A, which are how they came up with this numbers game.  And he put it together, lots was submitted CONFIDENTIALLY, info under wraps.  But the most primary concepts he will not talk about, and the primary documents are not in the record.

Can you believe that?  I… know… no-tingk!

schultz_180

Does Hodgson know nothing?  Not quite.  Take a look at Hodgson’s prefiled testimony, and do a search for Attachment MM and Schedule 26A, look at how he talks about it:

Hodgson Direct

Hodgson Rebuttal

Hodgson Sursurrebuttal

His testimony is about cost allocation, apportionment, and each balancing area’s assessment for the lump of the MISO 17 MVP Portfolio projects.  And, yup, in Hodgson’s Direct Testimony, “Attachment MM” is used 12 times in his Direct Testimony.  “Schedule 26A” is used 8 times.  So where is Attachment MM?  Where is Schedule 26A?  They’re not attached as exhibits.  They’re not in the record that I could find.  WTF???

Who cares about MISO Tariff Attachment MM and Schedule 26A in the Badger Coulee docket?  Apparently no one.  The Applicants sure wouldn’t want to disclose this if they don’t have to, and they didn’t.  The intervenors didn’t care, it’s not been entered as an exhibit by any of them.  So where in the record is anything about how these MVP costs will affect Wisconsin ratepayers?

Here’s NSP-Wisconsin’s Hoesly, his testimony on this is limited to p. 5-6, noting that Hodgson did the work:

Hoesley Direct Corrected

THERE WAS NOT ONE SINGLE QUESTION FOR HOESLEY!  Well, PSC’s Urban and Sirohi too…

Here they are, the primary documents, from the ITC Midwest MN/IA 345 kV case:

MISO Tariff Attachment MM (from ITC docket)

Exhibit B_Schedule 26A Indicative Annual Charges_02262014 (from ITC docket)

Hodgson also refers to MISO Tariff Attachment O, and here it is:

ATC’s Rate Formula (Attachment O)

And for a bigger picture, here’s recent ATC info:

ATC_2015_Attach_O_G_MM_Schedule 1

ATC_AttachmentMM 100114

ATC Budget and Rates (note they use “coincident peak” for these calculations):

ATC Budget and Rates

And from that, these documents (some repeats) that were prepared for an October rate dog & pony:

Budget Presentation
Rate Formula (Attachment O)
2015 Attachment GG
2015 Attachment MM
2015 Schedule 1
2015 Transmission Service Rates (Schedule 7 & 8)
ATC Rate Projections through 2019

Who cares?  Well… anyone who is concerned about what Wisconsin, Minnesota, or anyone in MISO might be stuck paying for these MVP projects!

Do tell — how can the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin make a decision in this docket without the MISO Tariff Attachment MM and Schedule 26A in the record?  How can it make a decision without considering what Wisconsin’s assessment for all those $5.86 BILLION in MISO’s 17 MVP projects amounts to?

FERC – Reliability and the Bulk-Power System

Filed under:FERC,Nuts & Bolts,Upcoming Events — posted by admin on June 16, 2013 @ 8:33 am

ferclogo

July 9th – mark your calendars!

FERC, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, is at it again.  Join in on the free webcast, also no need to register, and it’s really stimulating stuff! “Reliability of the Bulk-Power System”  Doesn’t get much better than that!

FERC Webcast – Tuesday July 9 @ 9 a.m. EDT

This webcast could be useful, because we all know that Reliability and the Bulk-Power System are one of those conflated things, because the “Bulk-Power System” is about marketing and shipping everywhere and anywhere, and “Reliability” is more the inverse of these bul-power transfers, which can trigger instability by promoting such a high-capacity grid that the magnitude of the transfers, the long distance, and need for reactive power puts the system at risk.

“Respondent Utilities” file Answer to Answer

Filed under:FERC — posted by admin on April 21, 2013 @ 7:42 am

ferclogo

Methinks they doth protest too much…

Second Answer of Respondent Utilities – EL13-49

To see the entire docket and all the filings go to FERC Library and search for docket EL13-49.

FERC issues Notice of Complaint

Filed under:BadgerCoulee - Wisconsin,FERC,Hampton-Alma-LaCrosse,Laws & Rules — posted by admin on March 12, 2013 @ 12:18 pm

ferclogo

Moving forward!  On March 1, 2013, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued its Notice of Complaint, that the Complaint of CETF and SOUL has been filed and opening up the matter for comments:

FERC Notice of Complaint – March 1, 2013

Comments are due on March 21, 2013, that’s NEXT WEEK!  Comments, protests and interventions should be filed using FERC’s eFiling system, HERE!  If you can’t figure that out, then FERC requires an original and 14 copies be sent to FERC, 888 1st Street, NE, Washington, DC  20426.  How’s that for motivation to figure out how to eFile!

For reference, here’s the Complaint:

FERC Complaint – CETF and SOUL

Be sure to put the docket number on your Comments, EL13-49-000.

Like wow, here it is in the Federal Register:

78 FR 14783

Complaint filed at FERC

Filed under:FERC — posted by admin on March 2, 2013 @ 8:47 am

ferclogo

Yesterday, Citizens Energy Task Force and Save Our Unique Lands filed a Complaint at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission that the Midwest Reliability Organization (MRO), Midwest Independent Transmission System Operator (MISO) and the CapX 2020 Applicant utilities had violated NERC reliability standards by approving the CapX 2020 Hampton-La Crosse transmission line in MTEP 08 when the knew or should have known that it would cause system instability and would not provide the transfer capability they wanted, that it wouldn’t do the job as claimed, that running a radial line to La Crosse would just bring transmission system instability to La Crosse.

Here’s the FERC Docket EL13-49-000 — CLICK HERE FOR NOTICE!

FERC Complaint – CETF and SOUL

It even made a USA Today online collection of energy news… but that was yesterday and they’ve moved on…

From La Crosse Tribune:

CapX 2020 line will create grid instability, according to opponents

In the Rochester Post Bulletin:

Citizens groups to challenge $500M CapX project

and in the Wisconsin State Journal:

Complaint: Stop Wisconsin link in CapX 2020 power line project

The 48-mile, $211 million, high-voltage line from Minnesota to Wisconsin was approved by the Wisconsin Public Service Commission last May. Opponents filed a lawsuit seeking a court review of the decision, but Dane County Circuit Judge Amy Smith turned down the request last October saying the lawyer who filed the case is not licensed to practice in Wisconsin.

FERC Can-O-Worms!

Filed under:BadgerCoulee - Wisconsin,Cost Recovery,FERC,Hampton-Alma-LaCrosse,Wisconsin — posted by admin on October 24, 2012 @ 2:01 pm

The ownership mess at FERC gets curiouser and curiouser, messier and messier.  Hot off the wire is an ITC complaint against our friends at ATC:

Complaint – ITC Midwest LLC v. ATC LLC

This is another FERC docket, and to see the entire thing as it grows, GO HERE TO FERC DOCKET SEARCH, and search for docket EL13-13.

Here’s a map of the projects at issue:

map2

What they’re saying is that as with Xcel Energy, ATC is not playing well with others.  ATC has Xcel on the western side looking for 1/2 of Badger Coulee, and now ITC is on the East (or south, depending on your perspective, the eastern terminus) looking for their piece of the pie.

In this filing is a cute map from the MTEP which shows just where the “congestion” is:

map1


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image: detail of installation by Bronwyn Lace