Tuesday night in Onalaska

Filed under:BadgerCoulee - Wisconsin,Laws & Rules,Nuts & Bolts,Q-1 Upgrade,Wisconsin — posted by admin on December 17, 2015 @ 9:55 pm

20151215_185850[1]

AS you scroll down, keep in mind the tremendous job that the City of Onalaska did presenting their case in the Badger Coulee transmission docket (go HERE and search for docket 05-CE-142, and look for Onalaska filings).

Grace – Direct Testimony

Tuesday night, the Onalaska Plan Commission took up the revised Comprehensive Plan.

Onalaska Comprehensive Plan Final Draft – 12-07-2015

Here’s where you can check out the new Comprehensive Plan (search for “transmission” and you’ll find not much):

City of Onalaska 2015 Comprehensive Plan Page

The current Zoning map (click for larger version):

MAP_Current_Onalaska_Comp_Plan_Report_12-07-2015Future:

MAP_Future_Onalaska_Comp_Plan_Report_12-07-2015

Do you see any transmission lines on that map?  Any pipelines on that map?  The City doesn’t have a map of transmission lines, or pipelines, yet it’s a prominent feature of Onalaska, just drive up Hwy 35 or Hwy 53 and you’ll see what I mean.  The City Land Use & Development Director said in the meeting that they don’t have one, it would be very difficult to put together and that this info can be regarded as “proprietary.”  Not quite, it could be “CEII” information, but when you see it driving down the road, when you look at google and there it is, there’s no reason the City can’t draw a line on the map!

There’s a lot of transmission through Onalaska, lining both sides of the highways, in the middle of the city bottlenecked in-between the river and the bluffs (like Red Wing), and it runs right through the heart of the city.  Here’s ATC’s “map” of transmission:

Onalaska_xmsn

Here’s WI-PSC’s map:

PSC Xmsn Map As you can see, it’s not rocket science to put a map together of transmission through Onalaska and its potential expansion areas.

Dairyland is wanting to tear down its old line on the west side of Highways 53 and 35 and virtually double the height of the towers and the capacity.  That’s not updating or maintenance, that’s “tear down the old line and build a new one” construction.

NOW is the time, because there’s not yet a Dairyland application, and because Xcel’s line on the east side of Highways 35 and 53 is also old, they’re going to want to “upgrade” soon too.  The routing of transmission through Onalaska in light of Wisconsin’s adoption of its Electrical Code which prohibits construction under a line, means that new construction should be carefully reviewed.  And right now, rebuilding, tearing down and new construction of something much bigger, shouldn’t be allowed over and next to homes and businesses.  What to do?  It’s a narrow area with a lot of transmission!  But this is what “planning” is all about.  Looking into the future and figuring out what they want the City to look like, how they can address the extreme impacts of transmission, and if they can minimize or mitigate these impacts.  Here’s an example of it running through people’s back yards, stars indicate pole placement in people’s back yards, and the white/red lines are access roads through people’s back yards!

10th AveN

On behalf of No CapX 2020, I sent the Planning Commission and City Council these comments:

NoCapX2020 Comment_OnalaskaCompPlan

At Tuesday’s meeting, there were few commenters, and they quickly wrestled with the issues raised, and sent it back to the Committee for consideration of transmission issues and impacts.

THANK YOU, ONALASKA PLAN COMMISSION!

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

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

Tomorrow — Q-1D South Comments due!

Filed under:BadgerCoulee - Wisconsin,Wisconsin — posted by admin on September 24, 2015 @ 8:57 am

Sheet Map 3

Tomorrow is the deadline for Comments on Dairyland’s “Q-1D South” upgrade — technically it’s Sunday — but don’t wait until the last minute.

Send Comments to (I recommend via email):

  • 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

Prior Posts:

What’s the story on the Q-1D South rebuild?

Dairyland’s N LaX-LaX 161 kV Tap maps

Plan for Q-1D South near LaX?

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

We still don’t know what the plans are.  I’ve made several requests, nada…  Is this any way to run a transmission project?

Kimberly St

 

What’s the story on the Q-1D South rebuild?

Filed under:BadgerCoulee - Wisconsin,Hampton-Alma-LaCrosse,Wisconsin — posted by admin on September 21, 2015 @ 3:34 pm

Who knows?  The public sure has no idea, and Dairyland isn’t telling!

The Comment deadline is FRIDAY (deadline is really Sunday, but Friday on the conservative side), and we still have only Dairyland Q-1D South Sheetmaps, no other information.

Please take 90 seconds and email Chuck Thompson and Dennis and let them know that we need more time!  I did!

  • 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

OK, fine, don’t give us what we need to know, no problem, that’s what the Freedom of Information Act is for:

USDA RUS FOIA Request

USDA RUS – Acknowledgement of FOIA_Dairyland Q-1D

I’ve sent Dairyland and USDA-RUS a request to extend the comment period to 30 days after information on this project has been made available to the public.  Until we know what’s going on, it’s pretty tough to comment.

No CapX Letter to USDA & DPC_September 18 2015

We need more time to be able to meaningfully comment on this stealth project!

Sheet Map 6

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.

Southern part of MVP 5 through Dubuque, to Madison

Filed under:BadgerCoulee - Wisconsin,Cardinal-Hickory,ITC MN & IA 345 kV,Wisconsin — posted by admin on August 16, 2015 @ 12:49 pm

MVP345

Yup, the southern part of MVP 5 through Iowa and Wisconsin is in the news today:

Dubuque, Cassville or Guttenberg? Transmisison line routes considered.

A while back, the City of Dubuque stood up for its residents and viewshed and all its economic development along the riverfront and said NO to MVP 5 through their riverfront!

From No CapX 2020:

Dubuque says NO to MVP 5 Cardinal-Hickory?

ATC has been gearing up in Wisconsin:

Transmission line proposed

… and from the Dubuque Telegraph Herald, City staff weighed in against MVP 5:

Dubuque: No to Powerline

And then, yes, indeed, in June they DID vote NO, unanimously, 7-0.  Here’s the full story, short and very clear:

Council members back city staff in opposition to transmission line

Posted: Monday, June 15, 2015 9:59 pm

Dubuque City Council members members voted, 7-0, to oppose plans for a new high-voltage transmission line.

The vote was in support of a recommendation from city staff, who say the transmission line would negatively affect residents and violate city code.

ITC Midwest has proposed building a 125-mile transmission line from the Madison, Wis.-area to Dubuque County. The Cardinal-Hickory Creek Project would connect American Transmission Company’s Cardinal Substation in Middleton (Wis.) Township to ITC Midwest’s Hickory Creek Substation, east of New Vienna in Dubuque County.

Council members adopted a resolution that effectively tells ITC Midwest that pursuing a line through Dubuque “would not be in the public interest.”

In today’s Telegraph Herald, it’s up for discussion again:

Dubuque, Cassville or Guttenberg? Transmisison line routes considered.

Here’s something of note — if they’re shutting down these coal plants, that frees up a lot of room on the grid — so why add more transmission?

Stead said the bigger concern is the lost revenue Grant County will see in 2016 with the closure of DTE Energy’s Stoneman Station biomass plant and Cassville’s Nelson Dewey Generating Station, a coal-burning plant operated by Alliant Energy. Both are slated to close by the end of the year.

There’s a bizarre proposal afoot, to utilize existing structures build for a much smaller line:

One of the crossings would utilize a low-voltage transmission line that already spans the river, which ITC would tack onto by stringing a double-circuit using existing poles and towers.

WHAT?!?!  In every other proceeding where people have asked why they don’t do such a thing, because sometimes it seems to make sense, we’ve been told it can’t be done, the older and smaller structures can’t handle the load.  And now it would work?  $50 says no…

And a choice snippet:

The sites were chosen because of existing infrastructure on the river — transmission lines, bridges and locks and dams — which would enable the developer to reduce environmental impacts from the line, said ITC spokesman Tom Petersen.

He noted the company is in the early stages of exploring its options for crossing the river, and is working with elected officials, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Center for Rural Affairs in Dyersville, Iowa, to determine which option will have the fewest impacts.

What?  Our “good friends” at Center for Rural Affairs are weighing in, as if they’re important, and it’s not disclosed that they’re transmission toadies:

toad

And it should be disclosed, all the money that they’ve been paid via RE-AMP and otherwise should be disclosed!

Center for Rural Affairs toadies for transmission

A while back, Alan and I went on an infrastructure tour, and here’s a photo of the Cassville plant on the eastern short of the Mississippi, one of the ones slated to close:

CassvilleSub

And below are the economic development investments that the City of Dubuque is trying to protect.  From traveldubuque.com:

Grand-River-Center_Dubuque-IA-4-e1411672143714

riverfront200

It’s one of those times I wish my engineer, Art Hughes, E.E. Ph.D., was still around — he died not far from Dubuque, in Peosta, and just one week after he was photographed making comments before the Iowa Utilities Board on an ITC transmission line proposed in the area — a transmission line that provides the link between MISO MVP 4 and MVP 5 in Iowa:

Hearing generates electricity

Dubuque County landowners express concern about ITC transmission line

arthughes

Look at this map.  The line that Art’s objecting to here is the solid line connector  of 345 kV, the piece between the heavier dashed lines of MISO MVP 4 at Hazelton in Buchanan County and the Salem substation in Dubuque County where MIS MVP 5 picks up.  And I know what he’d think about this MISO MVP Portfolio of 17 projects and this MVP 5… oh well…

MVP345

 


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image: detail of installation by Bronwyn Lace