Xmsn Overlay coming soon to a backyard near you!

It’s early, so now’s the time to get agitated, get activated!

As if CapX 2020 wasn’t enough, and during the CapX 2020 Certificate of Need proceeding, word of the “JCSP” overlay came out.  And we know that Xcel, in its e21 Initiative, is whining about the grid only being 55% utilized (DOH! Because CapX and other transmission expansion wasn’t needed, was built, and now they’re trying to make us pay for it!).

And as if Obama’s RRTT wasn’t enough, now there’s this, check out Executive Order 13766:

Expediting Environmental Reviews and Approvals for High Priority Infrastructure Projects

And so now the rest of the story — here’s what they’re planning:

Here’s the list, in a spreadsheet:

20170131 EPUG Preliminary Overlay Ideas List

The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission has scheduled the MISO Utilities Quarterly Update Meeting for the Second Quarter of 2017 for Friday, March 3, 2017 from 10:00 AM to Noon in the Commission’s Large Hearing Room, 121 7th Place East, Suite 350, St. Paul, MN 55101.

MISO Q letter 03-10-2014.bh.-1

Note this part, to be discussed at this meeting:

Laying the ground work now for this, a huge build-out that isn’t needed, an overlay on top of transmission that wasn’t needed either.  NO!

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

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

20140512_161838_resized

CapX 2020 at Highway 61 south of Wabasha

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

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

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

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

In the press:

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

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

From WKBT (video here):

CapX2020 transmission line completed

And Wisconsin Public Radio:

Collaborative Utility Project Connects Electric Transmission From South Dakota To Wisconsin

Rochester Post-Bulletin:

Drone patrols the power line

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

20140512_161913_1_resized

CapX 2020 at Hwy. 61 looking towards the Mississippi

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

 

Brusven is lobbyist for ITC!

Filed under:ITC MN & IA 345 kV,Laws & Rules — posted by admin on April 20, 2015 @ 8:34 am

doh

I’m having one of those “D’OH!” moments…

Remember at the tail end of the ITC case where there was suddenly a claim that the Geronimo wind project in SW Minnesota wouldn’t go on line without the ITC MVP 3 transmission project?  And as suddenly, Dr. Rakow of Commerce reversed his testimony on Sunday night before the hearing started Monday?

Here’s a post about their claim at the public hearing that the Odell wind project couldn’t go online:

ITC Midwest transmission hearing OVER!!??!!

From that post:

Not only were these two Geronimo representatives present, but Gerinomo attorney Christie Brusven was present at the ITC Midwest DEIS Hearings and the Public Hearings. Here she is just after having posed for a photo in front of the tractors:

Brusven_20140513_182525

If this is a concern, is there some reason Odell Wind Project representatives did not raise this earlier?  Is there some reason that ITC Midwest did not raise this in their application or voluminous responses to voluminous Information Requests?

Well,I tried to bring this up at the “Evidentiary” hearing, in quotes because it was such a farce.

Brusven

The ALJ deems this not relevant.

And now I see that not only is Brusven counsel for Geronimo, but she’s a lobbyist for ITC:

Association data for:

ITC Holdings Corp (Intl Transmission Co)
Krista Tanner, President
100 East Grand Ste 230
Des Moines, IA 50309
Website:www.itc-holdings.com
Association Number: 6092

Lobbyists Registered Registration
Number
Registration
Date
Termination
Date
Designated
Lobbyist
Lisa M Agrimonti 3967 6/11/2012
Frances E Brown 2368 5/22/2009
Christina K Brusven 2685 9/14/2012
Matthew Carstens 2859 9/14/2012
Timothy Iannettoni 3177 3/20/2014
Michael C Krikava 547 6/8/2012
Molly B Murphy 2755 1/12/2012
Thomas R Murphy 999 5/8/2009 Yes
Todd W Schulz 3006 3/20/2013
Kodi Jean Verhalen 2548 6/8/2012

DOH!  And this “new information” about Odell suddenly pops up at the public hearing at the last minute?  Right…

Would it have been any different had it been on the record that the Odell Wind Project attorney was also attorney/lobbyist for ITC?  I doubt it, but… this is yet another example of …

manurespreader

Found MidAmerican’s MVP 3 & 4 Substation

Filed under:ITC MN & IA 345 kV,Nuts & Bolts — posted by admin on April 14, 2015 @ 7:04 pm

Mystery solved???  I think so… deep breathe… looks like MidAmerican is OK, in compliance.  I’d checked the IUB’s E-22099 docket, and it looked like MidAmerican hadn’t been granted the franchise, briefs had just been filed, but no order.  So I contacted the Office of the Consumer Advocate, and in talking to the Consumer Advocate’s attorney, he explained that the E-22099 docket had been split into two parts.  It’s hard to tell from the docket, everything’s a jumble, but in short, the leg to the east of the Black Hawk substation, which had been granted, is the one they’re building, and the other is to the west of the Black Hawk substation, which has not been granted… yet.  They’ve just finished briefing, earlier this month, and are now waiting for the decision of the ALJ.  WHEW!  They’re checking with the utility to assure they’re only working on the eastern part, but from what I saw, that would be correct — all the brand new transmission towers, and the work in the fields that I saw, was on the eastern side, and on the west, old H-frame structures that have clearly been there a LONG time (and from the filings in E-22099, what the fight is about, whether they can enlarge the easement to double circuit with that existing line).  OK, now I’m satisfied… so moving on to FERC and their transmission adder docket!

This photo is from the road just to the immediate north east of the line, showing the new structures and wires to the east connecting into the substation.

20150414_164617_resized

Curiouser and curiouser… Coming up 63 today, just north of Waterloo, I found the MVP 3 and MVP 4 substation… or so it says:

20150414_165005_resized

Here’s the map of MPV 3 and MVP 4, and this is the “Blackhawk” substation in Black Hawk County:

MVP3-4_Cropped

To look at the Iowa Utilities Board (IUB) docket for this project (it’s the MidAmerican part of MVP 4) in Black Hawk County, GO HERE TO IUB SEARCH PAGE and search for docket E-22099.

In that docket, MidAmerican argues that the two are not necessarily connected, are not dependent, and yet I’d say the sign at the substation says otherwise.

Here’s what it looks like from above — that’s Hwy. 63, the divided 4 lane to the east, and the gravel roads are Bennington (E/W) and Burton (N/S), this is on Burton, just south of Bennington — and now it’s a lot more built up, one of the larger substations I’ve seen:

AerialSubstationMVP#&$

From the west, it looks like an old 230k V line on H-frames, but it could be higher voltage.  Straight east from this substation, built after this photo, is a big new 345 kV transmission line, all ready for a second circuit:

20150414_164139_resized

Is this depressing or what… sigh…

ITC Midwest at PUC 1/29

Filed under:ITC MN & IA 345 kV,Upcoming Events — posted by admin on January 22, 2015 @ 4:15 pm

MVP3-4_Cropped

Remember this map?  The ITC Midwest MN/IA  line is the ITC Midwest part of MISO’s “MVP 3” which on the above map is the red part.  The other part of MISO’s “MVP 3” is to be built and owned by Warren Buffet’s Mid-American Energy, and that’s the green line above.  MISO’s MVP 3 is one of those touted and promoted by our “friends” at Center for Rural Affairs (oh, what people will do for money!)  The tan/orange and blue are what’s known as MISO’s “MVP 4.”  And yes, it’s all connected, moving east to MISO’s MVP 5, the northern part of which is Badger Coulee, from La Crosse to Madison, and the southern part of which is the Cardinal-Hickory Creek (Spring Green?) that runs from MVP 4 to Madison.

The biggest thing at issue here is whether ITC Midwest is a “public service corporation” in the state of Minnesota.  That designation gives it special status, specifically, the door to use of eminent domain, to condemn land for the transmission line.

The second most important issue in his case is the Minnesota assessment for the 17-20 MISO MVP Projects, not just this one little piece of MVP 3.  That assessment is in a MISO tariff that was “approved” by FERC:

Exhibit B_Schedule 26A Indicative Annual Charges_02262014

Here’s the PUC Order for Certificate of Need and for the Route Permit, where they’re ducking the major issues:

Order_Certificate of Need_201411-104931-01

Order_Route Permit_14-0120_12-1337

PUC Staff Briefing Papers have been filed:

Staff Briefing Papers – Motion For Reconsideration_20151-106480-01

Here are the Motions for Reconsideration that were filed:

No CapX 2020 Motion for Reconsideration – Certificate of Need

Jagodozinski_Reconsideration – Route

Responses of Applicant and Commerce DER in Certificate of Need docket (12-1053):

Reconsideration_CoN_Applicant’s Reply_201412-105705-01

Commerce DER Response_201412-105704-01

Response of Applicant in Routing Docket (13-1337):

Reconsideration_Route_Reply_201412-105706-01

 

Responses to Motions for Reconsideration of ITC Midwest MN/IA Xmsn

Filed under:ITC MN & IA 345 kV,Nuts & Bolts — posted by admin on December 31, 2014 @ 1:38 pm

Map_2345

The ITC Midwest MN/IA 345 kV line is the pink one above “3” in the map above.

In the Certificate of Need docket, both ITC Midwest and DoC-DER filed Responses, and in the Routing docket, ITC Midwest filed a response.  The Commission will digest it for a while and then there will be a Notice of Commission Meeting at least 10 days prior to the meeting.

Certificate of Need docket (12-1053):

Reconsideration_CoN_Applicant’s Reply_201412-105705-01

Commerce_Response_201412-105704-01

Routing Docket (13-1337):

Reconsideration_Route_Reply_201412-105706-01

Here are the Motions for Reconsideration that were filed:

No CapX 2020 Motion for Reconsideration – Certificate of Need

Jagodozinski_Reconsideration – Route

 

 

 

 

Motion for Reconsideration — ITC Midwest

Filed under:ITC MN & IA 345 kV,Nuts & Bolts — posted by admin on December 15, 2014 @ 3:36 pm

ITC MVP Study 3

It’s that time — ’tis the season.  Last month, the Public Utilities Commission filed its Orders in the ITC Midwest MN/IA transmission project docket granting the Certificate of Need and a Route Permit.

Order_Certificate of Need_201411-104931-01

In Minnesota, we have 20 days to file a Motion for Reconsideration, and that’s TODAY!  Two were filed:

Jagodiznski_Motion for Reconsideration – Route

No CapX 2020 Motion for Reconsideration – Certificate of Need

The applicant will get a chance to respond, and then the Commission will put it on their agenda… we shall see!

PUC issues written orders in ITC docket

Filed under:ITC MN & IA 345 kV,Nuts & Bolts — posted by admin on November 25, 2014 @ 2:00 pm

gavel

It’s official!  Here are the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission Orders in the ITC Midwest MN/IA 345 kV Transmission Project case for their Certificate of Need and Route Permit — hot off the press:

Order_Certificate of Need_201411-104931-01

Order_Route Permit_14-0120_12-1337

Today the clock starts ticking.  If there’s anything that you, an “affected party” take issue with and want the Commission to reconsider, there is a 20 day window to file a Motion for Reconsideration.  That means you need to file it by December 15, 2014.

Not only is this relevant to the ITC docket, but as the first of the MISO MVP projects to come down the pike, it’s also relevant to the Badger Coulee docket now ongoing in Wisconsin (GO HERE and search for PSC Docket 05-CE-142) as the first MVP project in Wisconsin.

doh

Here’s the short version of the Certificate of Need Order:

Order_Short

Here are some issues for No CapX 2020 — this is the Commission’s interpretation — from the Certificate of Need Order:

1 2 3 4 5

So there ya have it!  Monday December 15, 2014 is the deadline for Motions for Reconsideration.

 

 

 

 

 

 


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image: detail of installation by Bronwyn Lace