FYI, it’s “Capital Expenditure”

Filed under:Nuts & Bolts — posted by admin on January 4, 2008 @ 10:46 pm

… a quick aside.  “I remember when,” she says in a creaky shaky voice, but I do, I remember when CapX 2020 was “Capital Expenditure,” and as I sat through too many meetings last month, I remembered that when they called it “Capacity Expansion.”  So isn’t that what Dog gave me google for?  And on Otter Tail’s site:

Minnesota’s electric transmission infrastructure—a network of high voltage transmission lines of 230 kilovolts and higher—requires major upgrades and expansion over the next 15 years to support customers’ growing demand for electricity. To ensure the backbone transmission system is developed and available to serve these growing needs, the five largest Minnesota transmission-owning utilities initiated the CapX 2020 project. CapX 2020, which originally stood for “Capital Expenditures by the Year 2020″— to make sure the capital would be available to meet the need—has now become “Capacity Expansion by the Year 2020”. 

Well, they found that source of capital — stick it to the ratepayers, because after all, “it’s for reliability, not generation interconnection.”  I digress…

Power Plant Siting Act Annual Hearing

Filed under:Laws & Rules — posted by admin on @ 10:16 pm

Every year I whine about this, every year there’s a “Power Plant Siting Act” Annual Hearing, it’s required under Minn. Stat. 216E.07:

The commission shall hold an annual public hearing at a time and place prescribed by rule in order to afford interested persons an opportunity to be heard regarding any matters relating to the siting of large electric generating power plants and routing of high-voltage transmission lines. At the meeting, the commission shall advise the public of the permits issued by the commission in the past year. The commission shall provide at least ten days but no more than 45 days’ notice of the annual meeting by mailing or serving electronically, as provided in section 216.17, a notice to those persons who have requested notice and by publication in the EQB Monitor and the commission’s weekly calendar.

I mean really, who is going to go to a meeting, who is going to REQUEST NOTICE for this meeting, where we all have the opportunity to sit around and bitch about the antics of the state agencies? Here is the Notice and the list:

2007 Notice and Service List

Yes, there are a number of us who enjoy the opportunity. I can’t find my post from last year’s PPSA Annual Hearing, it’s supposed to be in December, but somehow they forget… in fact, they “forgot” for a decade or more until some time near the end of Florence Twp. nuclear waste and during the Chisago I and Arrowhead I fracas (plural of fracas, fracacases? fracasae?? fricase… farcical… ummmmm…), and we started having them, it was usually on a Saturday and there was a packed house of us policy wingnuts, and Kristen Eide Tollefson and I realized that it’d be a lot better if we made it a potluck, and so we did, much to poor Bob Cupit’s dismay. Last year I was… well, I can’t even remember, did I show up or not? Let’s just accept that I was, subject to check, so say the minutes.  There is this map I put together… I think that’s the 2006 meeting, I went in late and assembled my exhibit while we all bitched and kvetched, I quietly (!) sat there like a kindergartener drawing in the CapX 2020 lines, and drawing and pasting little coal plants on the map to represent the new coal generation in the MISO queue, and how does it all fit together? That’s why a picture is worth a thousand words, showing why the utilities want CapX and why there’s no need for the power in Wisconsin or Illinois, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to plot the trajectory on this one. HERE’S THE PICTURE:


Here’s the minutes from that meeting, but they won’t load, GRRRRRRR, so see if you can get it to work, nevermind, I’ll upload:

2006 PPSA Annual Hearing Record

Yes, now it works. Note that this was filed at PUC on December 17, 2007. There wasn’t a report to the PUC that I know of. Bob, Mr. Cupit, sir, this is a pretty clear example, one more example, that it’s just not working. I think it used to be part of the statute that staff would bring a report to the EQB, but it’s not there now, and last year nothing happened, now we’re in … where… the statute doesn’t really say, and now there’s no requirement that anything happen, nothing at all, they just hold the hearing, we “have the opportunity,” and then it goes into “Pile IV” and that’s the end of that. Well anyway, the comments are interesting, except for those best and most exciting parts that were summarized by, essentially, “a discussion was had.” So if you’re sitting around waiting for water to boil, paint dry, here’s something to pass the time, page after page after page of those trying to working within the confines of the Power Plant Siting Act testifying that “it’s broken,” “fatally flawed” and that the transfer of siting from the EQB to Commerce is not workable, that Commerce inappropriately advocates for projects “based on the record” prior to any record being established, that Task Forces are necessary and yet are given short shrift, and tell me, folks, where have you heard all this before?

There was some discussion of CapX, questions of how the agency would handle it, and unsatisfying answers…

Maybe a Petition to the PUC to put this PPSA Annual Hearing on the agenda?

image: detail of installation by Bronwyn Lace