What Xcel says about local need in LaCrosse

Filed under:Fargo-St Cloud,Hampton-Alma-LaCrosse,Reports - Documents,Upcoming Events — posted by admin on September 1, 2011 @ 6:52 pm

The new “need” report is out, Xcel Energy filed it yesterday, in WISCONSIN, and it’s a doozy, reverse engineering, shifting nuts in the shell game, and pinning the tail on the moving donkey..


Xcel Supplemental Need Study – August 2011

When I got to p. 34, well, I pert near blew a gasket, because it’s more made up numbers, and if you look at just a few simple documents for LaCrosse “need” that THEY filed:

Here’s what it looks like on a spreadsheet (I’ve not added in the King Direct Sched 2 for Rochester yet):

Comparison of Certificate of Need and CPCN substation peaks


And this filing is not just about LaCrosse “need” that doesn’t hold up under scrutiny.  A lot of this, in my view the more important pat, is about a shift in rationale/justification to market desires, laid out in the MISO “Benefits” report (check “Conclusions” on p. 14 and at end):

ICF – MISO Benefits Analysis Study

It’s also clear here, found googling the “new” MVP transmission cost allocation absurdity:

MISO – MVP transmission powerpoint – August 2011

What struck me was this succinct description of what’s happening in transmission – take a look at slide 4 f the powerpoint:

Conditions Precedent to Increased Transmission Build

Before transmission is built a number of conditions must be met

– Increased consensus on energy policies (current and future)

– A robust business case that demonstrates value sufficient to support the construction of the transmission project

– A regional tariff that matches who benefits with who pays over time

– Cost recovery mechanisms that reduce financial risk

It’s all about market, it’s all about transfer capability/capacity.  Well DUH, but they’re out and out saying it here.  And an important part is also connected here on the first page:

As outlined below, the presence of a 345kV line from Minnesota into LaCrosse compbined with the expected LaCrosse to Madison 345kV line will provide significant regional benefits that will not be achievable with the completion of an alternate project.

DUH!  On to p. 4:

Transfer study analysis indicates the additional capacity, depending on the eastern termination, could be as high as 1200 MW over current system levels… This 1200 MW increase is not realized if a lower voltage alternative is constructed initially.

DUH! And it gets even more hilarious on p. 25:

For 2019, CapX 2020 additions, including the Hampton-Rochester-LaCrosse 345kV transmission project and the Brookings County-win Cities 345kV project, relieve the Minnesota trapped generation identified in the 2010 and 2014 models.  Congestion in SE Wisconsin expands geographically to all of eastern Wisconsin and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.


This filing refers to the “State of the Market Report for the MISO Electricity Markets” published in June 2011.  Here it is, have fun:

2010 MISO State of the Market Report – FINAL

And as you’re reading it, ask what precisely congestion has to do with reliability, and why we’re using market concepts to drive build-out of transmission.  There’s no relation between FERC economic policy and NERC reliability criteria, the economic market drivers are not related to state need and routing criteria — market wants are not “need.”  Makes me want to puke!