Holmen School District says NO!

Filed under:Hampton-Alma-LaCrosse — posted by admin on November 30, 2011 @ 10:57 am

WXOW New 19 – Holmen School Board comes out against power line project

The Holmen School District’s resolution says it all (packet copy – will post signed copy as soon as it’s available):

Powerline Resolution Draft – Holmen Schools BG Committee

Here it is on the TV too!

Holmen School board formally opposes CapX 2020

The Holmen School Board voted Monday night to formally oppose the proposed CapX2020 high-voltage power line project. Board President Tim Medinger said that the board was compelled to adopt a resolution because of its role as a custodian of taxpayer dollars.

Beverly Brady, a member of the Citizens Energy Task Force opposed to the project, presented a petition to the school board signed by 607 residents of western Wisconsin. Forty-five percent of those signatures, or 284, were from residents with Holmen addresses.

Medinger couldn’t say whether the number of local signatures swayed the board members, but he was happy to see concerned citizens take action. “I love it when the public comes out,” he said. “I wish we could have crowds at every meeting.”

The proposed line would run near Prairieview Elementary School.

Town boards in Holland and Farmington have also passed mostly symbolic measures opposing the project.

Xcel files DEIS Comments in WI docket

Filed under:Hampton-Alma-LaCrosse — posted by admin on November 29, 2011 @ 4:32 pm


(What’s up with this letterhead — will somebody tell these folks that there is no “CapX 2020” entity?)

WOW, that was fast… the Draft Environmental Impact Statement was released on November 9, 2011, and already, on November 28, less than three weeks later, they’re filing this:

Xcel Energy Comments on DEIS – 11-28-2011

Be sure to read Appendix A — it’s a hoot!

Speaking of the Great River Road National Scenic Byway

Filed under:Hampton-Alma-LaCrosse — posted by admin on November 22, 2011 @ 5:15 pm

The WisDOT’s letter today addresses impacts on the Great River Road National Scenic Byway.  They’re not the only entity concerned.  Thus far in the Minnesota and Wisconsin docket, there have also been letters filed by the Wisconsin Mississippi River Parkway Commission, the Minnesota Mississippi River Parkway Commission, and a Resolution from the entire 10 state Mississippi River Parkway Commission regarding the Great River Road National Scenic Byway that you should look at.

From Wisconsin’s MRPC:

Lorenz Letter – WI MRPC 7-23-09

Lorenz Letter – WI MRPC – May 18, 2010

Lorenz Letter – WI MRPC 2-22-11

From Minnesota’s MRPC:

Minnesota MRPC Comment 6-30-11

And from the entire national Mississippi River Parkway Commission:

Resolution of MRPC 12-16-10

The position of the Mississippi River Parkway Commission is pretty clear.

Is this what you want the Scenic Byway to look like?


WisDOT says “Ummmm… I don’t think so…”

Filed under:Hampton-Alma-LaCrosse — posted by admin on @ 2:23 pm


Just in, an “interesting” letter from WisDOT about impacts on the Great River Road National Scenic Byway of CapX 2020’s proposed Hampton-Rochester-LaCrosse line.  WisDOT says that under Federal Highway Administration (FHWA …  what’s the W for?) rules they don’t think they can issue a permit for the “Q-1” route along the Scenic Byway.   They’ve asked the feds for confirmation on that.

Secretary’s Letter to FHWA – November 22, 2011

From that letter, the punch line:

Therefore, WisDOT believes that it cannot authorize exceptions to issue utility permits in WIS 35 R/W, nor authorize use of, or direct impacts to or conflicts with its scenic easements in the BRRNSB viewshed for a new aboveground electric transmission line.

What more is there to say?  But check out the attachments, the federal rules and some viewshed photos.

Hampton-LaX line – data requests sent today

Filed under:Hampton-Alma-LaCrosse — posted by admin on November 21, 2011 @ 8:35 pm

Here are data requests sent out today:

NoCapX 2020 Data Requests to American Transmission Company – Series 01

NoCapX 2020 Data Requests to Dairyland Cooperative Power – Series 01

And sent last week:

NoCapX 2020 Data Requests to Xcel Energy – Series 01

And from these, there are a few choice documents to check out.

ATC’s Western Wisconsin Transmission Reliability Study – September 20, 2010

On page 20, after deleting all but a four line paragraph claiming “Contains Critical Energy Infrastructure Information,” this one actually says:

These results indicate potential voltage collapse conditions under the three single event Category C contingencies in the base case without a transmission option included.

EH?  They’re saying that after they added this big laundry list of the projects proposed and pending, and before they even tested any of the options they had line up, POTENTIAL VOLTAGE COLLAPSE.  So what does that say about the need or wisdom of adding their big laundry list of projects?


So do any on this list look familiar?  And they’re applying for these lines knowing that adding them to the grid means “potential voltage collapse?”  Oh, great idea, just great…

A favorite released just as the Certificate of Need case was ending, AFTER the record had closed, of course:

Capacity Validation Study – Minnesota Transmission Owners – 2009

CapX 2020 in the news!

Filed under:Uncategorized — posted by admin on November 17, 2011 @ 10:08 pm

And what a great bunch of articles…

About the Wisconsin side, in the LaCrosse Tribune:

Wisconsin regulators question CapX 2020 powerline proposal

In the Winona Daily News:

CapX 2020 officials and Wisconsin’s Public Service Commission differ on data

In the Capitol Times:

Report casts doubt on big power line project for LaCrosse area

And on the Minnesota side, look, there’s Dean Regnier!

Left in the dark: Old Fashioned Concerns over 21st Century Energy

WI Prehearing Conference & Data Requests

Filed under:Uncategorized — posted by admin on @ 2:41 pm

Just got notice of the Prehearing Conference for the Wisconsin CapX 2020 Hampton-Rochester-LaCrosse transmission line:

Notice – Prehearing Conference – December 5, 2011 @ 10 a.m.

We’ll be addressing scheduling and “issues” and per the order, the “[p]arties will be bound by the designation of issues and the schedule adopted at the prehearing conference.”  Cited are Wis. Stat.  1.11, 1.12, 196.025, and 196.491, and Wis. Admin. Code chs. PSC4, PSC111 and PSC112.

Got that?!?!  Get to work!

And on that happy note, I sent out a few Data Requests yesterday:

Xcel Data Requests 01 Series

WI-PSC has released DIES for Hampton-LaCrosse

Filed under:Uncategorized — posted by admin on November 9, 2011 @ 2:52 pm

OK, folks, especially those of you who have been through parts or all of the Minnesota process:


This is much more what I expect in environmental review.  How’s this for p. XVII of the Executive Summary:

needisstillbeingquestionedTo review the DEIS, go to www.psc.wi.gov and scroll down and enter docket 05-CE-136 and the docket will come out.  It’s entered in pieces, so that’s kind of a pain to download it all.  And I’ve asked for a hard copy because I can’t stick post-its to the screen, highlight, write in comments, it just doesn’t work for this ol’ fart.

So on reading the Executive Summary and then downloading the rest:

DEIS – Executive Summary

Fargo-St. Cloud-Monticello – landowners speak out!

Filed under:Fargo-St Cloud,St.Cloud-Monticello — posted by admin on @ 2:14 pm

There has been a flood of public comments in response to, and because a comment period opened about, Xcel’s request for permit amendments.  The lion’s share of them are regarding the short stretch of E-5 and AS-1, from landowners near the Quarry substation.  Because that substation was selected in the St. Cloud-Monticello routing docket, that’s the terminus for the Fargo-St. Cloud line, which is why I didn’t think the Fargo-Monticello route should have been split up.

To check out the flurry of comments, go to www.puc.state.mn.us, click “Search eDockets” and search for docket 09-1056.

… and further south, problems brewing as landowners are faced with condemnation, or worse, shifting it just off their land so they get the impacts and no compensation.  From an article in the St. Cloud Times, it seems landowners were approached about easements, and then suddenly, the alignment shifted:

The Walshes say they would have taken the “Buy the Farm” option and others were considering it.

“We think they realized, ‘We’re going to have to compensate all seven of these people. Let’s get it out of here,’ ” Belinda Walsh said.

CapX spokesman Tim Carlsgaard said the utilities are trying to keep the transmission line as far away from houses as they can.

“Our goal was to stay off their property to have as least impact as possible,” he said. However, Carlsgaard said, “There hasn’t been any deliberate effort to say, ‘We’re going to keep it off your property so we don’t have to pay you.’ ”

Uh-huh… right…

Here’s the full article:

CapX 2020 power line worries neighbors who aren’t part of compensation deal

11:41 PM, Nov. 7, 2011

Written by Kirsti Marohn

ST. JOSEPH — When the CapX 2020 transmission line is built along Stearns County Road 2 south of St. Joseph, Scott and Belinda Walsh and their four children will get a front-row seat — but not much else.

The Walshes worry that the power line will loom across the skyline in front of the two-story, gray house where they have lived for six years, lower their home’s value and possibly affect the health of their children.

But because the power line won’t actually touch their land, the Walshes — along with their six neighbors — won’t get any financial compensation, the power to negotiate for damages or the option of having the utility companies buy their property. It’s put the residents in the unique position of wishing the power line would be built closer to their homes, rather than across the road.

“Legally we don’t have any rights with it just off our property,” Belinda Walsh said.