Dairyland doth protest too much

Filed under:Uncategorized — posted by admin on January 24, 2012 @ 10:11 am

Remember that Patricia Conway, intervenor in the Wisconsin CapX 2020 Hampton-Rochester-LaCrosse docket, who intervened specifically because she wanted to raise as an issue that Dairyland Power Cooperative does not have authority under its Articles of Incorporation and Bylaws to enter into this agreement as a CapX 2020 participant?  Dairyland has objected, and objected, and now formally objected!  Why would they be so oppositional if there wasn’t a problem?

Pat Conway – Intervention

Conway – Formal Request for Issue to be Included

As usual, NoCapX 2020 was the only “friendly” intervenor to respond to her request:

NoCapX 2020 Response to Issue Raised by Conway

And then there are the naysayers, Dairyland, of course, but also the PSC Staff, and just whose interests are they supposed to be representing, anyway?

Dairyland’s Response to Conway Request

PSC Staff Response to Request for Inclusion

Well, the Order came out, the ALJ essentially ordering what NoCapX 2020 had argued:

Order – Motion to Amend Prehearing Conference Memo

The silence among the other intervenors is disturbing — something this obvious and not a peep.  And the plot thickens, as Dairyland Power Cooperative files a Motion:

Dairyland’s Motion for Interlocutory Review

Dairyland doth protest and objecteth too much!

CETF retains Overland and files revised IC Application

Filed under:BadgerCoulee - Wisconsin,Hampton-Alma-LaCrosse,Wisconsin — posted by admin on @ 9:27 am

Busy day… Citizens Energy Task Force and NoCapX 2020 have joined forces, both now represented by moi, Carol A. Overland.  We’ve been working in tandem, and it makes sense to join together to be able to challenge CapX 2020 in a big way.

Filed yesterday:

Overland – Notice of Appearance for CETF

The PSC Staff had directed CETF, in the form of a Data Request, to retain an attorney, to provide for that in its Intervenor Compensation Application, and to submit a revised IC Application.  OK, fine, we can do that:

CETF’s Revised Intervenor Compensation Application

The PSC had said that the work that NoCapX proposed was duplicative:

PSC Order – Denial of NoCapX 2020 IC Application

That makes no sense, because no one else had proposed what we did.  But because Clean Wisconsin was addressing “environmental” issues, we dropped that aspect and moved forward with an expert on property valuation, which NO ONE else is touching, and with MSB Energy Associates on need, which we’re approaching in a way far different than Citizens Utility Board.

We shall see…

NoCapX 2020 remains an intervenor

Filed under:BadgerCoulee - Wisconsin,Hampton-Alma-LaCrosse,Wisconsin — posted by admin on @ 9:19 am

Remember the “Recession” Order?

05-CE-136 Notice of Possible Recession of Order and Order to Respond

And the NoCapX 2020 Response to that Order?

NoCapX 2020 Response to Notice of Possible Recession of Order Granting Party Status and Order to Respond

Well, we got what we wanted and were NOT booted out of the proceeding:

05-CE-136 Order to Clarify Party Status



RUS meetings done, Comments due 2/13

Filed under:BadgerCoulee - Wisconsin,Hampton-Alma-LaCrosse,Wisconsin — posted by admin on January 16, 2012 @ 11:16 am

The Wisconsin meetings were great, the final one, in Centerville/Galesville was standing room only, over 150 I’d presume.  I’d heard there was a hot meeting in the Town of Gale the night before, where they passed a resolution against the Hampton-Rochester-LaCrosse transmission project, and it was noted that Stevenson and Carlsbad, errrrr, Carlsgaard, were in their “Good Ol’ Boy” jeans, a first in the history of this project, and I don’t think anyone was fooled.  (Then again, I appreciate that they’re upfront about what the utilities want, what their stand is, unlike “Commerce” which people foolishly expect to represent the public interest.) I refused to get out of my house-rehabbing outfit myself, so maybe they’re in a similar mode… naaaaah…

Standing Room Only

Something I’d noticed was that Dairyland was NOT at the table.  Although there was someone from Dairyland there, it was always Tom Hillstrom or Grant Stevenson sitting in front and doing the dog and pony show:


So I asked Chuck Thompson, of Dairyland, why they weren’t at the table, and he said, “We’re paying them to be the lead.”  Were I RUS (yeah, right), I’d want the applicant for funding to be the one promoting the project and would insist that they be at the table.

The Wisconsin meetings were particularly well attended because a route had been added and those new landowners were sent notices in the mail, and also, people were not notified and were incensed and spread the word.  USDA’s RUS did not send out notices to affected landowners, and the only way other than a phone call or knock on the door or email from a friend that someone could find out about these meetings was to read the display ad in the paper and read the legal notice in the classifieds.  This is NOT effective outreach, and instead is guaranteed to result in attendance like in Minnesota, where the best attended meeting was in Cannon Falls, where there were about 20, and in Plainview and Wanamingo, there were maybe 5-6.  That is NOT acceptable.  had NoCapX 2020 and CETF not been on this, it would have been the same in Wisconsin.

That said,  Comments are due by February 13, 2012, extended due to failure to send notice to people along the “new” Route 88 option.

Here’s the RUS EIS webpage where you can find the DEIS.

Send Comments by February 13, 2012 to:

stephanie.strength@wdc.usda.gov or by mail to:

Stephanie Strength, Project Manager
USDA, Rural Development, Utilities Programs
1400 Independence Avenue SW, Room 2244
Mailstop 1571
Washington, DC  20250-1571

Eagles on Bemidji-Grand Rapids route

Filed under:Uncategorized — posted by admin on @ 9:25 am


More on eagles…

660 feet is not two miles!

You all remember the “eagle” issues that sent the CapX Brookings line back to the ALJ…

PUC Order Remanding Brookings to OAH July 27, 2010

And then there’s the eagle issues in the Hampton-LaCrosse docket, evidenced on p. 96 of USDA RUS’ DEIS:


And you remember USFWS comment, p. 8, about eagles and utility infrastructure:


So today I  get this article in the mail (who needs a paper, just read the inbox, eh?):

Helicopters, implosives to be used in utility work along Hwy 2

So do tell, USFWS says no utility infrastructure within 2 miles of important Eagle Use Areas, and here, the Grand Rapids paper reports that:

Because there are a number of eagle nests within 660 feet of the line, Kuismi said construction will cease in those areas between February and April when eagles are typically nesting. The utilities have also been working with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources to install bird diverters where the line passes known flight paths.

660 feet???   (1 mile x 2 = 10,560) -660= 990 feet shy of 2 miles.

Do explain why the guidelines are different in one place from another, and why it matters in one place and not another???

Potential Magnetic Fields on Hampton-LaCrosse

Filed under:BadgerCoulee - Wisconsin,Hampton-Alma-LaCrosse,RUS EIS,Wisconsin — posted by admin on January 13, 2012 @ 9:13 am

I just printed out this Affidavit and Exhibits to bring tonight and realized it would be good to post it again so that newly involved people in Wisconsin can get a handle on potential magnetic field levels of the CapX 2020 Hampton-Rochester-LaCrosse tranasmission line.

Affidavit of Bruce McKay and Exhibits

This stuff is NOT rocket science — they’re designing this as a very high capacity line, not just bundled conductors but double circuit and/or double circuit “ready,” which means there are plans… and there are plans to connect at LaCrosse and go eastward to Madison, which they say will increase transfer capacity 3,000-5,000 MW!  That’s a lot of current (granted, not all will go through this line, that’s the MN-WI interface, there are three lines, and Arrowhead is limited by a MN restriction on the phase shifting transformer).

This Affidavit uses the Direct Testimony of Larry Schedin in the CapX Minnesota Certificate of Need case, which lists amps and MVA ratings for various configurations. this one is the third from the bottom, “twin bundled 954 kcm 54/19 ACSS, 345 kV” which has a summer rating of 3700 amps and 2211 MVA.  In the hearing, the Applicants’ engineer testified it’s more like 2050 MVA.  OK, whatever, that’s a lot more than the 600 they’re talking about!

The amps in the RUS DEIS show a few hundred amps, off by a factor of 10.  Presume the magnetic field levels are also off by a factor of 10, the potential magnetic field levels consistent with these Summer Thermal Ratings.

RUS says in the DEIS that the info has been independently verified.  INDEPENDENTLY VERIFIED?  Right…

NoCapX 2020 Response to “Recession” Order

Filed under:Hampton-Alma-LaCrosse,Wisconsin — posted by admin on January 12, 2012 @ 9:56 am


Remember Judge Newmark’s  “Notice of Possible Recession of Order and Granting Party Stats and Order to Respond” that came out on Monday?

05-CE-136 Notice of Possible Recession of Order and Order to Respond

Here’s the NoCapX 2020 Response:

NoCapX 2020 Response to Notice of Possible Recession of Order Granting Party Status and Order to Respond

I’m not surprised there’s an effort to toss out NoCapX 2020, given our history of participation in the CapX 2020 dockets and breadth of knowledge about CapX 2020.   The Order that NoCapX was required to respond to stated:

The discrepancies between the NoCapX 2020 statements cited above call into question the basis for granting NoCapX 2020 intervention. NoCapX 2020 must adequately substantiate its claim to representational party status or face revocation of its intervention by right. NoCapX 2020 must also provide adequate explanation of the discrepancies cited above, or lose any claim to permissive party status because of a lack of the necessary credibility required to promote the disposition of the issues.

Oh my!

From the NoCapX 2020 response:

Does No CapX lack the “necessary credibility required to promote the disposition of the issues?” Hardly. No CapX 2020 is the party leading the pack in relevant and substantive Data Requests. See attached Exhibit C, Data Requests to Xcel Energy; Exhibit D, Data Requests to ATC; Exhibit E, Data Requests to Dairyland Power Cooperative; Exhibit F, Data Requests to MISO. No CapX 2020 was the only non-agency party to submit Comments on the DEIS.[1] See attached Exhibit G, No CapX 2020 DEIS Comments. No CapX 2020 was also the only Intervenor to respond to the Conway Motion, noting Ms. Conway’s efforts and that the broad issues list was inclusive of Ms. Conway’s issue regarding authority of Dairyland Power Cooperative to participate in this project – a perspective reflected in the January 6, 2012 Order.

In its active participation, No CapX 2020 has demonstrated its “necessary credibility required to promote the disposition of the issues” and its superior ability to inform the record due to its years’ long history of prior interventions. Further, in no way has No CapX 2020 caused any delay in the schedule set by the Commission – unlike Clean Wisconsin and MISO, No CapX 2020 has been timely in its submissions, and NoCapX2020 has been ahead of the other intervening parties in the timing and substantive content contained in its Data Requests.

[1] Clean Wisconsin, the intervenor interested in “environmental” issues did not submit any comments on the DEIS, nor did Citizens Utility Board. CETF Board members submitted comments as individuals, but no comments were filed in CETF’s name.

Wisconsin Testimony filed Monday

Filed under:Hampton-Alma-LaCrosse,Wisconsin — posted by admin on January 11, 2012 @ 7:15 am

Update in the Wisconsin CapX Hampton-Rochester-LaCrosse docket.  Lots of testimony filed Monday, some filed by the Applicants, and some filed by those supporting the Application.

For the Applicants:

Beuning – Direct Testimony

Hillstrom – Direct Testimony

King – Direct Testimony

Noelder – Direct Testimony

Stevenson – Direct Testimony

Thompson – Direct Testimony

And from ATC:

Holtz – Direct Testimony

Holtz – Exhibit 1

Burmester – Direct Testimony

And from MISO:

Webb – Direct Testimony

Tonight Wanamingo, Cannon Falls tomorrow!

Filed under:BadgerCoulee - Wisconsin,Hampton-Alma-LaCrosse,RUS EIS — posted by admin on January 10, 2012 @ 4:05 pm


This was last night in Alma, and tonight we’re in Wanamingo, at the Wanamingo Community Center.  Here’s the schedule for the rest of the week:

January 11, 2012, 5-8 p.m.
Cannon Falls High School Cafeteria
820 Minnesota St
Cannon Falls, MN

January 12, 2012, 5-8 p.m.
American LegionHall
2153rd St SW
Plainview, MN

January 13, 2012,  5-8 p.m.
Centerville/Town of Trempealeau Community Center
W24854 StateRd 54/93
Galesville, WI

Written comments are open until January 30, 2012.  Send to stephanie.strength@wdc.usda.gov or by mail to:

Stephanie Strength, Project Manager
USDA, Rural Development, Utilities Programs
1400 Independence Avenue SW, Room 2244
Mailstop 1571
Washington, DC  20250-1571

Pay particular attention to things like the “connected actions” point on p. 81, and note that in their view, the Brookings-Hampton line is NOT connected to the Hampton-Rochester-LaCrosse line, and the Badger-Coulee line is NOT connected.  See the above post for the testimony filed yesterday that shows just how connected it all is.

Remember the big picture:

Hearing Ex. 13, Big Picture Map

DUH!  The Brooking’s line’s connected to the Hampton sub, the Hampton sub’s connected to North Roch… It’s all connected…

PSC trying to boot NoCapX out of WI

Filed under:Wisconsin — posted by admin on @ 6:17 am

This week is “USDA RUS” hearings week for the Draft Environmental Impact Statement, but look what just came over the wire as I was headed out the door to Alma:

05-CE-136 Notice of Possible Recession of Order and Order to Respond

Really, “recession.”  That’s what it says.  Not just on the file name but on the Order.  It’s hard to take something labeled like this seriously, methinks he means “recission,” but hey, he’s the judge…  it’s an Order… and a response will be posted ASAP!!!

I’ll post the NoCapX 2020 response tomorrow, there’s three days to reply, and others can reply to the NoCapX response.  Get ready!

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image: detail of installation by Bronwyn Lace