Some History of Transmission in the Midwest

Filed under:Laws & Rules,Nuts & Bolts — posted by admin on April 30, 2013 @ 12:12 pm

Now, to be clear, this doesn’t go back all that far.  But I’ve been doing some research, omphaloskepsis perhaps, digging back aways into transmission, looking at where we are given the status of CapX 2020 transmission these days, and I’ve been finding details I’d forgotten about, explanations of how we got here with CapX 2020 transmission going up across the state.  There are gems here and there and some things posted before that bear repeating.


Here’s one, a presentation that House Energy Chair gave the “Hilty Jilty” and wouldn’t allow the Committee to hear.  Gee, I wonder why?

House Energy Jan 29 2007

I was asked not too long ago what should be done to fix this mess, a legislative fix, particularly since the passage of the 2005 Transmission Omnibus Bill from Hell that gave Xcel and others everything they ever wanted (well, not quite, they always want more).  The most obvious is that the 2005 Transmission Omnibus Bill from Hell should be repealed (and don’t forget that this bill was brought to us as a deal, a package deal, and a good deal by our fiends at Izaak Walton League – Midwest, Fresh Energy, MCEA and North American Water Office, Bill Grant and George Crocker especially).  More specifically, “how to correct it” is much the same now as it was in 2007 (p. 24-27 of House Energy Jan 29 2007):





Simple, huh… particularly if we’re looking to reduce CO2 generation.

Here’s another blast from the past that bears repeating:

PUC Commissioner Reha: Enhancing the Nation’s Electricity Delivery System

One that strikes me as more than a bit odd (who wrote this?) is on p. 12:

Will federal policymakers and regulators force states in our region into a catch–22, compelling us to stand down public opposition to economic projects or default to federal backstop authority?

I realize that electricity is binary, but why is this framed this way?  Comments welcome as to the meaning of that sentence!


Call or email Legislators about “Buy the Farm”

Filed under:Laws & Rules — posted by admin on April 29, 2013 @ 12:48 pm

blyGood news from our friends the Minars, of Cedar Summit Farms — “Buy the Farm” is in the House Ag Omnibus Bill!


Now, QUICK, get on the Senators on the Bill’s conference committee to do the same:

Senator David Tomassoni (DFL-Chisholm) 651-296-8017

Senator Tom Saxhaug (DFL-Grand Rapids) 651-296-4136

Senator Dan Sparks (DFL-Austin) 651-296-9248

Senator James Metzen (DFL-South St. Paul) 651-296-4370

Senator Torrey Westrom (R-Elbow Lake) 651-296-3826

Here’s a proposed message from the Minars (and a few edits) for the Senators:

I’m calling about the Environment and Ag Omnibus Finance Bill. As a member of the conference committee, I urge you to include language that restores the original intent of the “Buy the Farm” law. This is about justice. Family farmers didn’t have a choice about the CapX 2020 high voltage lines cutting across their land — it was forced upon them. The provisions in section 52 of the House bill would require that a utility taking land from farmers and landowners as part of the CapX transmission project to fully and promptly reimburse them for their land, and pay relocation expenses and lost business. Please include these provisions in the final version of the bill. It’s time for corporations to pay their fair share to landowners carrying the burden of transmission lines.

And next contact the House Ag Omnibus conference committee members — urge them to fight to keep Section 52, “Buy the Farm,” in the Omnibus bill, HF 976:

Rep. Jean Wagenius (DFL-Minneapolis) 651-296-4720

Rep. David Dill (DFL-Crane Lake) 651-296-2190

Rep. Rick Hansen (DFL-South St. Paul) 651-296-6828

Rep. Andrew Falk (DFL-Murdock) 651-296-4228

Rep. Jeanne Poppe (DFL-Austin) 651-296-4193

OK, I’ve sent mine — it’s your turn!

Decreased demand continues…

Filed under:News coverage,Nuts & Bolts,Reports - Documents — posted by admin on April 21, 2013 @ 1:30 pm


How did this happen?  Somebody’s sleeping at the switch!  I forgot to post the link for the 2012 Earnings Call transcript from Seeking Alpha! And it’s a doozy.  You can find the FULL TRANSCRIPT HERE.

Northern States Power – Minnesota estimates a  decrease of demand in Minnesota of about 1.2% (-1.2%) in 2013:

Andrew M. Weisel – Macquarie Research

A few questions on behalf of Angie Storozynski. First question is you talked quite a bit qualitatively about the load growth expectations, but can you give us the number that you’re expecting for 2013 and in the long term?

Teresa S. Madden – Chief Financial Officer and Senior Vice President

Sure. I mean, in terms of 2013, maybe if I just talk about it by operating company. We’re — for NSP-Minnesota, we’re looking at a decrease of about 1.2%, NSP-Wisconsin expected to be flat. In Colorado, just under 1%, actually, that’s more about 0.6%. And in Colorado — I mean, excuse me, and in Texas, over — just around 3%, I would say. So overall, we expect it to come in between up to 0.5% on a consolidated basis.

XEL Earnings Call, January 31, 2013.

Benjamin G. S. Fowke – Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President

Well, everything — overall, on the residential side, it’s safe to say everything is pretty flat. So then you move to the C&I side, and actually, the strongest C&I growth was in Wisconsin this year, followed by Texas, I think, followed by Colorado, which had small growth. And then we were — we didn’t grow at all in Minnesota for a number of reasons. That said, the economy definitely saw some signs of improvement in 2012. Housing permits were up. Job growth was better than the national average. Unemployment was equal to or better than the national average. So I think the economies are in decent shape across all our jurisdictions. Doesn’t necessarily mean it translates to high sales growth. And that’s consistent with our forecast. I mean, we’re not anticipating that we’re going to see a tremendous rebound in sales, even as the economies start to improve. I mean, I think, that’s our new normal, frankly.

That’s also reflected in their SEC filing showing decreased peak demand, from 9,792 in 2011 to 9,475 in 2012, and a forecast of 9,215 for 2013:

Northern States Power 10-K (2012).  Those are numbers I like to see.

Meanwhile, for example, Xcel has produced “forecasting” for the Hollydale Transmission Project that shows another picture entirely — that’s because the Hollydale application is based on old and outdated forecasts from 2006, the peak demand prior to the 2007 economic crash, and bases its need claim on a forecast of 1% annual growth in peak demand:

Hollydale Application, p. 42-48; 50-57; see also 12, 14, 35, 38; see also Table 2 and Table 3, p. 48-49.  Xcel’s “Hollydale Need Addendum,” dated January 24, 2013, exacerbates this error claiming a 1.8% growth rate and using a 1.8% growth projection for its forecasts.  Michlig Direct, Schedule 2, Hollydale Need Addendum, p. 24.  For the full Hollydale docket, go HERE and search for CoN Docket 12-113 or Routing Docket 11-152.

Remember the 2.49% annual increase of peak demand that CapX 2020 is based on?  What would this “Percent Load Growth Over Time” chart look like with a -1.2% and no expected improvement for the foreseeable future?

“Respondent Utilities” file Answer to Answer

Filed under:FERC — posted by admin on @ 7:42 am


Methinks they doth protest too much…

Second Answer of Respondent Utilities – EL13-49

To see the entire docket and all the filings go to FERC Library and search for docket EL13-49.

CETF/SOUL files Motion for Leave to Answer and Answer

Filed under:Uncategorized — posted by admin on April 12, 2013 @ 10:44 am


Yes, another FERC post, and apologies for taking so long about this.  Last Friday, CETF and SOUL filed a request at FERC to respond to the Answers of the Responding Utilities and the other usual suspects to our Complaint against MISO, MRO and Xcel, et al.  Here we go, in reverse chronological order:

CETF/SOUL Motion for Leave to Answer and Answer

Here’s the original Complaint:

FERC Complaint – CETF and SOUL

And for all the Answer and Comments and Interventions, go HERE!

Incoming! Answers & Comments on FERC Complaint

And now for today’s musical interlude: