Buy the Farm Wisconsin style!

Filed under:Wisconsin — posted by admin on July 31, 2013 @ 8:17 pm


Thanks to Block RICL for sending this around, this is such good news I can hardly stand it!

The issues the court looked at:

(1) At what point in a Wis. Stat. § 32.06 condemnation proceeding must a property owner raise an uneconomic remnant claim?
(2) Were the Wallers left with an uneconomic remnant after ATC took two easements on their
(3) Are the Wallers entitled to litigation expenses?
(4) Are the Wallers “displaced persons,” entitling them to relocation benefits?

How good can it get?  Here’s the decision:

Waller v American Transmission Company


CapX transmission economic benefits???

Filed under:Fargo-St Cloud,News coverage — posted by admin on July 12, 2013 @ 9:44 am


Another little birdie reminded me of the CapX push about all the great gobs of dough that this project brings to communities.  OK, fine, we know what we are, and let’s discuss the price.

From the CapX 2020 website, here’s a blurb that I’d missed somehow, propaganda extraordinaire:

From Wisconsin, in a March article on board candidates for New Holland Township, this report:

When asked what were there 3 most important subjects, Naegle gave the following answer.  His answer illustrates the degree of impact the above board bribe can have, perhaps did have, in weakening local government resistance to the line.

NAEGLE: CapX2020. The project will be starting soon. We need to be aware of what is being done and to protect the town of Holland. The town of Holland will be receiving $615,540 as a one-time payment in mid-2013, which is to be used for parks and environmental projects. The town will also receive $72,800 annually beginning in 2014 with no specific designation. It is important to spend this money wisely. I think some of this money should go to paying down town debt. Paying on loans for the new fire truck and Holland Sand Prairie would be my priority.

Roads and sign repairs. The town is behind on road repair work for many of our town roads. Town speed, stop and street signs are also in need of repair or replacement. This is state mandated. There is a timeline to get this work done. This could be one place we could use the CapX2020 annual payment of $72,800 in the future.

The Parks Committee would like to improve our parks by putting in more equipment, shelters and signage. I would propose using the one time CAPX2020 money in the mount of $615,540 to help improve parks. To keep taxes down, a portion of this money should also be used to pay off the Holland Sand Prairie.

And in the paper in Minnesota (and while reading this, don’t forget the Xcel smashing success in slashing utility personal property tax in half or more since the 1994 Prairie Island agreement, grrrrrrrrrrrrr). from the St. Cloud Times:

CapX 2020 line bumps up area property tax revenues

The new CapX 2020 transmission line cutting across Stearns County also is generating property tax dollars to local governments.

Northern States Power, an Xcel Energy company, is the top property taxpayer in the county, replacing Crossroads owner St. Cloud Mall LLC, which had long held the top spot. Xcel is one of the utilities building the CapX line from Monticello to Fargo, N.D.

NSP will pay $3.3 million in property taxes this year on Stearns County property with a total estimated market value of $93.7 million, according to a report from the county assessor’s office. That’s up from $2.7 million in taxes paid last year.

The transmission line already is operating between Monticello and St. Cloud. Construction is underway on the stretch between Fargo and St. Cloud.

The route follows Interstate Highway 94 from Fargo to Sauk Centre, then veers south near Freeport before connecting to a new substation in St. Cloud.

The Minnesota Department of Revenue calculates the property value of utilities such as power plants and transmission lines based on their cost and the amount of income they generate. The amount of property taxes paid by Xcel next year will increase more as the remainder of the line is completed, County Assessor Gary Grossinger said.

The other taxpayers in the top 10 are CentraCare Health, Minnesota Pipeline Co., Wal-Mart, Coborn’s, St. Cloud Medical Group, IRET Properties, Cold Spring Granite Co. and Great River Energy.

Oronoco Twp Appeals Transmission Decision

Filed under:Appeal,Hampton-Alma-LaCrosse — posted by admin on July 11, 2013 @ 12:06 pm


Oronoco has Petitioned the Supreme Court to review the Appellate Court’s affirmation of the decision of the Public Utilities Commission to route CapX 2020 transmission through Oronoco Township.  I don’t have a copy of the Petition yet, they send mail by ox cart, but I found out, thanks to a little birdie:


Appellate Court Case Search site – plug in docket A12-1632 and click on “Petition – Further Review”

This might get you there directly: Petition – Further Review

HERE IT IS!!!  It arrived in the inbox!  Maybe it’ll appear in the mail tomorrow.

Oronoco Petition to the Supreme Court

I’m having a hard time understanding why they think it’s a good investment of public money to challenge this decision — the Rochester paper says they’ve spent $300,000 on this — but why?  The further you get from the administrative process, the harder it is to turn it around, the more deference a court gives the administrative process, which starts out at “great deference” and goes up from there.  WOW!  Well, here goes!

In the Rochester Post Bulletin:

Oronoco Township continues to fight CapX transmission line


La Crosse Construction Update

Filed under:Hampton-Alma-LaCrosse — posted by admin on @ 6:14 am

George Nygaard sent these photos of the Briggs Road substation near La Crosse … at the count of three, let’s all get depressed…







Fargo-Monticello under construction

Filed under:Uncategorized — posted by admin on July 9, 2013 @ 9:22 am

We went up to Lake Itasca the last week of June, and driving up 94, just to see the transmission, well, it was depressing to say the least.  There are towers up, foundations up, lay-down yards visible, heartbreaking…


Do you remember anything about these “H” frame structures without the cross-connector piece, maybe “II” frames, eh?  I thought it was all monopoles.

And this, oh my, look how close it is to those turkey barns!  How can that be?


Look how high they are over the tree line, the TALL tree line:




Part of the lay-down yard:



Home sweet home, office sweet office (they have internet in the Itasca campgrounds!)… right across from the lake.  PERFECT weather.




The water level is seriously low, much of the small bays and lakelettes are showing green growth where water was last time we were up there.

Hampton substation going up!

Filed under:Brookings Routing Docket,Hampton-Alma-LaCrosse — posted by admin on @ 8:58 am

I’ve been keeping an eye on the Hampton substation location, flags went up, trucks parked, and the other day when I went up to St. Paul, dirt was being moved around.  You can see it on Hwy. 52, north of Hampton, at 215th Street:




Booted out of FERC

Filed under:Uncategorized — posted by admin on July 3, 2013 @ 10:45 am


We got the FERC Order earlier this a.m. dismissing our Complaint, it took them 22 pages to do it:

FERC Order Dismission CETF Complaint

Sigh… they recommend we participate in the MISO MTEP process:

We encourage Complainants to work with MISO and other stakeholders in developing transmission plans for the MISO region in the future as part of MISO’s Order Nos. 890- and 1000-compliant transmission planning process.

… stating that:

MISO posts on its website, and notifies interested registered parties through an email exploder list, all stakeholder meetings. MISO’s MTEP is developed with stakeholder involvement through various stakeholder forums, including the Planning Advisory Committee, the Planning Subcommittee and Sub-Regional Planning meetings held in various locations throughout MISO’s regional footprint. Stakeholders have the ability to participate in person or through MISO’s webcasts and teleconferencing of such meetings.

Well, let’s see, that presumes that MISO’s transmission planning process is compliant.  Here’s their organizational chart:

You can sign up for a profile here and register for meeting notifications, etc., which I’ve done, and have also sent an email to Jeff Webb, the PAC Liason.  CLICK HERE TO MAKE PROFILE

CAVEAT: We can only participate as a non-member, non-voting, and this footnote to the “environmental/other stakeholder member groups” members:

The entities comprising these stakeholder groups are not members of MISO; rather, they are representatives of public consumer groups and other stakeholder groups serving on the Advisory Committee, which have been chosen by recognized consumer,environmental and other stakeholder organizations having an interest in the activities of MISO.

These groups are:

1.  Citizens Action Coalition of Indiana
2.  Clean Wisconsin
3.  Environmental Law & Policy Center
4.  Fresh Energy
5.  Great Plains Institute
6.  Izaak Walton League of America
7.  Project for Sustainable FERC Energy Policy
8.  Wind on the Wires

Here’s the membership of their Planning Advisory Committee.

What affects us most in this area is the “Northern Area Study” and here’s the June 2013 Northern Area Study.

JCSP Big Picture – who pays? WE DO!

Filed under:Reports - Documents — posted by admin on July 2, 2013 @ 11:27 am

Transmission — it’s all connected.  In looking at the Minnesota rulemaking, and the existing and proposed rules that utilize the word “regional,” I’m thinking about big picture stuff, the big proposals in the wings, and that Joint Coordinated System Plan (JCSP) map sure presents a big picture. For some reason, I’ve not been able to find the full JCSP report until recently:



Who cares about JCSP?  Well, WE’D better care, because look who’s paying for the transmission build-out (p. 68 of Vol. 1):

Look at the numbers for Midwest ISO, a $-10,293, or for MAPP, a $12,292, that’s a COST, not a savings.  MISO and MAPP get nominal production cost savings and massive load COSTS.  This is not news, but is worth repeating as we discuss “regional.”  And another take with the same take-away of big costs for MISO and MAPP customers, used by our good friends at  AWEA to promote this transmission buildout in their flyer called “Green Power Transmission and Consumer Savings” (flyer below):

Read the whole thing:


What a deal, eh?

Look what AWEA has been advocating to make this happen:

Federal Siting
In addition to regional planning and cost allocation,
substantial reform of the transmission siting process is
required to meet national renewable energy goals. The
most effective model is the siting authority that was given
to FERC over interstate natural gas pipelines. For green
power superhighways, the extra-high-voltage facilities
defined in the regional plans would be subject to FERC
approval and permitting. Separate siting approval at the
state level would not be required. FERC would act as the
lead agency for purposes of coordinating all applicable
federal authorizations and environmental reviews with other
affected agencies.
Check their “Policy Solutions on p. 3:

AWEA – Green Power Superhighways

Again, this is not new news, I remember fighting over this with the Waltons/Wind on the Wires in 2005, their agenda was all about increasing federal authority and decreasing state authority… and of course they’re not part of this rulemaking, there are NO, NONE, NOT ONE enviro group participating in this transmission rulemaking docket.
The point of JCSP is to increase power flows along those red pathways — who benefits and who loses:
There’s been little talk of JCSP lately, but given the rate of return for transmission construction, it’s hard to believe it’s not lying in wait.
And if it’s not all about coal, why is this the case (Vol. 1, p. 190):

image: detail of installation by Bronwyn Lace