Demand down, “It’s a new world for us” utilities!

Filed under:News coverage,Nuts & Bolts — posted by admin on July 29, 2014 @ 11:45 am

I love it when this happens — when the truth is so obvious that they can no longer deny it:

Energy Lag

This decreased demand is the reason they want us to pay for transmission lines across the U.S. so they can market all this surplus power in locations where prices are higher.  DOH!

Electricity Sales Anemic for Seventh Year in a Row – WSJ July 28 2014


CapX 2020 contractor electrocuted

Filed under:Uncategorized — posted by admin on @ 6:27 am

We’ve had another tragedy on the construction of the CapX 2020 Brookings transmission line:

Worker electrocuted on CapX 2020 power line near Fairfax, MN


Judge denies Motion for FEIS Comment period

Filed under:ITC MN & IA 345 kV,Laws & Rules,Nuts & Bolts — posted by admin on July 24, 2014 @ 8:40 pm


Hot off the press… Judge La Fave has denied CETF/No CapX 2020 Motion requesting comment period of at least 10 days after FEIS released for public to comment on adequacy.

Order Denying CETF and No CapX Motion for Extension of Period for Public Comment


The Final Environmental Impact Statement in the ITC Midwest MN/IA 345 kV line docket was not released until after the public hearings, after the evidentiary hearing, and on same date Initial Briefs were due.  So we filed this motion:

CETF NoCapX_Motion FEIS_Amended

Here are the two Replies to the Motion:

ITC Reply to Motion_20145-99844-01

Commerce Reply to Motion_20145-99801-01

The Minnesota Environmental Policy Act (MEPA) specifies that the “final detailed environmental impact statement… shall accompany the proposal through an administrative review process.”

Prior to the preparation of a final environmental impact statement, the governmental unit responsible for the statement shall consult with and request the comments of every governmental office which has jurisdiction by law or special expertise with respect to any environmental effect involved. Copies of the drafts of such statements and the comments and views of the appropriate offices shall be made available to the public. The final detailed environmental impact statement and the comments received thereon shall precede final decisions on the proposed action and shall accompany the proposal through an administrative review process.

Minn. Stat. §116D.04, Subd. 6a.

And FYI, here’s what the PUC’s draft 7850 rule has to say about this — the FEIS release timing has been an issue for a long time — and the PUC’s draft rule language anticipates that the final EIS will be filed PRIOR to the Public Hearing and Evidentiary hearing:

EIS Project Schedule

The schedule for adoption of these rules is way, way out there, and no help, but it gives insight/incite into the Commission take on timing of FEIS release!   That and $0.50 will get cha…

ITC Midwest MN/IA Xmsn – Initial Briefs are in

Filed under:ITC MN & IA 345 kV — posted by admin on July 11, 2014 @ 5:22 pm

briefs1 copy

The EIS is out — that will take a while to download and the upload, so later, folks!  To look it up and download it yourself, go to the PUC’s SEARCH DOCUMENTS PAGE, and plug in docket 12-1053 for Certificate of Need, and/or 12-1337 for the Route Permit.

Initial Briefs are filed. The punch line from our CETF/No CapX2020 brief:



On the Certificate of Need:


ITC Midwest InitialBrief_20147-101419-06

MISO Brief_20147-101381-01





And on the Route Permit:

ITC Midwest FINALBrief_Route20147-101419-08




CapX 2020 xfmr inching toward Briggs Rd substation

Filed under:News coverage,Nuts & Bolts,Wisconsin — posted by admin on July 10, 2014 @ 5:58 pm

Here’s another video in Transmission and Distribution World.

It was stuck, too muddy to move into place, so they waited… and now, onward… waiting for the youtube, and until then, we get another transformer — a CapX 2020 video of the North Rochester transformer move:

Back to the nature trail near La Crosse. Love the photos, this one by Erik Daily of the La Crosse Tribune:


Transformer resumes slow journey

HOLMEN — A nearly 200-ton transformer destined for a new high-voltage substation resumed its slow journey Wednesday, a week after being sidelined by water-logged fields.

Riding on a 14-axle self-propelled trailer, the device crept through cornfields and across the Great River State bike trail en route to its eventual home in a substation being built on Briggs Road as part of the CapX2020 electric transmission project.

Crews in diesel material handlers assembled an oak “mat” to keep the load from sinking into the soil, picking up the beams as the trailer inched forward and placing them in its path.

Built in South Korea, the transformer traveled by ship to Houston and by train to a rail spur just a couple of miles from the substation. But a 20-ton bridge over Halfway Creek couldn’t bear the weight, said Rob Bullis, substation foreman for Xcel Energy.

Though smaller than a semi trailer, there’s more to this transformer than meets the eye. It weighs in at 387,000 pounds thanks to a half dozen coils inside its steel sheeting.

The transformer was expected to complete the final leg of its journey today with a jaunt up County Road XX and across a soybean field to the substation. Hydraulic rams on the trailer will nudge it down I-beam supports greased with dish soap until it can be lowered onto a concrete pad, where it will convert incoming electricity from the 345 kilovolts used for long-distance transmission to 161 kv.

The Briggs Road substation is one of six on the CapX2020, a $550 million high-voltage transmission line between Hampton, Minn., and Holmen.

Though Xcel has larger substations, Bullis said it will be the utility’s biggest built from scratch.

It’s expected to begin some operations in mid-September and to be fully operational in 2015.