Mystery solved??? I think so… deep breathe… looks like MidAmerican is OK, in compliance. I’d checked the IUB’s E-22099 docket, and it looked like MidAmerican hadn’t been granted the franchise, briefs had just been filed, but no order. So I contacted the Office of the Consumer Advocate, and in talking to the Consumer Advocate’s attorney, he explained that the E-22099 docket had been split into two parts. It’s hard to tell from the docket, everything’s a jumble, but in short, the leg to the east of the Black Hawk substation, which had been granted, is the one they’re building, and the other is to the west of the Black Hawk substation, which has not been granted… yet. They’ve just finished briefing, earlier this month, and are now waiting for the decision of the ALJ. WHEW! They’re checking with the utility to assure they’re only working on the eastern part, but from what I saw, that would be correct — all the brand new transmission towers, and the work in the fields that I saw, was on the eastern side, and on the west, old H-frame structures that have clearly been there a LONG time (and from the filings in E-22099, what the fight is about, whether they can enlarge the easement to double circuit with that existing line). OK, now I’m satisfied… so moving on to FERC and their transmission adder docket!
This photo is from the road just to the immediate north east of the line, showing the new structures and wires to the east connecting into the substation.
Curiouser and curiouser… Coming up 63 today, just north of Waterloo, I found the MVP 3 and MVP 4 substation… or so it says:
Here’s the map of MPV 3 and MVP 4, and this is the “Blackhawk” substation in Black Hawk County:
To look at the Iowa Utilities Board (IUB) docket for this project (it’s the MidAmerican part of MVP 4) in Black Hawk County, GO HERE TO IUB SEARCH PAGE and search for docket E-22099.
In that docket, MidAmerican argues that the two are not necessarily connected, are not dependent, and yet I’d say the sign at the substation says otherwise.
Here’s what it looks like from above — that’s Hwy. 63, the divided 4 lane to the east, and the gravel roads are Bennington (E/W) and Burton (N/S), this is on Burton, just south of Bennington — and now it’s a lot more built up, one of the larger substations I’ve seen:
From the west, it looks like an old 230k V line on H-frames, but it could be higher voltage. Straight east from this substation, built after this photo, is a big new 345 kV transmission line, all ready for a second circuit:
Is this depressing or what… sigh…