Well, look who’s intervened in the rate case!

Filed under:Cost Recovery,FERC,Rate Case - Transmission — posted by admin on January 26, 2016 @ 6:20 pm


Fresh Energy, Sierra Club (national?  Northstar Chapter?  ??), Wind on the Wires, NRDC, MCEA have joined together under MCEA to intervene in the Xcel Energy “transmission driven” rate case.


So… are all of them in agreement on positions?  Some were e21 Initiative participants, some were not.  WOW openly is a supporter of transmission, so what position might they take in this rate case?

And then there’s their role in Xcel Energy’s e21 Initiative and their role in this:

Letter & e21 Initiative Report_201412-105629-01

I wonder what standards they’ll be held to…

Fresh Energy makes no mention of whether they’re rate payers and claims it “works in the public interest…”  Oh my…

Sierra Club gives no indication which branch, office, or what.  Is it Sierra national?  Is it the NorthStar office?  The Madison office?  Inquiring minds would like to know.

Wind on the Wires, the Waltons spin-off, doesn’t address whether they’re ratepayers — and they’re an industry special interest group, a trade organization, “focused on prioritizing the delivery of large amounts of all types of wind energy to markets in the Upper Midwest, and represents members who produce wind power and technology who have a direct interest in energy rates at issue in this case,” as RECIPIENTS!

NRDC — their interest in this is???  Not at all clear.

MCEA as Intervenor, as “attorney” and its interest is?  Again, not at all clear.

And are these entities setting up for a conflict of interest, or are they all in lockstep?  Some participated in e21 and some did not.  Some participated in transmission and some did not.

And this statement… “Without Petitioners’ continued participation in both dockets (the rate case and the alternate rate design, 15-662) it is more likely that the two proceedings will reach inconsistent outcomes due to divergent goals.”  Please explain what the heck that means, and please, let’s get specific about the “divergent goals.”

And here’s one admission that is important in this “transmission driven” rate case:

By the same token, Petitioners are interested in supporting renewable energy expansion from sources of all scales, including transmission infrastructure to support such projects.  To the extent that NSP is proposing grid modernization projects both in this rate case and in a parallel Commission docket, Petitioners will be able to add unique perspective on these proposals and their usefulness in meeting efficiency and clean energy goals.  Grid modernization and transmission funding under this rate have a direct bearing on the legal rights of Petitioners’ members, as well.

Yes, please explain.



2nd Petition for Intervention in Xcel Rate Case

Filed under:Cost Recovery,PUC Docket,Rate Case - Transmission — posted by admin on January 24, 2016 @ 11:15 pm


Apparently Judge Oxley did not like the Overland and No CapX 2020 Petition for Intervention in the rate case, late Friday the Order came out.  It was denied, without prejudice.  And yet interventions for Commercial Group, Suburban Rate Authority, and City of Minneapolis were granted…

20161-117574-01_Order Denying Intervention

… sigh… OK… fine…

Just filed at 12:01 a.m. Monday, January 25, 2016:


These transmission issues being raised about CapX 2020 and the MISO MVP 17 Project Portfolio are so important that I’m going to be persistent.

Here’s the schedule, from the First Prehearing Order:


Oh, how depressing…

Filed under:Buy the Farm,Hampton-Alma-LaCrosse — posted by admin on January 19, 2016 @ 3:04 pm


On the way to Stephanie Henriksen’s Memorial Service today, along Hwy. 19 on the west side of Cannon Falls, I saw the CapX 2020 foundations in the ground, and Cor-Ten steel poles lined up, poised for installation.  Dog, how depressing…  On the way back, there was a big cement truck coming onto 19 from an access road, and we drove up Hwy. 52 and back and got an eyeful — Alan got some photos.  The one above is on the north side of the Cannon River, and this one below is on the south side, on the Sandstroms’ property, that’s one of the shop buildings in the background:


Just a bit further south, it is to be right up against the school’s soccer fields.

Landowners and Church snapshot

To think that they’re doing this… how is this justified?  And with no prior notice until moments before the public hearings at the very end of a couple year long process… OBSCENE!

Here’s the latest compliance filing in the 09-1448 docket, with photos:


Xcel objects to No CapX and Overland intervention

Filed under:Rate Case - Transmission — posted by admin on January 5, 2016 @ 12:17 pm


Yesterday at the Xcel Energy rate case prehearing conference, Xcel’s attorney, Eric Swanson, stated that they’d be objecting to the No CapX 2020/Overland intervention.  Just after that prehearing conference ended, their objection was filed:

20161-116957-02_Objection Intervention

Good idea, Xcel….

What do other Petitions for Intervention look like?  What other Objections has Xcel made to Interventions?  What do Petitions for Interventions that have been granted by an ALJ look like?  Let’s compare…

Recently, Xcel Energy’s Chris Clark, who I’d been working in tandem with years ago when he was just lowly corporate counsel cohort opposing the legislatively mandated Power Purchase Agreement for the Excelsior Energy Mesaba Project said, “I just don’t understand why the transmission side hates you so!” (rough, not exact quote).


Well, Chris, I guess you’re gonna find out.

I presume that this is just a way to eliminate anyone that they haven’t bought off in the course of that “e21 Initiative” where they “reached consensus” about wanting a business-plan based multi-year rate plan — many of the usual suspects were NOT present at that Prehearing Conference and there’d only been two Interventions filed prior to the Prehearing Conference, and only one filed since.


Yeah, great idea.  I testified against that effort at both Senate and House committees, where the room was backed full of those who’d “reached consensus” and they were all S-I-L-E-N-T as Sen. Marty and Rep. Garofalo ushered that bill through.  SHAME!  Will they show up for the rate case, and what position might the take?  Certainly not anything challenging the “Multi-Year Rate Plan.”

There was an interesting twist too.  I’d brought up that under Minn. Stat. 10A.01, Subd. 2, participation on a rate case is deemed lobbying, and requires registration and reporting when/if the thresholds are met, and requested that this requirement be addressed in the Prehearing Order.  The ALJ clearly knew nothing about it.

Minn. Stat. 10A.01, Subd. 2.  Administrative action.

“Administrative action” means an action by any official, board, commission or agency of the executive branch to adopt, amend, or repeal a rule under chapter 14. “Administrative action” does not include the application or administration of an adopted rule, except in cases of rate setting, power plant and powerline siting, and granting of certificates of need under section 216B.243.

I’d noted in the discussion that the lobbying statute is typically noted in the Commission’s referral to OAH, and thankfully, on the record, I’d thought to look at that Order, and there it was, p. 7:


And I noticed that Eric Swanson was very, very quiet during that discussion.  HE is the one who charged me with not registering as lobbyist in the Not-so-Great Northern Transmission Line case, as attorney for Minnesota Power.  That was such a low budget virtually pro bono operation that there’s no way either RRANT or I would meet the thresholds for registering or reporting.  That gambit of his was just more harassment, trying to limit legitimate critique of their project and process.

So now, for a response to that Objection to Intervention of No CapX 2020 and Overland…

image: detail of installation by Bronwyn Lace