Put on your waders — CapX 2020 Report!

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It’s out, the report from U of M Humphrey School of Public Affairs about CapX 2020, headlining it as a “Model for addressing climate change.

Transmission Planning and CapX 2020: Building Trust to Build Regional Transmission Systems

Oh, please, this is all about coal, and you know it.  This is all about enabling marketing of electricity.  In fact, Xcel’s Tim Carlsbad testified most honestly that CapX 2020 was not for wind!  That’s because electrical energy isn’t ID’d by generation source, as Jimbo Alders also testified, and under FERC, discrimination in generation sources is not allowed, transmission must serve whatever is there.  And the report early on, p. 4, notes:

Both North and South Dakota have strong wind resources and North Dakota also has low-BTU lignite
coal resources that it wants to continue to use. New high-voltage transmission lines are needed to
support the Dakotas’ ability to export electricity to neighboring states.

See also: ICF-Independent Assessment MISO Benefits

Anyway, here it is, and it’s much like Phyllis Reha’s puff piece promoting CapX 2020 years ago while she was on the Public Utilities Commission, that this is the model other states should use:

MN PUC Commissioner Reha’s Feb 15 2006 presentation promoting CapX 2020

So put on your waders and reading glasses and have at it. Here’s the word on the 2005 Transmission Omnibus Bill from Hell – Chapter 97 – Revisor of Statutes that gave Xcel and Co. just what they wanted, transmission as a revenue stream:

CapX_Xmsn2005

And note how opposition is addressed, countered by an organization that received how much to promote transmission.  This is SO condescending:

HumphreyCapXReport

… and opposition discounted because it’s so technical, what with load flow studies, energy consumption trends, how could we possibly understand.  We couldn’t possibly understand… nevermind that the decreased demand we warned of, and which demonstrated lack of need, was the reality that we were entering in 2008.

XcelPeakDemand2000-2015

And remember Steve Rakow’s chart of demand, entered at the very end of the Certificate of Need hearing when demand was at issue???  In addition to NO identification of axis values, the trend he promoted, and which was adopted by the ALJ and Commission, has NOT happened, and instead Xcel is adjusting to the “new normal” and whining that the grid is only 55% utilized in its e21 and rate case filings.  Here’s Steve Rakow’s chart:

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Reality peak demand trajectory was lower than Rakow’s “slow growth” line, in fact, it’s the opposite from 2007 to present.  Suffice it to say:

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ATC’s Construction Meeting and “Economic Planning”

Filed under:BadgerCoulee - Wisconsin,Upcoming Events,Wisconsin — posted by admin on April 7, 2016 @ 2:29 pm

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American Transmission Company (ATC) is holding a “Construction Meeting” about the Badger Coulee transmission project on April 14, an open house from 3 to 6 p.m. at the Town of Springfield Town Hall, 6157 County Highway P, Dane County, Wisconsin.

ATC to host construction meeting in Springfield

 

ATC is also holding a round or two of planning meetings, and the next “Customer and Stakeholder” Meeting is planned for April 19, 2016, from 1-3 p.m. at ATC HQ in Pewaukee.

What’s important about this is that in addition to the annual “10 Year Assessment,” they’re also doing “Economic Planning.”

2015 10-Year Assessment Summary

2016 10-Year Assessment Study Design

What goes on at these ATC “stakeholder” meetings?

2-24-2016_Compiled Meeting Questions and Comments

Here are materials for that 2-24-2016 meeting:

Meeting Agenda

ATC 2015 Assessment Summary Presentation

2016 Assessment Preliminary Study Design

ATC MTEP Appendix Data

ATC 2015 Economic Planning Study Results

ATC 2016 Economic Planning Study Kickoff

Here’s ATC’s Annual Report:  ATC releases 2015 Annual Report

They have an entire page on “Economic Planning” and the entire notion of “Economic Planning” goes to the private purpose of transmission, moving bulk power for profit.  That’s very different than the regulated utilities’ need to supply their native (captive) load with electricity.  The wholesale market was deregulated, electricity is now on economic dispatch, and the basis of electric generation, transmission, distribution, and use, is fundamentally changed.  As a society, we’ve not yet grasped this concept, and what it means to us as ratepayers, landowners, and humans.

In light of this, Comments made at a recent Transmission Confab and captured by RTO Insider are enlightening (though note the questioning is from Allohina, a witness and proponent in the CapX 2020 buildout, it’s questionable, because they’ve already got their project!):

RTO Insider

Economic benefits have been sketchy at best for some projects, and so grossly overstated as to be hilarious in others, where it’s clear that the benefits go to the generators as decreased production costs:

ICF-Independent Assessment MISO Benefits

As above, ATC is hosting another “Customer and Stakeholder” Meeting on April 19, 2016, from 1-3 p.m.  The ATC page says it’s at ATC HQ in Pewaukee, WI, but ATC HQ address is not listed on the ATC site, and there are two ATC offices on Ridgeview Parkway, close, but which?  Message sent, will report back.

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What is Onalaska thinking?

Filed under:BadgerCoulee - Wisconsin,Hampton-Alma-LaCrosse,Wisconsin — posted by admin on April 5, 2016 @ 10:36 am

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A little birdie just sent this graphic photo.

bluebird

How’s this for a scenic view overlooking the Mississippi, at the Onalaska scenic overlook, no less?!?!?!

Onalaska, what are you thinking?  Did you consider the impact of this transmission line on the City’s observation area?  Are you thinking of $$$$?  Was there a payment to the City to allow this?  Did the City review the plan?  Did anyone go out and walk the line?  Did the City know this was Xcel’s intent?  Did the City’s Planning Commission understand this was in the works as it approved its Comprehensive Plan update that addressed transmission impacts and planning?

La Crosse approved this move and issued a variance under their Airport Overlay Ordinance, and Xcel Energy told me after the meeting that there would not be clear cutting — but you know how Xcel Energy operates.

Worse, Onalaska Mayor Joe Chilsen testified IN FAVOR of La Crosse granting the variance for this project!  You might want to tell him what you think of Sunny’s new friend!

Joe Chilsen (2016)
500 10th Avenue North
Onalaska, WI 54650
City: (608) 781-9530
Home: (608) 783-2422
jchilsen@cityofonalaska.com

Beautiful day, but CapX transmission has sprung up

Filed under:Buy the Farm,Hampton-Alma-LaCrosse — posted by admin on April 3, 2016 @ 6:37 pm

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It was such a beautiful day today.  Got a good share of garden work in, pulled and raked out the back 40″, well, half of it anyway, and cut down all the big milkweed stalks.  We grabbed a sub and went out for a picnic.  The river had crested last week or earlier, but it was still very “spring brown” though there were a lot of fishing boats out, and people fishing from shore too.

Next stop, a look at CapX 2020 transmission now that it’s strung.  It is so depressing.  These are photos just south of us here in Red Wing, north of Rochester, by Oronoco, along the White Bridge Road.

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And here’s that “boat landing” that was brought up the last day or so of the hearing, the one that’s now permanently closed and now a locked gate at the road going down to the river:

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image: detail of installation by Bronwyn Lace