CapX 2020 — It’s over, it’s done, all but the cost recovery


CapX 2020 at Highway 61 south of Wabasha

Monday, they had their CapX 2020 Love Fest at the Hampton substation, and I didn’t even get an engraved invitation.  It’s a depressing point in time — 12 years on this project — and they got all they wanted, in some places not where they wanted it, but it’s up, and so many people affected.  Having it routed somewhere, anywhere, is what they cared about, and supposedly it’s now “in-service,” though I wonder.  Is it time to have a big bonfire of all the boxes of files?

This was about the Minnesota portions, but South Dakota, North Dakota, and Wisconsin is permitted as well, the superhighway from the coal fields of the Dakotas to Madison and beyond.  Yeah, I could have camped out and crashed the party, but I had another commitment, so couldn’t spend the day hanging out waiting, watching.  Maybe I should have…

capx_hrl_energized_20160926_113428-medLeft-to-right: Mark Kotschevar, Rochester Public Utilities; Dave Geschwind, Southern MN Municipal Power Agency; Teresa Mogensen, Xcel Energy; Chris Kunkle, Wind on the Wires; Ben Porath, Dairyland Power Cooperative; Priti Patel, MISO; Tim Noeldner, WPPI Energy. From CapX Press Release

How much was “Wind on the Wires” (f/k/a Izaak Walton League) (and many other orgs?) paid for their promotion of transmission?

In the press:

STrib (is it really $2.1 billion?  Any recent reports?):

Last Minnesota leg of $2.1 billion electricity mega-project done

From WKBT (video here):

CapX2020 transmission line completed

And Wisconsin Public Radio:

Collaborative Utility Project Connects Electric Transmission From South Dakota To Wisconsin

Rochester Post-Bulletin:

Drone patrols the power line

It’s up and running — get out those gauss meters and check it out.


CapX 2020 at Hwy. 61 looking towards the Mississippi

CapX 2020 files going into recycling & dumpster…

Filed under:Cost Recovery,Hampton-Alma-LaCrosse,Nuts & Bolts,Reports - Documents,Upcoming Events — posted by admin on September 18, 2016 @ 3:08 pm


The CapX 2020 project has been a part of my life for over 12 years… and now it’s mostly up and running.  So I’ve spent the day digging through the dusty files.  What a mess.  Boxes and boxes and boxes.

Image result for CapX 2020

That’s a map from 2007 or so with coal plants ID’d from the MISO queue, some up and running, many not (good!).  The north/south line along the MN and ND/SD border is missing.  The North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin legs are all permitted too, much constructed.  Well played, Xcel.

During the Certificate of Need proceeding, we were not able to address the bulk power transfer aspect of this, because after all, “it terminates in Wisconsin.”


Meanwhile, Xcel Energy’s rate case based on its e21 Initiative whines that the grid is only 55% utilized!


You’re not going to be efficient if you’re reliant on massive transmission lines, DOH!  Oh well, we knew all this, and yet here we are, billions of dollars of “wires in the air” and the bills just now arriving.  Xcel argued that No CapX 2020 should be excluded:


But CapX 2020’s Minnesota Brookings – Hampton transmission line is part of MISO’s MVP 17 project portfolio!  DOH!  And the judge apparently missed that Xcel brought up both CapX 2020 cost recovery and MISO MVP cost recovery in their direct testimony!

Oh, but it doesn’t end there…

No CapX 2020 was not allowed to intervene in the rate case and address transmission recovery, after all, the permits have been granted, so WHY DOES NO CAPX EVEN EXIST?!?!?  So said the judge:


Oh well…

Remember their shindig on Tuesday:

September 26, 2016

Time?  They’re not telling…

Hampton Substation

Highway 52 and 215th Street (N. of Hwy. 50)


September 26 — Mark Your Calendars!!

Filed under:Hampton-Alma-LaCrosse,News coverage,Upcoming Events — posted by admin on September 16, 2016 @ 11:50 am


CapX 2020/Xcel Energy is holding a PR shindig, firing up the Hampton – La Crosse leg of its transmission build-out.  Their scheme, their scam, is nothing to celebrate.  But yes, there’s an event coming up… and it should be appropriately observed… where did I put that “No CapX 2020” banner?

September 26, 2016

Time?  They’re not telling…

Hampton Substation

Highway 52 and 215th Street (N. of Hwy. 50)

This project has been 12 years of my life… first got wind of it in 2004 at a MAPP NM-SPG meeting, though really, it was apparent with the release of the WIREs-WRAO Report from 1998.  That was 18 years ago.  Transmission is not rocket science!  As we say, “It’s all connected!”  Oh, but wait… for the purposes of the Minnesota Certificate of Need proceeding, we couldn’t connected all the dots, and the CapX folks insisted that it only went to La Crosse!!!  Oh, please…


Anyway, the planed shindig was reported in the Rochester Post Bulletin:

Nice try, Tim. My identity is a more closely guarded secret than Colonel Sanders’ recipe. But if you’d like to send me a piece of cake, I can’t stop you.

Have messages in to both Tim Carlsbad and Grant Stevenson, but the timing is top secret, no invitation is forthcoming, so I guess I’ll just have to crash.  Tom Hillstrom quit, went to Met Council, and is now back with Xcel as contractor, is he in on this?  Better check with “Hilly” too!

Where’s the Hampton substation?  As you approach from the south on Hwy. 52, north of Hwy. 50, there’s this ugly Corten steel “Gateway to the Metro” of transmission towers, with the Hampton on the west side, at 215th Street — can’t miss it:




image: detail of installation by Bronwyn Lace