Wisconsin Eye on Badger Coulee transmission

Filed under:BadgerCoulee - Wisconsin,Wisconsin — posted by admin on June 2, 2014 @ 10:53 am

Check it out!  Citizen Energy Task Force’s Deb Severson, one of five panelists, discussing the Badger Coulee (MVP5 – 1/2 of MVP 5) transmission project:

Newsmakers – Badger Coulee Transmission Line

This Badger Coulee 345 kV transmission project, like the ITC Midwest MN/IA transmission line, is one of the MISO MVP Portfolio projects, it’s the La Crosse to Madison part of MVP 5.  The docket is ramping up, the Wisconsin Public Service Commission has accepted it as complete, and environmental review scoping meetings are being held right now across western Wisconsin.  In order to achieve the “benefits” touted for the ITC Midwest MN/IA project, MVP 4 and MVP 5 are both needed, and costs and “benefits” of not just these projects, but all 17 MVP projects must be weighed, because we’ll be paying apportioned costs for all of them.

Promoters are again touting it as “renewable” but we know that’s not the point of this MVP 5 or the portfolio MVP projects…

Deb Severson did a good job reminding people that this transmission plan goes way back, that the North Dakota lignite interests have been promoting transmission as the way to get coal out to the market.  CETF’s got the history, and it’s all about coal.

From Beth Soholt:

We’ve worked hard to take the “or” out of it, that’s it’s not central station or distributed, it’s some of both…  You can’t “energy efficiency” your way out of the need for transmission.  If you produce in a certain area and you can’t use the energy locally, it needs to be distributed and delivered, you need a road to market for that wind…

In other words, they’ve not done anything to get that coal off the wires to make room for wind.  And of course it’s all about siting.  “If you produce in a certain area…”  Why would you encourage siting wind in an area that’s stranded?

Rob Danielson, SOUL, is raising costs, and that this is an interstate layer on top, a major energy investment over these 40-50 years.  What do we want from this investment?  Energy planning should be done on the basis of ratepayer preferences.  Utilities area driven by profit and not consistent with what we want to do…

1) People want to keep their expenses low and want to reduce energy use.

2) Prefer energy efficiency and community investments.

3) Energy self-sufficiency.

Using a Center for Rural Affairs map for routes.  ????  Dropping their name twice?  Why aren’t they using the application or other filings?  But wait — the map used by CfRA is labeled as one from ATC and Xcel, so what’s up with that gratuitous plugging of Center for Rural Affairs?


Deb did a great job explaining that the MVP projects are about “baseload,” yup, we did get that in the record.

Beth on regional market, utilities can access lower cost power, market provides access (and we know lower cost power is coal).  She later says, “there is no market for coal.”  WHAT???  And the coal plants that we have now are not transmission constrained…  WHAT???

ICF – Independent Assessment MISO Benefits

Rob does a good job addressing that it IS binary, where other types of generation are used, then coal will go down.  Are there net carbon emissions reductions with Badger Coulee?  Nominal without Badger Coulee, and WITH Badger Coulee carbon emissions will increase!

Speaking of Center for Rural Affairs, here’s the kind of thing they’re sending out — note they bill it as “Last Chance to Weigh in on WI Transmission Line.”  NO, it’s not the last chance, in fact it’s just the beginning.  I hate it when promoters misrepresent things like that!  Click the missive below for a larger version:



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image: detail of installation by Bronwyn Lace