Today — Black River Falls, WI on the Badger Coulee line

Filed under:BadgerCoulee - Wisconsin,Wisconsin — posted by admin on June 9, 2014 @ 10:22 pm


Hey, it’s the No CapX 2020 and Citizens Energy Task Force table at the Comfort Inn in Black River Falls!  Here’s what we had for handouts:

Scoping Handout_1


Transmission Lies – published in Grist 2/3/2009

Deb Severson and I spent the day chatting with everyone who came in the door, making sure they had our info in hand as they went to the PSC table for the gory details and then into the meeting room.  It’s an “open house” format, which I don’t think much of because people need to get a sense of what others are concerned about.

Here’s one thing I’m concerned about, the root of it all — marketing of coal.  Jim & Tim, are you paying attention?  Some things that jump out that aren’t hard to document — remember, today it’s not as easy to document because it’s been a while — it’s not like we’ve got the p. 29 list of generation waiting from the “Southwest Minnesota/Southeast South Dakota Electric Transmission Study Phase 1” (see p. 29-30 of the only version I could find online) back when Beth Soholt (Izaak Walton League) and Matt Schuerger (ME3) asked a bunch of us to sell out, nor do we have the 3,341 of coal in MISO queue during the CapX 2020 Certificate of Need proceeding (but remember, this WAS in the record, and ALJ Heydinger, now PUC Chair, was more interested in a settlement and paid little attention to the coal):

NoCapX 2020 Info Request to MISO Answers 3-8

5. Slide 7 refers to 3,741MW of coal/gas generation in MISO queue.

a. Of that 3,741MW, how much is coal?

3,441 MW.

b. Identify MW of coal in MISO queue, state by state for MN, SD, ND, IA and WI,
as of the date of your response to this question?


As of May 5, 2008, the cumulative total, by state, of the filed queue coal projects
that are proposed are:

MN: 726
SD: 600
ND: 1255.8
IA: 1378
WI: 280

During that hearing, I had one of those brain farts and asked Jeff Webb, MISO, about wind in queue in Illinois, and he grinned, and pulled a yellow post-it out of his pocket, and replied, “There’s 7,XXX MW of wind in queue in Illinois.”  DOH!

And don’t forget this:


Anyway, here’s what’s up with coal right now:

And remember, it all started with Ligite Vision 21, the furthest back direct evidence of the Midwest “Coal on the Wires” where they looked at what it would require for transmission to enable new coal, it’s the earliest I’ve been able to find:

Lignite Vision 21 Transmission Study

This is the line that ends with that 2001 Split Rock-Lakefield Jct project, the one where “Coal on the Wires” asked us to sell out, the one where “negotiations” were ongoing during the hearing road show in SW Minnesota, the one resulting in even worse deals (lower SE corner):



George Nygaard stopped in for some serious conversation with PSC staff, and look what he brought with today:


The DIORAMA!!!  Yes, it’s scale, the height, but the base of the pole is a bit off.  Really, that’s accurate?  Yes, it was checked and double checked by WisDOT’s Fasick and his magic tape measure.

Repartee all day with PSC staff, even a snort or two, and poor Jim Lepinski got an earful about transmission from George, and a promise of a hearty comment for the record.  Deb and I enjoyed some verbal ju jitsu with Xcel’s Tim Carlsbaad, who really shouldn’t say, “Are you an engineer?”  Well, no, Deb’s not, and neither are you, nor am I, though as for me, I must admit growing up reading Consulting Engineer, playing with a geiger counter, and touring coal plants and dams didn’t hurt.  And of course sex trafficking is the perfect background for Xcel PR and selling transmission, just like truckdriving is perfect for law, but, well… you don’t have to be an engineer to see the transmission trajectory.  In the meantime, George is waiting for Hilly to show up on the scene now that he’s back with “the Company!”

Tomorrow, Tomah:


Oh, the Environmental Impact Statement — DOH, that’s what it’s all about.  Comments are due on the scope, those details, what all you think it should cover, due on July 15, 2014.  Send Comments to and be sure to reference PSC Docket 05-CE-142.  Remember, the more specific the better.  A descriptive paragraph would be good, and feel free to attach any documents that you think they should be familiar with.

July 15 — get to work!!

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image: detail of installation by Bronwyn Lace