MaidenRockSandDerail_RepubBeagleIt’s that time again — the Silica Sand Advisory Committee is meeting again on Thursday, from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the People’s Energy Cooperative in Oronoco, Minn.

Here’s the Agenda:

Agenda

Dig this:

Charlie

In my experience, the search/stretch for consensus is the first step in unreasonable compromise.  It takes a push to change things, and it’s important not to give up too soon.

As you know, I’ve been frustrated at the way these meetings are handled, in that they’re NOT doing what a rulemaking advisory committee is supposed to do, which is review and comment on draft rules.  And we’re not getting representation on this committee, there are no regular updates from members that I’m aware of, unless I ask on a list, so we’re not getting any opportunity for input or feedback from the representatives.  Plus there’s Charlie Peterson

I was listening to the July meeting, and for introductions, there were only six members of the committee present:

Tara Wetzel – MN Aggregate Ready Mix Assoc.

Beth Procter – Lime Twp., Blue Earth County

Al Frechette – Scott County

Doug Losee – Unimin

Tom Rowekamp – IT Sand

Kelly Stanage – Citizen Rep. from Houston County

I’ve heard from Amy Nelson that she, Keith, and Vincent Ready were there.  Katie just let me know she was there.  Others?  Were introductions not broadcast?  Did anyone come in later?   Can’t tell, it was audio only (unless I’m missing something), and the audio was out for a large part of the presentation.  Where are the alternates?  Where are the alternates?  And if members are determining that it’s a big waste of time and don’t want to show up, well, it seems they ought to let the agencies know so replacements can be found!  And so the meetings can be changed to become more ___________ and less _________ so members can and will attend!

Here’s the bright spot of the day, from what I’ve seen:

EQB Process

Look where they put the “Advisory Panel.” IT’S IN THE RIGHT PLACE!!!  YES!!!  Now, there needs to be another arrow, though, or a expansion of the purple square that says, “Advisory Panel review of draft rules.”  They’re sidestepping by saying that, even the EQB Board, will “review draft rule concepts.”  NOPE, not good enough, eliminate that word “concepts” and let’s start reviewing rules, the Advisory Panel and the EQB.  DRAFT RULES!  It’s that simple.

From the site, here are the future planned meetings:

Upcoming meetings

All of these meetings will be held at the People’s Energy Cooperative (Oronoco, Minn.) and run from 10:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

PSEG wants out of its reactive power requirement for its Artificial Island Salem-Hope Creek generators, to get “maximum generation” and wants to build transmission to enable that plan.  Reactive power stabilizes the system, and there’s no reason to exempt PSEG from that requirement.  None!  And that is certainly no reason to build transmission.

Our other home is in Delaware, Port Penn, to be precise, and I’ve just learned that even though the MAPP transmission project is dead, dead, dead, they’ve kept its heart alive, and are proposing to run a transmission line from Salem/Hope Creek across the Delaware Bay to Delaware City. An “Artifical Island – Red Lion” (AI-RL) transmission line.  Great…

Here’s the map.  Note that they don’t show the existing “Artificial Island-Red Lion” transmission line on this map — is this to use the same route, different, and why isn’t it shown on any of the maps?

Map-ProtectedAreas

Why is this needed?

Redacted Artificial Island Problem Statement

It’s not a need, it’s a want.

The idea of the project was to allow the three nuclear power units to generate the most power possible, and to simplify transmission operations, said Ray Dotter, PJM spokesman.

WHAT??? Yes, that’s the PJMese for “ramp up the generation and not have any reactive power requirement” that stabilizes the electrical system, because, he, that takes away from the generation available to sell, can’t be doing that, can we, what’s more important, profit or stability?

Here’s the PJM “Problem Statement” from their site:

need

WOW… once more with feeling:

Generate maximum power without a minimum MVAr requirement

… and that’s their basis for more transmission? NO, I DON’T THINK SO!

PJM then runs

Ummmmm… oh… OK… well, then, PJM, it says to itself, it says, hey, let’s just produce some “stability test results” to make it look better, yeah, that’s the ticket:

Artificial Island Projects Stability Test Results Summary (Public Non CEII)

How stupid do they think we are?  Well, if you don’t know the secrets of reactive power, here’s “everything you wanted to know about reactive power.”  The basic premise:

Except in a very few special situations, electrical energy is generated, transmitted, distributed, and utilized as alternating current (AC). However, alternating current has several distinct disadvantages. One of these is the necessity of reactive power that needs to be supplied along with active power. Reactive power can be leading or lagging.While it is the active power that contributes to the energy consumed, or transmitted, reactive power does not contribute to the energy. Reactive power is an inherent part of the ‘‘total power.’’

Plus it turns out the AI-RL project proposals don’t meet PJM’s cost/benefit criteria:

The extent to which the relative benefits of the project meets a Benefit/Cost Ratio Threshold of at least 1.25:1 as calculated pursuant to Section 1.5.7(d) of this Schedule 6.

Even PJM had to admit that economic benefits were virtually nonexistent!

These simulations showed that there were market efficiency benefits of the proposals however they were only on the order of several million dollars per year and were far below the savings that would be required to satisfy the market efficiency criteria.

p. 3-4, 8.22.2014 July 2014 – PJM Board Approval of RTEP Whitepaper  PDF

HAH!  So despite this, PJM staff made a recommendation to the PJM Board, which said:

“To ensure a thorough and fair review, given the complexities of the issues, the Board has determined that it will take the matter under advisement and defer a selection at this time.”

OK, transmission wonks, have you ever heard of a proposal that PJM didn’t like?  Sounds like a significant “need” failure to me, that their desire just wasn’t enough.  So back to the drawing board — but who gets a pencil?

But PJM officials, environmentalists and power transmission companies are locked in an ongoing disagreement over the best way to do that. They are considering various options for a costly crossing of the river to a Delaware substation, but a Delaware official said the state’s ratepayers run the risk of shouldering the burden of a project that would mainly benefit people in other states.

Let’s see, PJM rejected it, and now they’re arguing about river crossings?  How do you get from “lack of need” to “options for a costly crossing of the river?”  From PJM’s report:

In April 2013, PJM Interconnection, LLC (PJM) requested technical solutions for improving PJM operational performance in the Artificial Island area under a range of anticipated system conditions and to eliminate potential planning criteria violations. In response to the Artificial Island-Red Lion Window, PJM received conceptual design level proposals from five (5) developers for the design and construction of a 500kV transmission line between Public Service Electric and Gas Company’s (PSE&G’s) Salem and Hope Creek Substations, which are located at Artificial Island in Salem County, New Jersey (NJ), and Delmarva Power & Light’s Red Lion Substation in New Castle County, Delaware (DE). The project is generally referred to as the Artificial Island-Red Lion 500kV Transmission Line.

PJM initiated, and note that:

The assessment of these proposals with regard to their ability to address electrical system needs or reliability is not included in the scope of this study.

Here’s the PJM PAGE WITH ALL THE PROPOSALS

And constructability analysis, here’s one (note they have it backwards, RL-AI):

GIA Red Lion-Artificial Island Constructability Analysis AI-RL Xmsn

And another constructability analysis:

US Synergetic Constructability Analysis AI-RL Xmsn

And a third that bears closer examination, because if the point of this is generation without reactive power requirement, look at the option that addresses reactive power:

Burns & Roe – Constructability – Static Compensation VARs on AI-RL

Here are comments from interested parties:

New Jersey Sierra Club Letter – AI-RL Xmsn

New Jersey BPU and Rate Counsel Letter AI-RL Xmsn

Delaware “Public Advocate” Letter – AI-RL Xmsn

Northeast Transmission (LS Power) Letter AI-RL Xmsn

Atlantic Grid Letter AI-RL Xmsn

PEPCO & Exelon Letter AI-RL Xmsn

Dominion Letter AI-RL Xmsn

In the News Journal today:

Indecision remains on power line route

The nuclear power plants across the Delaware River in New Jersey need their electrical reliability and transmission capabilities strengthened, say officials at the regional grid management company, PJM Interconnection.

But PJM officials, environmentalists and power transmission companies are locked in an ongoing disagreement over the best way to do that. They are considering various options for a costly crossing of the river to a Delaware substation, but a Delaware official said the state’s ratepayers run the risk of shouldering the burden of a project that would mainly benefit people in other states.

The idea of the project was to allow the three nuclear power units to generate the most power possible, and to simplify transmission operations, said Ray Dotter, PJM spokesman.

Developers were invited to make proposals to fix the problem, resulting in 26 proposals in all. In June, PJM staff recommended to its board of directors a PSE&G proposal for an 18-mile, 500 kilovolt power line that crosses the Delaware River next to an existing power line. The crossing would lead to the Red Lion substation near Delaware City.

It was the first example of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s order requiring competition for transmission projects. That, Dotter said, means someone other than the local utility can propose and build a transmission project to solve a problem.

PSE&G officials in June said they expected final approval from the PJM board in July. PSE&G estimated the project would cost between $280-320 million. The costs of the project would be spread out among all PJM customers.

In choosing PSE&G, PJM staff rejected an alternative plan by LS Power to construct a 230 kv line through Delaware, crossing the river at a new substation directly across from the nuclear power plants.

But at the July meeting, the PJM board declined to endorse its staff’s recommendation. The board did not explicitly state a rationale. It sent a letter to the four finalist developers, stating: “To ensure a thorough and fair review, given the complexities of the issues, the Board has determined that it will take the matter under advisement and defer a selection at this time.”

The board invited the finalists to revise their proposals. The finalists, besides PSE&G and LS, are Transource and Dominion.

The Delaware Public Advocate has supported the 500 kv line, and was concerned the 230 kv line proposal would saddle Delaware ratepayers with the cost of construction, citing PJM transmission tariffs.

“We just thought that was enormously unfair for the Delaware ratepayers,” said Ruth Ann Price, deputy public advocate. The proposal made by PJM staff was expensive but ultimately cost effective in that it addressed the problem, Price said.

Maya van Rossum, who directs the Delaware Riverkeeper Network, said in a letter to PJM that the PSE&G option is “very damaging environmentally, and not just to one ecological resource, but to hundreds.” The crossing would require dredging, filling and pilings, which she said would harm water quality and hurt endangered species of fish.

“The development that this option would require will most certainly transform forested wetlands to a less productive condition,” she wrote.

Rep. John Kowalko, D-Newark, said he was concerned about the environmental impacts of PSE&G’s proposal, and urged public hearings. He said the advocate’s office had weighed in too soon.

Delaware Public Service Commission spokesman Matt Hartigan said: “We feel it’s premature to express an opinion regarding the ultimate result of PJM’s decision making process. Having said that, Staff does have concerns with the high cost of any new transmission project, the potential environmental impacts and the economic impact on Delaware ratepayers.”

Karen Johnson, PSE&G spokeswoman, said the company remains “hopeful that the PJM board will make a decision soon and approve our proposal.”

Contact Aaron Nathans at 324-2786 or anathans@delawareonline.com.

Overland Comments on Zip Rail

August 22nd, 2014

ZipRail_Train

Today’s the day — Comments on the Zip Rail are due RIGHT NOW!  Just filed mine and Alan Muller filed his:

Overland_Zip Rail Comment

How about you?

Passenger Rail Corridor Investment Plan and Tier 1 EIS

At long last, here it is — only took a gazillion phone calls, emails, and finally a Data Practices Act Request…

TA-DA!!!

The Goodhue County Silica Sand Mining Ordinance 1,000 foot set back from Public Waters:

1000_BlufflandEco_MEFsetback – BIG map, can enlarge for great detail!

1000FtSetbackPublicWaters

PacMtg

Last night was the Goodhue County Planning Advisory Committee.  On the Agenda was the new Solar Ordinance, something we need to get moving on, but which needs work.

Here are the Comments I sent, though not until 2:50 p.m. yesterday:

Cover_and_Overland_Comments

FERC Order Terminating GIAs  ER14-1719-000_H061

FERC Order Terminating GIAs ER14-1684-000-5_H062

There was an open house before hand, and then the PAC meeting and a hearing on it.  This was a noticed “Public Hearing,” the purpose of which is to take comments on the Proposed Ordinance, not the price of solar, or interesting new designs, but on their proposed Ordinance.  There were a few commentors, most of whom had energy infrastructure siting experience.  Everyone was on point and specific, and it didn’t last all that long.

Bernie Overby was being his usual inciteful self — someday soon, Bernie, we’ve got to have a chat about what your nephew is hauling with the lime green large car and that shiny steel trailer.

But in deliberations and discussion, Dan “Wrongzigel” started with a low key rant about the number of comments and the detail (hello?  We’re supposed to be commenting on the specific Ordinance, anything else would be off point!) as if that’s a problem, and then goes off about the U.S. Constitution and how it’s vague, doesn’t even specify the number of Supreme Court justices, and then there’s Russia trying to control everything down to the last detail, “and guess who’s still around.”  So was the implication that attention to detail means collapse, that we commentors are Communists, that there’s too much information for him to handle, too much effort to fill in the blanks, that considering issues raised might slow down his steamroller, or ??  What do you mean, Dan?

Rechtzigel2a.pdf

And these comments from a teacher who “teaches classes such as Honors American Government… [who] takes great pride in bringing government into his classrooms.“  Wrongzigel’s taken some notes and proceeds to diss almost every comment, one by one, waving it away with his hand, towards Bernie, saying “we can deal with that in the CUP.”  And he even argued against setting some guidelines for how much ag land could be taken out of production by saying,”we’re for preserving agriculture, not preserving ag land.”  This, Mr. Wrongzigel, is a topic for some discussion — what exactly do you mean?  What’s the race to get this Ordinance through?  Whose interest are you representing?

And Dan, on August 18, 2014, looking at the state of our Constitution, can you really “guess who’s still around.”

Ferguson police shooting

Yeah, right, Dan, look around… our Constitution has been shot full of holes…  Yesterday was not the day to make such a bizarre statement!