January 30th, 2007
Question of the Day: WHAT DOES CAPX2020 WANT NOW?
Here’s my House Energy presentation that didn’t happen:
Once more with feeling… Question of the Day: WHAT DOES CAPX2020 WANT NOW?
CAPX 2020 for RES??? Streamlining?
Exempt from what… Certificate of Need?
I don’t think so… Over my dead polar bear!
Why are they before the legislature? Didn’t they get it all in the 2005 transmission bill? Other than an exemption from all regulation and review — so that must be what they want, eh? No Renewable Electricity Standard without more transmission?
I’m really tired of these “little bit of wind for noxious generation” deals…
Minutes of October 19 2006 MAPP NM-SPG meeting state:
Ed Weber noted that the Coalition coal generator location is expected to be announced sometime early in 2007.
Anyone want to put any $$$ on that one?
It’s time to effectively deal with the transmission lies of Wind on the Wires, and their agreements with NSP/Xcel that grew from the 2002 SW Minnesota 345kV case. To watch Beth Soholt represent that proceeding to legislators as one where they got conditions to the Certificate of Need that would limit coal (a logical and legal impossibility) and as one where landowners were behind it because they got something out of it, that’s too much. Their entire purpose is to promote transmission, and they’ve done a good job of it. It has nothing to do with the public interest, nothing positive, that is, and has everything to do about the purposes of the Wind on the Wires grant — it’s a grant, not an organization, it’s just like the Great Plains coal work group — they’re paid to promote transmission.
For years, Soholt as Izaak Walton staff, and Matt Schuerger as ME3 staff, were attempting to gain SEED buy-in. They advocated for transmission in other venues too, promoting transmission generally, weakening of state jurisdiction and strengthening of federal jurisdiction, alteration of criteria for Certificate of Need particularly toward a regional focus — how is any of this in the public interest? How is any of this within the mission of the Izaak Walton League? Within the mission of ME3? Do their constituents know what they’re doing?
The sell-out by Minnesota’s so-called “environmental” groups has been apparent for a long time, starting with the Izaak Walton League and ME3, and including Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy and George Crocker’s North American Water Office on the deal for the SW Minnesota 345kV line. That sell-out was codified in the 2005 Transmission Omnibus Bill from Hell. My awareness of it began a couple of days before September 6 or 8, 2001, months prior to the filing of the SW MN 345kV Application, when Beth Soholt and Matt Schuerger asked six or seven of us potential intervenors to sell out on the line, errrrr… to “approve” of the line. At the time, Beth was working for Izaak Walton League and I think Matt was still with ME3 (he’s now contracting with the state). The perceived problematic potential intervenors were myself, the only attorney of the group, Bill Neuman, Sig Anderson, Dan Juhl, George Crocker and Dave Benson (two others have agreed to sign affidavits about this meeting). I’d requested the SW transmission study, which I still have, and was up at 6 that morning to review it. What was obvious to me was that when they listed generation waiting that required the line, it was coal, a big long list (see SW MN/SE SD Transmission Study, Section 7.2, p. 29-30). Soholt’s and Schuerger’s line was that it was needed for wind, but a 345kV line doesn’t do a thing for wind — yet that 345kV part was what they were insistent about. Wind interconnects, even large projects, to at most a 115kV line, well, logically it could connect to anything, but there’s not enough in one spot to justify the size of the line that was proposed, 2,085 MVA capacity, and the cost for wind to interconnect to that is prohibitive. The 345kV line ran from Sioux Falls (Split Rock) to Lakefield Junction, with just one interconnect from Buffalo Ridge, at Nobles. At that substation, the powerflows show that there’d be 213-302MW coming off of Buffalo Ridge, a very small percentage of the capacity of the line. At the time, I asked about Big Stone II, the logic user of that transmission. I pointed to the list of coal plants in the draft study, and asked what would limit that 345kV line from being used as the logical purveyor of coal, and he got snippy and pissy, and of course had no answer. I also said that obviously they were getting something, and were they willing to share? And got another pissy snippy answer, he threatened to walk out of the meeting again, hey, please do! I was there for the duration to find out what was up, and what struck me most was the “B squad” nature of the approach, there was no sell, no offer of anything that would justify selling out on that line. All they did was alert me to their selling out and promotion of that line and the importance of stopping that line because it really would facilitate coal.
Right after that came the Buffalo Ridge Transmission Plan, designed to address REAL wind collection and integration into the grid, and to expose the lie of the 345kV line. In disgust at the Soholt/Schuerger proposal, it was clear another means of achieving wind development was needed, and here it is:
I’ve got to dig up my notes here… this will be a multi-part piece.