Be there or be square — transmission open houses in eastern Iowa near Dubuque and southwestern Wisconsin near Cassville.

Monday, May 16 –
Peosta Community Center
7896 Burds Road
Peosta, IA 52068

Tuesday, May 17 –
Pioneer Lanes
1185 US (Business) 151
Platteville, WI 53818

Wednesday, May 18 –
Deer Valley Lodge
401 West Industrial Drive
Barneveld, WI 53507

Thursday, May 19 –
Deer Valley Lodge
401 West Industrial Drive
Barneveld, WI 53507

Where’s Art Hughes when you need him??

Art Hughes has died…  March 31st, 2009

Days before he died, Art Hughes was testifying in Peosta against an ITC transmission line heading east to Peosta, here’s the photo from that hearing, and the article about it is in the “Art Hughes has died…” link above.

arthughes_PeostaAnd now they’re doing another round of open houses, yesterday in Peosta, IA.  Wherefore Art thou?  Well, Art, where are you?  I guess they remember him, because this time it’s “open house” and not a meeting/hearing.  These “open houses” are held by ATC, ITC, and Dairyland about its plan for the Cardinal-Hickory Creek Transmission Project.  This project is the southern part of the “5” project on the MISO MVP project map below, from the Hickory Creek substation (near Dubuque) to the Cardinal substation (near Madison)(the northern part of 5 is the Xcel/ATC Badger Coulee line).  It’s one of the transmission lines that fills in the 345 kV transmission gaps to enable North & South Dakota to Chicago bulk power transfer.

MVP portfolio mapOnce more with feeling: Open House Schedule — each starts at 4 p.m. and goes until 7 p.m. (hello, ITC, it’s planting season, how convenient!):

Monday, May 16 –
Peosta Community Center
7896 Burds Road
Peosta, IA 52068

Tuesday, May 17 –
Pioneer Lanes
1185 US (Business) 151
Platteville, WI 53818

Wednesday, May 18 –
Deer Valley Lodge
401 West Industrial Drive
Barneveld, WI 53507

Thursday, May 19 –
Deer Valley Lodge
401 West Industrial Drive
Barneveld, WI 53507

 

 

A shindig has been announced, at which Xcel Energy will unveil its plans, the options it has deemed “alternatives” to the Hollydale Transmission Project.

Xcel Energy’s Hollydale “Open House”

May 25, 2016 from 12-2 p.m. and 4-7 p.m.

Medina Ballroom

500 Highway 55

Medina, Minnesota

Heard some time ago that this was in the works, and made a scheduling request, overtly received with intent to schedule around time I could not attend… well, so much for that.  Gee, thanks, folks!  PPPPPPPPPFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFBT!

Now, on to the Hollydale Transmission Project.  This is the project that Xcel withdrew, because it was apparent that it wasn’t needed… well, Xcel would never admit that, but it was going down in flames:

Xcel and Great River pull the plug on Hollydale applications

 

This is a project that was first applied for in 2011, 5 years ago!  That project was a plan to run a 115 kV transmission line through Plymouth and Medina to a substation way to the west, when the “problem” was increased demand along 694 and Hwy. 55.  DOH!  What’s not to object to!  Here’s what they’d originally proposed:

Untitled

So after the project was withdrawn, without prejudice (they can re apply), they embarked on a “study” to determine options.  That was so long ago…

For ages, they’ve been saying they’re working on this report, and have been saying “it’s not finalized” (this is NOT rocket science, it’s only engineering and transmission planning and PR spin, what takes so long?  I guess it takes this long to come up with justifications and twist the data to make it look reasonable and needed?).

Compliance Filing_July 2015_20157-112044-01

Compliance Filing_April2016_20164-119743-01

From that April Compliance Filing, here’s their plan for this meeting:

OpenHousePlanIt would help to be able to review the “study.”  So I left a message with Xcel Energy at 612-330-6644, the number provided on the meeting notice (no name, but I presumed Tom Hillstrom is still in charge of this) asking for the study.  Because I got voicemail, I also called the attorney assigned to this:

herring_river

No “little birdie” here, and something’s fishy — no “study” is forthcoming to study because “it is not finalized yet.”  Sent an email to Plymouth@xcelenergy.com with the same request.  Oh please… it has been YEARS!  Pretty tough to argue for any of your “options” when you don’t have anything to back it up!

manurespreader2

My clients are on the Medina end of this, and each project blurb notes that “The existing 69 kV transmission line west of the Hollydale Substation will remain unchanged on all three of these alternatives”

Here’s the three they’re proposing:

View Alternative A Map (PDF)

View Alternative B Map (PDF)

View Alternative C Map (PDF)

Alternative C what looks to be the worst one of the three — to energize the existing 69 kV line through this Plymouth subdivision, much of which is directly over a walkway/bike path:

View Alternative C Map (PDF)

AlternativeCAnd once more with feeling, Xcel says that “The existing 69 kV transmission line west of the Hollydale Substation will remain unchanged on all three of these alternatives.”  GOOD!  But… will that hold true for the foreseeable future?  What’s the “Long Term Conceptual Plan” on the maps?  That’s why I want to see this study, because past experience with Xcel Energy is that once they propose something, they work it until they get it, one way or another.

From the Xcel “Plymouth Project” site:

elevatordownOnce again, Xcel Energy’s demand is down.  From Seeking Alpha’s Transcript of Xcel’s 1Q Earnings Call (click on the quote for the full transcript):

Turning to our sales results, although the economy in our region remains strong and we continue to add customers, our weather-adjusted electric sales declined by 0.3%. Further adjusting for the impact of an extra day of sales in the quarter due to leap year, our weather-adjusted electric sales actually declined by 1.4%. The decline in sales is largely driven by lower use per customer from energy efficiency, an increase in the number of multi-family units, the impact of distributed solar and the impact on consumption of lower oil and natural gas prices on some of our larger customers.

As a result, we have lowered our full-year electric sales growth assumption to 0.5% from 0.5% to 1% range. We continue to expect positive sales growth for the full year in all jurisdictions, due to customer growth as well as planned expansion from some of our larger customers.

After Xcel’s decreased demand last year, well, let’s just say I love it when this happens:

XcelPeakDemand2000-2015Or more specifically:

2015-Xcel Peak Demand Chart9,327?  I think not…

Remember how off Steve Rakow, Minnesota Dept. of Commerce, tried to pass off the most incredible chart?  This was during the CapX 2020 Certificate of Need when the record was showing there just wasn’t going to be that 2.49% peak demand increase that the project relied on.  Rakow was allowed to enter this bogus chart:

rakownapkindemandRakow tried to convince us, and did convince the ALJ and Commission, that Xcel Energy’s demand was going up, it was “just a blip” and demand would increase sufficiently high to justify CapX 2020 transmission!  What a crock…

Meanwhile, even Xcel Energy admits that demand remains down, and with this Earnings Call, dropped its projection.  As Xcel’s Ben Fowkes said recently, I think at the year end call, this is the “new normal.”

Are earnings calls transcripts entered into the rate case record?

XcelLogoBanner

The Public Utilities Commission has approved the Public Hearing Notice for the Xcel Energy Rate Case to be included in bills and publicized where ever.  We’ve got some notice to get prepared:

PublicHearingSchedule

Lo and behold, there’s one scheduled for Red Wing!!  Thanks for small favors…

What are the issues in the rate case?  Check the docket by going HERE TO PUC SEARCH DOCUMENTS PAGE, and search for docket 15-826.

A couple of things you might find interesting, I did, are some of the Direct Testimony filings.

2A2_Multi-Year Rate Plan – Burdick_201511-115332-02

2C2_Xmsn_Benson_201511-115335-03

In addition to whining about the grid being only 55% utilized (ummm, yes, we knew it wasn’t needed, but you went ahead and built it and now want us to pay through the nose, or other orifices, for your transmission for market export?  ppppppbbbbbbft!), here’s the issue — prices have fallen, the market is down, down, down, and we’re conserving, using less, and so now they want us to pay more to make up for it, oh.  Recap:  Xcel Energy wants us to pay for the transmission over our land for their private profit, they want us to pay more because we’re using less, and they want us to make up for their poor business decisions… yeah, great idea.

Figure2

This rate case and rate increase request is in large part transmission driven.  Xcel wants to move from cost based rates to formula rates, and they want to shift transmission costs from the Construction Work in Progress recovery that was part of the deal leading to the 2005 Ch 97 – Transmission Omnibus Bill from Hell, with transmission perks, CWIP and Transmission Only Companies.

And then there’s the e21 Initiative, Xcel Energy’s effort leading up to the 2015 legislative session, and it seems that with the exception of AARP, only those who signed on to the e21 “Consensus” are allowed to intervene.

e21_Initiative_Phase_I_Report_2014

Great…

KeepOut1

Lo and behold, there’s a public hearing scheduled for Red Wing!!  Thanks for small favors…  Mark the hearings on your calendar and show up.  Before hand, do a little reading!

KeepOut2

 

gavel

WOW… can you believe??  It’s not just me, it’s not just denial of Intervention of No CapX 2020.  See 20162-118122-01_Denial2_Overland-NoCapX Intervention.

Intervention as a party in this Rate Case is only open to those who sold out to Xcel Energy and it’s “business plan” agenda of e21.

This is the most recent Order in the Xcel Energy Rate Case:

Order Denying Intervention – SunShare & ILSR

Here are their Intervention Petitions:

ILSR_Intervention_20164-120145-01

SunShare_Intervention_20164-120144-01

To see the full Rate Case docket, go to the PUC’s Search Documents page, and search for Docket 15-826.

And the Order… Dig this, parroting Xcel’s objections:

Order1

And this, even worse, as if the interests of the “Clean Energy Organizations” who bought into, stumped for, and sat quietly during the legislative hearings about Xcel Energy‘s e21 Initiative are the same as the interests of SunShare and Institute for Local Self-Reliance – ILSR:

Order2

This is SO offensive.  There is no consideration that the perspectives are different, only statements that the issues, the concerns, are the same.

The late, great Myer Shark, rate case Intervenor extraordinaire, would spin in his grave at the limitations of participation in this rate case.

Myer Shark, Lawyer Who Fought Utility, Is Dead at 94

In the Matter of the Complaint by Myer Shark, et al …