January 27th, 2015
January 22nd, 2015
Today we were before the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission, moi and my clients, Residents of Getty and Raymond Townships, asking that the Commission reconsider its permit amendment for the Black Oak and Getty wind projects:
Given Staff’s position, well:
So yeah, that was a unanimous refusal to reconsider, and then a unanimous vote to deny. But there was a ray of sunshine this morning! Chair Heydinger did indeed recuse herself.
Imagine living on the farm right there in the middle of this in Section 18? And it’s not “just” people who live there, but bald eagles too. We’ll see what US Fish & Wildlife has had to say, my FOIA request to them is slowly-at-a-snail’s-pace moving forward:
January 20th, 2015
Interesting letter arrived today:
It says that “DOE is contacting you because you submitted comment(s) related to cultural resources during the open NEPA public scoping period for the proposed GNTL project.”
So what does that mean? What’s involved? Sending info to them? Sending more Comments? Attending meetings? A free trip to D.C? A self-funded trip to International Falls in February?
“Consultation” is a term of art in federal permitting, and is required with all Indian tribes, of which there are several in the area of the project. In this case, they also specify “the State Historic Preservation Officer” and “the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation,” and also “certain individuals and organizations…”
Are “historical resources” all that they’re concerned about, is there a special category for “cultural resources?” Or are different people invited to consult on different categories?
And if this is something I want to do, and it is, I have to “include information about your demonstrated legal or economic relation to the undertaking” … (odd word, that)… ” or to properties potentially affected by the proposed GNTL project…”
January 15th, 2015
Notice just came out that our Motion for Reconsideration of Amendment of the Siting Permit, issued November 14, 2014, for the Getty and Black Oak wind projects is before the Public Utilities Commission on January 22, next Thursday:
The Commission will either do nothing, take it up and make no changes, or “Reconsider,” which could mean taking action then, or pushing it forward to revisit.
We were before them in the Certificate of Need docket a couple of weeks ago, where they were saying it’s a 78 MW project (and there’s an exemption to Commission reconsideration of a Certificate of Need if it’s under 80 MW, funny how that works). 78 MW? Yes, that’s what they say in their request for Extension of the In-Service Date:
And let’s look a little closer at potential impacts of this project:
What’s very strange about this project is that although the DNR has submitted numerous comments in the record, and although there are references to US Fish & Wildlife by Applicants in the ABPP, there are no USFWS comments in the record that I can find.
So I fired off a FOIA request to USFWS, and they weren’t real happy with it, so I fired off another a couple days ago:
Here are the project siting maps:
An off the cuff review of the map shows the following affected turbines in Getty, where turbines are located within a two mile radius of an eagle nest:
Section 7: Turbines 14 & 38;
Section 8: Turbine 35;
Section 16: Turbine 18, and Turbine 36 RD area affected;
Section 1: Turbines 19, 20 and 21.
A similar review of the affected turbines in Black Oak:
Section 1: Turbine 40;
Section 11: Turbine 17;
Section 12: Turbines 12, 13, 14 and 16;
Section 13: Turbine 11;
Section 14: Turbines 28, 9, 10;
Section 23: Turbine 29.
January 3rd, 2015
Delaware’s a small state, and it’s just the wrong shape for getting a good transmission map. Click the above one for a larger view, but it’s still hard to see. But check it out! Take a look at that black line, stretching from Red Lion down to Milford. That’s the 230 kV line that Delmarva Power wants to rebuild. If they play this as I think they will (please prove me wrong), they could use this “rebuild” to significantly increase transfer capacity, which given the withdrawal of the Mid-Alantic Power Pathway (MAPP) transmission project, that’s something to watch for.
Public meeting about transmission line rebuild
7 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 7, 2015
Odessa Fire Company
304 Main St., Odessa, Delaware
Hosted by Delmarva Power
There’s essentially no regulation of transmission in Delaware, a fact that’s hard to believe given the impacts and power associated with transmission. This project is intended to go right down an existing easement, but the original line was built 50 years ago, and there’s been a lot of development in Delaware since then. Look at the map, and there’s a lot of development right next to this transmission line. Do you think these folks know anything about this transmission plan? Do you think anyone along that easement is getting direct notice about this???
At first glance, a couple of things occur to me.
- Rebuild? As always, I want to know the details. they say it will still be at 230 kV. Let’s have the conductor specs, particularly. How big a conductor are they using, ACSR or ACSS or higher capacity? Will they be rebuild as a single or double circuit, and will it be bundled or not? Here’s the photo of the line, photo from Snooze Urinal, and it’s as it looks to me from driving under it numerous times on the way to/fro Port Penn:
Photo from The News Journal, delawareonline.com
- Use of existing easement or extending beyond? In their press release, there’s something disturbing about how they say they’re going to build this thing:
The replacement transmission line will be built along the eastern border of the existing right-of-way so that service will not be affected during construction. The original transmission line will be removed once the entire project is completed.
So looking at this photo above, it’s facing north, the H-frames are on the east side, the monopole on the west, and the News Journal report says:
How is that possible? The H-frames have been there a long time, and rather recently they added the monopole next to it. Now now this will be “built along the eastern border of the existing right-of-way.” EH? Here’s an example, at the intersection of Port Penn Rd. and the line, the “east” is on right on this photo/map (click photo for larger version):
This is what it looks like at the road, looking down the easement with home on the left:
And here’s another example, at the intersection of Pole Bridge Rd. and the transmission lines, also on the way to/fro Port Penn, note the new subdivision roads, Waterbird Lane and Marsh Hawk Court:
Here’s another at 955 Vance Neck Rd (the road is just to the south):
Let’s keep going further south along the easement. Here are homes along Old Corbett Rd. near the intersection of Hwy. 9 — note it’s turned around to fit better, the “easterly” direction they’ll build into is the area towards the homes:
Here’s another subdivision on the other side of Hwy. 9, and the homes along Middessa Drive:
Just a little further south, where the line turns southwesterly, the line is abutted by the homes on Mailly Drive and Corbit Sharp Drive:
Here’s what that easement looks like — build this new thing on the easterly border of the easement? I think not!
And this northern Red Lion to Milford section of the transmission “rebuild” terminates at the Cedar Creek substation, technically in Townsend:
Again, do you think these folks know anything about this transmission plan? Do you think anyone along that easement is getting direct notice about this???
Here’s Delmarva’s Press Release:
Here’s the report from the News Journal:
The bulk of this particular project will involve removing the towering H-frame double wood poles that currently support the line. Those poles will be replaced with single steel poles towering up to 140 feet above the landscape.
The new supports will be able to withstand 100 mph winds and will replace infrastructure that was built more than half a century ago. The new line will carry the same voltage, some 230,000 volts, as the old line.
The rehabilitation will not effect customer’s power supply. Though requirements of road crossing permits are not final, the company does not expect the project will necessitate any road closings, according to Frank Tedesco, spokesman for Delmarva.