September 28th, 2014
I’ve been saying this for so many years, that electric demand is down, down, down, and instead, Xcel Energy (and all the others) have been saying it’s going UP, UP, UP (even though Mikey Bull said years ago that they wouldn’t need power for a while), and they’re applying for and getting Certificates of Need for all these permits for utility infrastructure that are obviously designed to market and sell the surplus, and the Public Utilities pretends to be oblivious (I say “pretends” because I cannot believe they’re that unaware and uninformed.).
This is a must read:
Here’s the short version from Xcel:
2024 is expected to be about what it was back in 2007, the industry peak year. DOH! But note this — there’s a “small capacity surplus in 2016.” DOH!
And given the surplus which we’ve known has been present and looming larger, that’s why they then ask for withdrawal of the Certificate of Need for the Prairie Island uprate because it isn’t needed (and really, that was just what, 80 MW or so? Or 80 MW x 2 reactors, 160 MW?). If they don’t need that small uprate, why on earth would they need so much more?
But what do I know…
Hollydale Transmission Line was clearly not needed, and they withdrew that application…
CapX 2020 transmission was based on a 2.49% annual increase in demand, and for Hampton-La Crosse in part supposedly based on Rochester and La Crosse demand numbers, yeah right, we know better, but that was their party line. Again, DOH, it didn’t add up to needing a big honkin’ 345 kV transmission line stretching from the coal plants in the Dakotas to Madison and further east, but who cares, let’s just build it…
ITC MN/IA 345 kV line — the state said the 161 kV should be sufficient to address transmission deficiencies in the area, but noooooo, DOH, that wouldn’t address the “need” for bulk power transfer (the real desire for the line).
Here’s a bigger picture of the bottom line (I’m accepting this as a more accurate depiction, not necessarily the TRUTH, but close enough for electricity), keeping in mind that these are PROJECTIONS, and that they’re adding a “Coincident Peak adjustment” which should be included in the “peak” calculations):
Notice the only slight reduction in coal capacity, just 19 MW, nuclear stays the same, a 320 MW decrease in gas, a 128 MW reduction in Wind, Hydro, Biomass, which I hope includes garbage burners and the Benson turkey shit plant , slight increase in solar of 18 MW, and Load Management also a slight increase of only 80 MW. This is Xcel Energy with its business as usual plan, which has to go. We can do it different, and now is the time.
Will someone explain why we paid so much to uprate Monticello, and paid to rebuild Sherco 3?
From the archives:
October 20th, 2009
May 7th, 2013
September 17th, 2014
It’s final… that is, the FINAL meeting notice was just issued, one more go round on these draft rules for Certificate of Need (Minn. R. Ch. 7849) and Power Plant Siting Act (siting and routing of utility infrastructure) (Minn. R. Ch. 7850).
We’ve been at this for about a year and a half, maybe more, and to some extent we’re going round and round and round.
Here are the September 2014 drafts, hot off the press:
Send your comments, meaning SPECIFIC comments, not “THIS SUCKS” but comments on the order of “because of _______, proposed language for 7950.xxxx should be amended to say_______.” It’s a bit of work, but it’s important, for instance, the Advisory Task Force parts are important because we were just before the PUC on this last week, trying to reinforce that Task Force’s are necessary, despite Commerce efforts to eliminate and/or neuter them. That despite ALJ orders otherwise, the Final EIS should be in the record BEFORE the Public Hearings and Evidentiary Hearings (just lost a Motion to require this last month).
How can you comment? The best way is to fire off an email to the Commission’s staff person leading this group:
If you’re up to it, sign up on the PUC’s eDockets, and file your Comment in Docket 12-1246. If you’d like your comment filed there, and can’t figure it out, please send it to me and I’ll file it for you. It’s important that these comments be made in a way that the Commission will SEE, in a way that they cannot ignore, when this comes up before them.
September 1st, 2014
The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission is winding up its rulemaking on the Certificate of Need (Minn. R. Ch. 7849) and Siting/Routing (Minn. R. Ch. 7850) chapters. My clients Goodhue Wind Truth and North Route Group have been participating all along, and their experience with the Certificate of Need and Routing/Siting process has helped inform this record and we sure hope leads to more sensible and workable rules, AND increased public participation.
Now is the time to download and make your comments on what should be included, what’s included that’s important and needs to go forward, and what needs to be reworded.
Send Comments to:
- and/or post to the Rulemaking Docket. To do that go HERE to the eDocket Filing Page, register if you’re not registered (it’s easy and almost instant), and post to Docket 12-1246.
It’s highly likely that the LAST meeting of the PUC’s Rulemaking Advisory Committee will be September 24, 2014 (9:30 a.m. at the PUC, in the basement).
A few things that need work:
- Ch. 7849 & 7850: Need language mirroring statutory language regarding testimony by members of the public UNDER OATH (ALJs have refused to offer people opportunity to testify under oath, and PUC has stated that it makes a difference, “but were those statements made under oath” and if not, less weight.
- Ch. 7849: Advisory Task Forces need language of statute, and membership not limited to “local units of government.”
- Ch. 7849 & 7850: Transcripts available online — need to address this in rules and reporter contracts.
- Ch. 7849: Scoping and Alternatives — compare with Ch. 7850. Similar process?
- Ch. 7849.1450: When is it Commerce EER & DER
- Ch. 7849 & 7850 – timing should be similar for completeness review, etc.
- Ch. 7850: Public Meeting separate from Scoping Meeting (Public Meeting is to disseminate information, Scoping Meeting is for intake).
- Ch. 7850: Power Plant Siting Act includes “Buy the Farm.” Need rules regarding Buy the Farm.
Now is the time to review the drafts, above, and send in Comments. There may be, I hope there are, revisions released prior to the next meeting, but usually it happens just before, and there’s no time. So here’s where we are now, and Comments would be helpful.
August 17th, 2014
We’re working on the revisions of the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission rules for Certificate of Need (Minn. R. Ch. 7849) and for Routing/Siting (Minn. R. Ch. 7850), and it’s OH SO PAINFUL and tedious. But this is where it happens — the rules developed here will be presented to the PUC to release for public comment and adoption — and once they’re released, they can’t adopt rules that are significantly different, so realistically, there won’t be major changes. It’s now or never… this is where participation matters.
Our next meeting is Wednesday, August 20 from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. in the Commission’s Large Hearing Room in the Metro Square Building, located at 121 Seventh Place East, St. Paul, MN 55101. The PUC will provide refreshments.
FINAL MEETING – Wednesday September 24, from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
Please take a look at these rule drafts and send in your comments. Here are the latest drafts.
The next meeting is this Wednesday, so not much time for review and comment. Comments can be sent to kate.kahlert [at] state.mn.us and/or posted in the PUC’s Rulemaking Docket, 12-1246. To see what all has been filed in that docket, go to PUC SEARCH DOCKETS PAGE and search for 12-1246 (“12″ is the year, “1246″ is the docket number).
August 6th, 2014
Thanks to John Blair, Valley Watch and Bruce Nilles for the heads up on this IGCC project settlement. We fought off one here, the Excelsior Energy Mesaba Project, which took a lot of people, a lot of groups, a lot of approaches and a lot of coalition, and thanks to all, we do not have a coal gasification plant in Minnesota.
What’s disturbing is that they get to run this boondoggle $5.2 billion dollar project (initially billed as $2.6 billion) at all, though they are shutting down older coal plants and converting to natural gas. It’s the most expensive power plant in history, and guess who’s paying for it?