November 1st, 2014
There’s the Forbes article about American Wind Energy Ass (AWEA) advocating for this massive mess of new 765 kV lines.
Experts? Ummmm, AWEA? No, they are NOT transmission experts, they are only expert in doing what their masters pay them to do. Here’s their “vision” from a couple of years ago:
In Minnesota, there’s one paralleling the CapX 2020 line, then another cutting the state in two from Big Stone to the Metro, and another from Split Rock to Adams along I-90. Who the hell do they think they are to advocate for this overkill of transmission? And note that in the Dakotas, as always, they start at the big coal plants. Infrastructure like this is the best way to assure coal never shuts down, adding capacity instead of shutting coal down and using that capacity. And if they do it this way, then they can run our coal plants forever. Oh, right… this is the plan AEP supports.
First and foremost, remember that this is about economics — money and profit from building transmission and providing transmission service — the grid IS electrically reliable, so says NERC in its latest State of Reliability 2013 Report:
And here’s the NERC Report (one should be due out soon, used to be October, but they’ve pushed it back):
What strikes me is that so many are willing to believe that the electric grid is not “reliable” and are willing to attribute economic issues like “congestion” to claims that the system is not reliable. And then there’s their successful effort to shift cost allocation so that the generators no longer pay for transmission necessary to access and safely operate the grid. In the past, generators paid, but then in the gas plant surge over a decade ago, so many were built without transmission upgrades that we were in transmission deficit, evidenced in the 2001-2004 SW MN 345 kV Four Certificates of Need (MN PUC Docket 01-1958). Check this TLTG Table, click for a larger version:
For their 1-H option, the one that the enviros agreed to in this project, acquiesced to (remember, this was the project where they got a group together and asked “What would it take to support this project?”), the system starts out with a 1475 MW deficit. It’s not until they’ve fixed some long standing problems, such as the sagging Wilmarth line, and the FT. CALHOUN INTERFACE which is in the base case (!!!!), and after spending over $138 million including their wide ranging “base case” of necessary fixes, that they start actually adding some system capacity. DOH! Give me a break…
The real problem is failure to make those added generators pay for fixing the system impacts, and then the desire to add wind projects without making them pay for system impacts, and more importantly, of wanting to add wind on top of the existing coal generation, without removing the coal which would make plenty of room for wind. The price of their wanting to “find a way forward for coal.”
American Wind Energy Ass, how dare you. This one’s for you:
From AWEA’s 2012 IRS 990 (the most recent one on Guidestar), p. 25 and 29:
October 26th, 2014
For an update on Testimony filings last week, hop over to “Not-so-Great Northern Transmission” and check it out:
October 14th, 2014
One small step… and a giant leap! A transmission easement settled, and at more than twice the original offer. Yeah, we can live with that.
The troubling thing is that the appraisal didn’t really make sense, and they way they came to the appraisal amount didn’t add up. But despite that, the bottom line was good, so we’re not going to quibble.
Onward, heading up north for transmission hearings for the Not-so-Great Northern Transmission Line.
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.