December 12th, 2014
EEEEEEEEEE-HA! The NERC Report is out:
I love the NERC Report — the annual Long Term Reliability Assessment from the North American Electric Reliability Corporation. Why? Well, it’s a nice offset to the gloom and doom of the MTEP promotional pieces because NERC features tables like this:
What’s not to like about “NERC_Wide Demand: 10-Year Growth Rates (Summer and Winter) at Lowest Levels on Record” as a leading table?
Better yet, they go area by area, and show, even using utility provided data, that it’s not nearly as bad as the utilities claim in their hystrionic applications and testimony. Let’s look at the bottom line in the section about MISO (click on table for larger view):
NERC Reliability Assessment, p. 38 (or p. 46 of 115 pdf). Note how this is NOT scary histrionic data here?!?! Also note, they use coincident peak for forecasting, as they should. If I hear one more “non-coincident peak” being used, I shall scream!
Again, it’s the 2014 NERC Reliability Assessment. Check this out for a more rational view.
December 12th, 2014
It’s that time of year… the time that we get to tell the Public Utilities Commission what does and does not work about the Power Plant Siting Act. We’ve been doing it for years, 15 or so years, and have spent over a year now in a rulemaking on the PUC’s rules, Ch. 7849 (Certificate of Need) and Ch. 7850 (Power Plant & Transmission Siting) where some of these long complained of problems will be address (with any luck). And now, again, it’s time to reinforce those comments with another round of comments:
After the hearing, now officiated by an Administrative Law Judge (new as of a few years ago), a report is issued to the PUC and then ??? It used to go to the legislature, and it used to go to the EQB… guess I have to find out what happens now.
December 19, 2014 beginning at 9:30 a.m.
Public Utilities Commission
3rd Floor Large Hearing Room
121 – 7th Place East
St. Paul, MN 55101
Each of you who have experience siting and routing of large electric energy facilities — this is the time to weigh in. Remember that this is NOT project specific, it’s not about where a project goes of whether it does, but it’s about how the process works or doesn’t, so for example, it’s the time to let them know that notice isn’t being provided, or that witnesses should be sworn on oath so that testimony will be given more weight, etc. You can do it in person, and you can do it by filing comments.
Here is the Power Plant Siting Act, which governs the siting and routing of large energy facilities:
Here are some prior dockets (to access the entire docket, individual comments, etc., go to the PUC’s “SEARCH” site and plug in the docket numbers :
2006 Report to PUC – Docket 06-1733
2007 Report to PUC – Docket 07-1579
2008 Report to PUC - Docket 08-1426
2009 Report to PUC – Docket 09-1351
2010 Report to PUC – Docket 10-222
2011 Report to PUC – Docket 11-324
2013 Report – Docket 13-9650143-96999-01
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.