Brainfart today while working on Data Requests.

NextEra’s Grant County Solar Energy Center Citizen Concerns and Their Justifications

If you’re wanting to site solar on land, rather than on rooftops, wouldn’t transmission easements be a logical place to site solar?

Some lines have distribution underbuilds for convenient interconnection, and many have distributions crossing at various points, for convenient interconnection.

Trees have been cleared, and clearances should be sufficient to allow for low arrays.

Why not? Do tell…

From wind siting, I know that siting decisions are often backwards, and with solar, that is certainly the case. They get the land first, and then figure out how to connect. Distributed solar isn’t even considered, siting near load isn’t even considered. There are better ways to do this.

Here are the City of Red Wing documents for the “Truth in Taxation” public hearing scheduled for Monday at 6 p.m., with City Council meeting immediately following.

4A. 2021 Levy and Budget Materials. 
Council is asked to review the proposed budget resolutions and fee ordinance and consider motions to adopt.

1. Consider Motion to Adopt * Resolution No. 7577 Approving the City of Red Wing’s 2021 Collectible Tax Levy. 4A.1 – Attachment

2. Consider Motion to Adopt * Resolution No. 7578 Approving the City of Red Wing’s Fiscal 2021 Budget and Capital Improvement Program. 4A.2 – Attachment Part 1 4A.2 – Attachment Part 2

3. Consider Motion to Adopt * Resolution No. 7579 Approving the Red Wing Port Authority’s 2021 Collective Tax Levy. 4A.3 – Attachment

4. Consider Motion to Adopt * Resolution No. 7580 Approving the Red Wing Port Authority’s Fiscal 2021 Budget. 4A.4 – Attachment

Let the City Council and Mayor know we need the primary documents to be able to make meaningful comments.

Contact all City Council Members and the Mayor via email. 
Contact Administrative Business Director Marshall Hallock

Notice is out, next Monday there’s the Truth in Taxation Public Hearing:

Truth in Taxation

Public Hearing

Virtual Meeting

Monday, December 7, 2020 beginning @ 6 p.m.

Meeting Link

But wait… there’s an agenda, but THERE ARE NO DOCUMENTS, NO MEETING PACKET, NO UPDATED BUDGET PROPOSAL.

Here’s the City of Red Wing’s budget page.

The most recent version is from October:

Budget Workshop – October 28, 2020

Meeting Video
Agenda and Materials

AFCL’s MERA suit dismissed

November 29th, 2020

The judge’s Order arrived, and it’s disappointing, to put it mildly.

The judge’s decision focused on the belief that these matters had been litigated in another forum, so we couldn’t do it again. Litigated? Intervention is not necessarily litigation, though certainly AFCL intervened in the Freeborn Wind docket, and certainly did not in the Plum Creek, Three Waters or Buffalo Ridge dockets. And in this District Court proceeding, Lisa Agrimonti let me know that another attorney would be lead in this case, that their firm was putting a “litigator” on it. Hmmmm, Agrimonti’s not a litigator, and put Alethea Huyser on the job, so the firm admits that what we, Freeborn Wind and AFCL, were doing in those dockets was not litigation, right, I get it… uh-huh… sigh…

How do we deal with these systemic problems in wind siting? 25 years and still no rules? Setbacks aren’t sufficient to prevent noise standard violations and people need to leave their homes to be able to sleep, so far two families reached settlements and buyouts to get away from noisy turbines. Wind projects pay out for blinds so people can sit in the dark, or suggest going to Florida, to avoid shadow flicker inflicted on them. At the PPSA Annual Hearing last week, the DOT said it wants the 250 foot setback from roads reevaluated. The Public Utilities Commission has actual and constructive notice of these problems for years, yet nothing happens…

Let’s see… rulemaking Petitions denied over and over. The only time we’ve had a contested case, the judge recommended denial because developer had not demonstrated compliance with noise standard, and recommended a lower number of hours as “acceptable” for shadow flicker.

Once more with feeling — the ONLY time, the FIRST time, in Minnesota history where there was a contested case on a wind siting permit, the only time it could arguably be said the issues were “litigated,” the ALJ recommended that the permit be denied!

WE WON!!! ALJ Recommend Freeborn Permit be DENIED, or…

May 14th, 2018

The PUC turned that around in a private settlement with the developer, excluding intervenors.

Freeborn? PUC upends ALJ’s Freeborn Wind Recommendation

September 21st, 2018

Now what… How many more complaints, how many more landowner settlements, before they fix this mess?

What’s the point of intervening, becoming a party? What’s the point of raising issues at the Power Plant Siting Act Annual Hearing (for 23 years)? What’s the point of over and over raising the systemic problems in the PUC’s wind siting? How do we work “within the system” when the system is broken?

From observers on the scene:

“Another day and another truck that didn’t make their turn. 3 semis in the ditch in 2 days. Might not be the drivers. Photos from today (yesterday) at dusk. Not too safe for residents.”

Road and driveway blocked. Some have had to wait 40+ minutes to be able to get to their homes!

Perhaps it’s time to terminate the existing road agreement and revise it!