“More heat, less sag”

March 4th, 2007

Yup, more heat, less sag, that’s something we all need, the industry fix for “50’s vintage conductors” and maybe it’s better than bag balm! With Capx2020 coming up, and with the Chisago line underway, I’ve got transmission on the brain, and you know they can’t build coal without transmission.

Back in the SW MN 345kV case, the “it’s for wind” NOT line, I’d subpoeaned 3M about its new conductor, probably spring of 2002, because Xcel was planning a high capacity line and I knew this ACCR composite conductor was coming down the pike. Both 3M and Xcel said they weren’t going to use it, and Xcel entered exhibits and testified about it — nope, they were NOT going to use it. Instead, they were going to use a high capacity ACSS:

ACSS – 345kV bundled 954 = 2085MVA

So now how about these CzpX2020 lines “from the coal fields” through Minnesota to Wicsonsin and points east?

Will the 2085MVA ACSS be enough or do they want even more to put even more coal on the wires? And there’s the cost to consider, so probably not — they haven’t got a market… but then again, there’s always the Minnesota ratepayers to pay for their bulk power wholesale transactions!

South Dakota has been looking at this market issue, because they’re realizing that they want to build all this coal and they want to build all this transmission, that pesky Minnesota is in the way, but more importantly, they get that there is no market and that they have to look at creating a market. They get that there’s plenty of electricity and I hope they’re getting that it’s not realistic to think that Wisconsin or Illinois would buy their electricity when there’s plenty right at home and without all that added transmission service and construction cost:

South Dakota Energy Infrastructure Authority – Energy Study 2007

SDEIA Electric Industry Interviews Report December 2006

So they get it — there’s a bit of a market problem. Hence the COALition – there’s Wind on the Wires and AWEA and their unsavory promotion of National Transmission Corridor through Minnesota, there’s RE-AMP and they’re working on “finding a way forward for coal.” Check p. 11 of this Executive Summary:

RE-AMP Executive Summary

Good idea… let’s bail out the coal industry… real good idea…

But they cannot do it without transmission. And we all know that CapX2020 really isn’t needed, but for this coal for export scheme — and that’s why they want to be excepted from providing the typical need data with their application:

Xcel/CapX2020 Request for Exemption

Comments on their outrageous “the rules don’t apply to US” assertions are due March 19, 2007 .

PUC Extension of Comment Period to March 19

The Comment period has been extended because Xcel/CapX2020 refuses to use the service list and serve parties on it and they were caught. Again. How dare they!!! How many times do I have to remind them? And what’s next, sue them about it — yeah, real effective use of time. But somebody with additional clout gave them what for and, WHEW, it’s extended.

Now about these high-capacity conductors…


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