The thing about purging files, business files, client files, which I try to do every year, is that going through, separating out the Non-Public, confidential, financial info, and whatnot, it means living through whatever it was all over again. Lots of appellate briefs, most are online now… piles of electrical studies that contrast the need claims, studies and files that no-one has anymore, and which show the lie of the upcoming transmission build-out and the one before15-20 years ago (CapX 2020 anyone??).

The rationale remains the same, sell energy to anyone anywhere, from any Point A to any Point B, whether it is coal, or whether it is wind or solar, keep us tied to central station power, pushing distributed generation out of consideration. Right now, Xcel is selling 1,500 MW “excess capacity” on the MISO market (from Xcel’s 2022 SEC 10-K filing):

Arrowhead-Weston, a Minnesota Power and ATC transmission project circa 1999, closely followed by NSP/Xcel’s SW Minnesota 345kV (PUC Docket 01-1958), leading up to the CapX 2020 transmission build-out, based on a bogus claim of 2.49% annual growth See No CapX 2020), when reality shows:

From the CapX 2020/Grid North Partners site:

The completed CapX2020 projects include:

  • Bemidji-Grand Rapids 230 kV project – Minnesota, 70 miles, completed in 2012 (view overview map)
  • Big Stone South-Brookings County 345 kV project – South Dakota, 70 miles, completed in 2017 (view overview map)
  • Brookings County-Hampton 345 kV project – Minnesota, 250 miles, completed in 2015 (view overview map)
  • Fargo-St. Cloud-Monticello 345 kV project – North Dakota, 238 miles, completed in 2015 (view overview map)
  • Hampton-Rochester-La Crosse 345/161 kV project – Minnesota, 156 miles, completed in 2016 (view overview map)

… to be followed by “CapX 2050” now “Grid North Partners.” They say, “We have no new projects planned at this time but…” take a look at MISO “Tranche 1” map:

Yes, there are MANY new large transmission projects in the works, and as we know, “it’s all connected.” See PUC Dockets CN-22-131; CN-22-416; CN-22-532; CN-22-538; etc. Perhaps they don’t want us to connect the dots, but again, “it’s all connected.”

It’s hard to remember the Arrowhead Transmission Project, though good times and bad… they built it, of course, despite their post 1998 blackout histrionic claims of “We’re going to freeze in the dark in an incubator/on a respirator, without a job,” and all the witnesses were asked, “Where were you the night of June 25, 1998? Minnesota Power/ATC made those bogus claims although the study showed that it was utility created, that the King-Eau Claire-Arpin line was overloaded, they had warning and in violation of the system standards did not reduce bulk power transfers, they had warning that the system was collapsing, and they focused on an adjacent line and not the source of the problem, so the system crashed and did it for them, separating from the Eastern Interconnect. From the report, in full below, the summary, the admission that it was system operator caused through overloading and ignoring the warnings:

And more specifically, overloading King-Eau Claire-Arpin at 1048MW when 775 was the limit:

Another summary from the report (and see also the description, starting on p. 44 of report, 54 of pdf):

Turns out something similar happened the year before:

Make that TWO somethings with the warning that was not heeded:

This “institutional history” is important to remember as we go forward, particularly as the need case was

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