Here we go, the Green Transmission Machine is here and is trying to leave the station, and what a crock.  ITC Holdings, transmission only company a la TRANSLink, has announced “The Green Power Express” and here’s their press release:

ITC Holdings – Green Power Express Press Release

And look at this map, here it is:

Microsoft PowerPoint - 090105 Green Power Express.ppt

Once again, they’re saying “it’s GREEN” from wind in Dakotas to Chicago… oh, but doesn’t it start in ANTELOPE VALLEY?  Isn’t that where all those coal plants are?  Isn’t that where they want to build new coal plants?  And isn’t Illinois the state where they have thousands of MW of wind in the MISO queue?  And for this we should give them $10-12 BILLION to build this?  I don’t think so…

Green Power Express – FERC Rate Filing

And while you’re at it, this is MTEP, so check this out the JCSP/MTEP plan:

JCSP08 Executive Summary

Here’s the upshot of what they’re proposing:


All of this is tied in with the “Upper Midwest Transmission Development Initiative” which is a bunch of utility transmission oriented folks who have a lot to gain from this, Governors lead by Pawlenty the utility toadie, and regulators who don’t seem to be able to think their way out of a box — they’re promoting transmission without addressing need, claiming a transmission solution for a problem that doesn’t exist:


FEBRUARY 11, 2009

1:30-3:00 p.m.

PUC Large Hearing Room

3rd Floor

121 – 7th Place East

St. Paul, Minnesota

What dries me crazy is that this so obviously isn’t necessary, because there’s SOOOOO much wind already in Illinois and here’s the MISO queue, in Excel and sortable, for your edification:


Here’s an ILL WIND for this project, sorted from above MISO Queue (note that some of that 11,281MW is already in service):


But this is all about the MISO Midwest Market and displacing natural gas with coal:

ICF Final Deck – PowerPoint

ICF’s Independent Assessment of Midwest ISO Operational Benefits

In Milwaukee Journal Sentinal:

$10 billion transmission lines for wind power

Here’s the STrib article about the Green-with-Nausea Power Express:

Huge power line may be coming to Minnesota


February 10, 2009

A massive high-voltage power line that would connect the wind turbine farms along Buffalo Ridge and points west to the Midwest’s biggest cities was unveiled Monday.

ITC Holdings Corp. of Novi, Mich., announced Monday that a 765,000-volt line would run 3,000 miles across seven states, including Minnesota, the Dakotas, Iowa and Wisconsin, carrying power to the Chicago region and points east.

The project, dubbed the “Green Power Express,” would cost as much as $12 billion to transmit as much as 12,000 megawatts of power from windy, sparsely-populated areas.

Company officials touted the project as being line with the goals outlined by President Obama in his national energy agenda, specifically mentioning his desire “to get wind power from North Dakota to population centers, like Chicago.”

Nonetheless, the project is likely to face host of hurdles, starting with its cost and size, given the fact that power lines throughout the Upper Midwest have consistently sparked fierce opposition by local residents.

Further stressing its “green energy” credentials, the company estimated that hooking the wind farms into the region’s electric grid could lead to a reduction of up to 34 million metric tons of carbon emissions, which is equivalent to the annual emissions of as many as nine 600-megawatt coal-fired power plants.

ITC Holdings began the process of winning approval of its plans Monday by filing an application with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. It is likely to also need to pass regulatory hurdles from individual states that the power line would cross.

4 Responses to “TRANSLink… er… “Green Power Express””

  1. kai Says:

    and the green blogs are already applauding it….

  2. Jeff CC Says:

    Hi Carol,

    Trenchant observation about “it all starting” at Antelope Valley.

    Some more fun: if these lines will displace nine 600 MW coal plants, hmmm. Assuming that the wind MW are one-for-one with coal MW, that’s a whopping 5,400 MW of wind for these transmission lines. Your handy link to the MISO queue shows 7,400 MW of wind projects in the queue in Illinois, with another 1,100 MW of wind projects in Illinois that have already been awarded interconnection agreements but haven’t been built yet.

    Still more fun: the $10-12 billion price tag for the transmission lines happens to equal the price tag of 5,400 MW of wind farms themselves. These wind farms would be twice as expensive as wind farms which don’t require any transmission!

    To me as a wind developer, this is all great news. More transmission outlet capacity, and huge PPA prices. As an energy efficiency proponent, it’s more great news; paybacks are going to become very short, when “low cost wind energy” costs 12 cents per kWh. What exactly is your problem with all this? 😉

  3. Carol A. Overland Says:

    Yup, starting “in wind rich areas” does NOT equal “it’s for wind,” which we all know can’t be specified under FERC.
    REPLACEMENT is NOT planned, if you think otherwise, SHOW ME!
    There are 11,281MW of projects in the MISO queue.
    Let’s see, spend $10-12 billion to build transmission for wind in Dakkota, oh, and coal too, and ship it to IL, where there are wind projects already waiting. How many wind projects could $10-12 billion build in Illinois? And exactly how “efficient” is xmsn? Yup, you’re right, this makes no sense!!!

  4. ClaudeB Says:

    Carol, you might want to check out the joint letter signed by the CEOs of ISO New England and NYISO in relation to the JCSP report.

    It looks like these transco bigwigs from the northeast have reached the same conclusions as you have in this post. The so-called “Green Power Express” is a piece of greenwashing, pure and simple. Here’s the money quote:

    We note that the report also assumes the development of new coal-fired generation in the Midwest
    without recognition of current and future restrictions on carbon emissions and their associated costs.

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