Above, “JCSP,” the Joint Coordinated System Plan.



And they don’t give a rodent’s rump what we do with our transmission but THEY DO NOT WANT TO PAY FOR IT!


It’s not anything new, but it seems that the message is getting through all the way to Iowa.   Soon Minnesota? The message?  That the east coast does not want Midwest transmission, that they have their own renewables and not only that, they know that transmission from the Midwest means coal and, most importantly, THEY WILL NOT PAY FOR TRANSMISSION FOISTED UPON THEM.

The 7th Circuit case tossing out PJM’s cost apportionment scheme must be having an impact because everyone is freakin’ about cost allocation.  Again, GOOD!  The court said that PJM could not shove the costs of transmission on those who do not benefit from it:

Illinois Commerce Commission v. FERC – August 6, 2009

Enter the Coalition for Fair Transmission Policy, just launched today with a press conference in Washington, D.C.

Dig this from their site:

Assessment of National EHV Transmission Grid Overlay Proposals: Cost-Benefit Methodologies and Claims

HA!  I love it when that happens…

Here’s some background on our Midwest Transmission — transmission we don’t need and they don’t want:

JCSP & UMTDI in the news

This opposition to Midwest transmission is nothing new, I’ve entered documentation in the record in a couple of proceedings now, but what is new is that as of today’s “launch,” there’s now an industry group advocating against Midwest transmission, and that’s one utility interest I’m glad to see hopping mad as hell and not going to take it anymore!  GOOD!  Maybe that will help stop this stupid transmission-fest across the Midwest.

PUC Chair David Boyd had it right when he testified before Minnesota’s Legislative Energy Commission and led off with, “We need a business plan.”  Yes, that’s true, there is no business plan, and there is no MARKET for transmission.  I just hope that message gets through before “we” build and WE have to pay for all these wires in the air!

Here are a few recent posts of mine on this, followed by today’s article in the Des Moines Register.

Offshore transmission, NOT transmission from the Midwest

Eastern Governors stand up against transmission!

And today’s Des Moines Register article:

Eastern states balk at paying wind cost

By DAN PILLER • dpiller@dmreg.com • March 5, 2010

Much of the nation isn’t eager to help pay for a high-voltage transmission line to sell Iowa’s extra wind power to big markets east of the Mississippi River.

“If Iowa wants to build a transmission line for their energy, we have no objection. But Iowa or the Midwest should pay for it,” said Ian Bowles, secretary of energy and environmental affairs in Massachusetts. New England states want to produce their own wind energy from offshore farms.

A coalition of utilities in Eastern states will announce today their opposition to a 765-kilovolt transmission line, more than double the capacity of the current 345-kilovolt lines. The line would send electricity from the Dakotas, Iowa and Minnesota to Chicago and points east. Iowa is the nation’s second-largest producer of wind-generated electricity, behind Texas.

Such a transmission line won public support from President Barack Obama on his visit to Newton last April. It is a linchpin of the renewable energy policies of Gov. Chet Culver and Iowa’s largest electric utility, MidAmerican Energy of Des Moines.

Alliant Energy has its objections

Proposals by MidAmerican and ITC Holdings, which runs transmission lines in eastern Iowa, are considered the best chance for Iowa to reap a wind energy version of the financial windfall enjoyed by Texas and other oil- and gas-producing states.

But as wind energy becomes bigger and more corporate, the utility industry is divided even in Iowa.

Alliant Energy, which serves 525,000 customers in parts of northern, eastern and southern Iowa, has joined the newly organized Coalition for Fair Transmission Policy, which promises to fight a government-mandated transmission line from the Midwest.

“We don’t think the costs of transmission should be socialized,” said Alliant spokesman Ryan Stensland. Alliant’s wind energy production in Iowa is a fraction of MidAmerican’s.

Bruce Edelston, executive director for the Coalition for Fair Transmission Policy, said his group has formed to fight a proposal in the Senate to give the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission authority to site and assess costs for a wind transmission line.

“We don’t think it’s necessarily a good idea to build a multistate transmission line,” said Edelston, whose group will hold a coming-out news conference today in Washington, D.C.

The Fair Transmission group represents companies serving 28 percent of U.S. electric customers, including utilities in New York City, Michigan, Indianapolis, New England, Pennsylvania, the Carolinas and Florida, New Jersey and Georgia.

Those states presumably would be among potential markets for the wind-generated electricity moved from the Dakotas, Minnesota and Iowa, which have the potential to produce far more wind energy than would be consumed there.

Other states have their own plans

While Iowa has speckled its countryside with wind turbines, other states have similar aspirations.

Atlantic seaboard states advanced plans for offshore wind farms, which they say would eliminate the need to ship wind-generated electricity from Iowa.

Michigan is studying a proposal for a wind farm in Lake Michigan, so it’s little surprise that two Michigan-based utilities are aligned with the Fair Transmission group.

MidAmerican Energy, already the largest investor-owned utility wind energy operator in the United States, recently won approval from the Iowa Utilities Board to add 1,000 megawatts more wind capacity to the 1,350 megawatts it already has. A megawatt can serve between 300 and 700 homes.

“Iowa leads the nation in growing corn and could lead the nation in providing wind energy,” said Dean Crist, vice president for regulatory affairs for MidAmerican Energy.

The extra 1,000 megawatts would add to MidAmerican’s surplus electricity production, which at times exceeds by 40 percent the normal demand of its 770,000 customers in Iowa.

MidAmerican earns extra money by selling that surplus to other utilities, which enables MidAmerican to freeze its residential rates for electric customers in cities including Des Moines, Waterloo, Davenport, Iowa City, Fort Dodge, Sioux City and Council Bluffs, through the end of 2013.

MidAmerican, in partnership with American Electric Power of Columbus, Ohio, is in the early planning stages to propose a multistate transmission line from Iowa headed east.

Such a transmission line would be new for the utility industry in the United States, which unlike railroads, airlines and oil and gas pipelines has historically confined its grid infrastructures within city limits or state boundaries.

Iowa energy officials say they knew going in that persuading the rest of the country to help pay for a transmission line wouldn’t be easy.

Roya Stanley, director of the Iowa Office of Energy Independence and Gov. Chet Culver’s representative on multistate electricity issues, recently told a gathering of Iowa municipal utility officials that “there is growing resistance to a multistate transmission line.”

“It comes down to who pays for it,” Stanley said, recounting rising difficulties in getting interstate agreements on cost-sharing for a transmission project.
Focus remains on unwanted costs

Darrell Hanson, an Iowa Utilities Board member who works with fellow electricity regulators from other states, has encountered the same blowback.

“If the only issue was just physically building the line, that would be easy,” Hanson said. “The difficulty is in figuring out how to share the costs. Nobody can do it alone.”

All isn’t lost for Iowa wind. MidAmerican’s planning group for its proposed Electric Transmission America line includes partner American Electric Power, which operates utilities in Ohio, and Exelon Corp., which owns utilities in Chicago and Philadelphia.

The cost of a multistate transmission line from the Midwest to the East Coast is unknown, but estimates begin at $20 billion.

An early assumption has been that more than two dozen states would share the costs in a manner similar to the way the entire United States shared in the cost of building the interstate highway system a half-century ago.

But Bowles, the Massachusetts energy secretary, rejects the comparison of an electric transmission line to the interstate highway system.

“There was an immediate economic benefit to the interstates,” he said. “There is no economic benefit to a transmission line unless someone wants to buy electricity from it. Many states like ourselves plan to become self-sufficient in renewable energy.”

2 Responses to “DUH… eastern states don’t want our transmission”

  1. Legalectric » Blog Archive » Windup to ELPC Transmission Strategy meeting Says:

    […] be promoting transmission from the Midwest to the East Coast when the East Coast does not want it: DUH!  Eastern states don’t want our transmission Posted by Carol A. Overland Filed in Energy, […]

  2. No CapX 2020 » CapX $$ fight in the news Says:

    […] doesn’t address East Coast renewable energy development, AND that it’s for COAL!  See DUH… eastern states don’t want our transmission), she’s missing an important aspect of why “a lot of eastern states are not crazy about […]

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