Interesting day at the PUC!

November 23rd, 2010


Today on the PUC’s agenda? AWA Goodhue’s request for Reconsideration of the PUC’s remand to an Administrative Law Judge.

Here’s their remand Order and subsequent filings:

PUC’s Order – Remand to OAH

And from that Order, here’s what the PUC wants from the ALJ:

1. The ALJ assigned to this matter is requested to develop a record on every standard in Article 18 that is more stringent than what the Commission has heretofore applied to LWECS and make recommendations regarding each such standard whether the Commission should adopt it for Large Wind Energy Conversion Systems in Goodhue County. The Commission has identified two such standards in this Order (Section 4 and Section 6) but is not by this Order restricting the ALJ from developing the record and making recommendations regarding additional standards in Article 18 that upon further examination meet the “more stringent” qualification.

2. The ALJ assigned to this matter is requested to allow the parties to develop a factual record on the question of “good cause” as that term appears in Minn. Stat. § 216F.081 and to provide recommendations on whether, with respect to each standard in Article 18 identified in the course of her review as “more stringent” than what the Commission has heretofore applied to LWECS, there is “good cause” for the Commission to not apply the standard to siting LWECS in Goodhue County.

3. As the ALJ addresses the issues identified in the previous two sections, the ALJ is requested to include (but not limited to, by this Order) whether there is sufficient evidence regarding health and safety to support a 10 rotor diameter set-back for non-participating residents and the stray voltage requirements.

To which AWA Goodhue said  …. “NOOOO, we want you to undo that decision” …

AWA Motion – Text only – maps are too big

… and to which we said, “PPFFFFFFFFFFFFFBBBBBT!” …

Goodhue Wind Truth – Response to Motion for Reconsideration

… including a section you really ought to read:


… and from Goodhue County:

Goodhue County – Response – late filed

… and then the AWA Goodhue’s Reply – quite pissy, eh?

AWA Goodhue Reply

… and some others on behalf of AWA:

“Wind on the Wires” Izaak Walton League Comment

GE Energy Comment – late filed

… and PUC staff weighs in:

Staff Briefing Papers (a separate revised cover sheet filed later)

… and then at 8:21 a.m. this morning, served by eFiling, and Document Properties show it wasn’t pdf’d until 4:03… TODD GUERERRO, WHATEVER ARE YOU THINKING… this from AWA Goodhue trying to wiggle into mediation somehow rather than a proceeding before the Administrative Law Judge.  Mediation???  Mediation has it’s place, but… well, anyway, here’s what they said:

AWA Goodhue Last Minute Letter

The Commission was probably not pleased, the timing of that latest filing was duly noted, and after a short discussion about the availability of mediation in any contested case, under the administrative rules it’s always an option, the discussion led by Commissioner Reha, who as an ALJ had mediated the Chisago Transmission Project (were any of the Commissioners around then?  Perhaps Pugh?):

Deal – NSP – Taylors Falls – St. Croix Falls

That’s one result of that mediation, one which I certainly wouldn’t be proud of, because though it did underground down the banks of the St. Croix River, it DOUBLED the capacity, and I don’t think anyone other than our friends at NSP had any clue what dropping voltage but bundling BIG conductors meant.  Well, Art Hughes, Ph. D., of course, but he’s dead… And at the time,  it was disturbing the way ALJ Phyllis Reha and George Crocker were on the stage of the Festival Theatre in St. Croix Falls stumping for the deal and urging Concerned River Valley Citizens to adopt the deal.  WHY, what’s in it for them?  For CRVC, nothing!  And why would Reha and Crocker want CRVC to adopt that deal?  Enough to be promoting it on stage before CRVC?  CRVC said NO, and the rest is history…

So anyway, to make a short story long, the PUC talked about Reconsideration and the referral to OAH a bit, Commissioner Reha mentioned some things she is concerned about as material facts at issue, they expressly stated they did not want to Reconsider, and they all (4, Betsy Wergin was missing) said NO to AWA Goodhue’s Motion for Reconsideration.


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