Thursday, June 30, the last day before the state government shuts down, the Public Utilities Commission will hear oral arguments and deliberate and likely decide fate of the AWA/Goodhue Wind Project.

PUC Staff Briefing Papers

The Staff Briefing Papers matter-of-factly point out a couple of things that make a huge difference in this case:

In the ALJ’s December 8, 2010 First Prehearing Order, Order point #13 noted:

13. As noted above, the parties may submit legal argument on how the good cause standard should be applied, if at all, in their closing memoranda. In particular, the Administrative Law Judge would like the parties to brief the issue whether Minn. Stat. 216F.081 (2008) is intended to apply only to counties that have assumed the responsibility to process applications and issue permits for LWECS with a combined nameplate capacity of less than 25 MW pursuant to Minn. Stat. 216F.081. …

This is not an issue that the Commission referred to the ALJ. The ALJ’s findings on this issue are included in her report as findings #39 – 47.

And shortly after that:

Staff recommends that the Commission consider all parties‟ positions on this matter and their previous November 2, 2010 Order for Hearing (cited above).

Staff believes that if the Commission comes to the same conclusion as the November 2, 2010 Order, it should strike ALJ findings #40-46 on the basis that the Commission has already considered this matter and the matter was not referred to the ALJ. Findings #39 and 47 are general in nature and staff doesn’t believe the findings would need to be omitted.

The recommendation of staff to the Commissioners?  Hold on to your seats:

Staff recommends adopting the ALJ’s Report with the following changes:

1) modifications to findings #10, 60 and 71 as outlined in Attachment B under “Staff”;
2) striking findings #40-46, as discussed above; and
3) providing for other modifications the Commission deems necessary.

YEAAAAAAA! From there to where this should be isn’t all that far…


To watch the oral arguments and PUC’s deliberation, CLICK HERE and then click the blue button to “Watch Webcast!” Or come on down, Thursday, 9:30 a.m. ( a little after, we’re 2 and 3 on the agenda), at 121 – 7th Place East, 3rd Floor, Large Hearing Room, St. Paul, MN, 55101.

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