The Grant County Solar project docket proceeding at the Wisconsin Public Utilities Commission is moving towards a Commission decision. Yesterday, our Reply Briefs were due:

And the Initial Briefs:

Next step in the 9804-CE-100 docket, the Decision Matrix, which we comment on. The PSC should release that soon, it’s usually right after briefing.

For the PSC’s 9804-CE-100 Grant County Solar docket, GO HERE!

For the Wisconsin Power & Light docket umbrella over SIX solar projects, including Grant County Solar, 6680-CE-182, GO HERE! We filed a non-party brief in this docket – intervention was denied:

Xcel demand remains down

February 17th, 2021

Xcel Energy’s 10-K for 2020 is out:

Peak demand remains under 9,000MW:

Note the peak was 2006, we got close in 2011, but not above that 2006 peak. Right now, we’re 1,200MW below that 2006 peak, essentially the equivalent of Prairie Island nuclear plant’s two reactors.

We’ve got the surplus generation to make some choices, folks…

And from NextEra/Grant County Solar, LLC:

More on Blazing Star noise

February 3rd, 2021

Turns out that this morning, I received an “invitation” to the Public Utilities Commission meeting tomorrow.

Tune in: Agenda MTG Thursday, February 4, 2021, 1pm

Meeting Details
Agenda
Live Webcast
Viewing Instructions

I’d really not had time to think much about this on Monday, had to take a quick look and zip something off — testimony was due for WI so I had lots of back and forth with clients — so in afterthought, I realized that I’d missed the flip side of this, that the folks complaining were left in the dark here. THEY’RE NOT EVEN ON THE SERVICE LIST! WTF??!?!?!

So today after I got the Wisconsin testimony filed, I fired off a missive, and as I went to file, there were Xcel filings in the inbox:

Here’s my second missive:

Here’s my post from Monday:

Blazing Star Wind NOISE!

February 1st, 2021

Blazing Star Wind NOISE!

February 1st, 2021

Turns out a landowner couple have been complaining about noise since March 9, 2020, and this Thursday it is coming up before the Public Utilities Commission. I read through some filings and got OH-SO-PISSED-OFF! Better pissed off than pissed on… and filed this:

THE PUBLIC UTILITIES COMMISSION WAS WARNED! THEY HAD ACTUAL AND CONSTRUCTIVE NOTICE THAT NOISE IS A PROBLEM, AND ACCEPTED GI/GO “MODELING” AND PERMITTED THE PROJECT.

Here’s a letter summarizing the landowners complaint:

This above complaint was dated September 25, 2020, but was not filed in the PUC’s eDockets until January 12, 2021.

They made their first complaint March 9, 2020, and there were other complaints March 17 and 24, and April 2 and 14, 2020, regarding turbines 11, 28, 31, 41, 42, 43, 45, 83, 84, 85 and 86.

Complaints made were reported in the monthly permit-required “Complaint” compliance filing as “pending,” with repeated complaints not disclosed. Thursday’s agenda item deals only with the Weverka noise complaint and turbine 90, and does not address the multiple complaints of March 17 and 24, and April 2 and 14, 2020, regarding turbines 11, 28, 31, 41, 42, 43, 45, 83, 84, 85 and 86.

The time-frame of Weverka noise complaints and actions by Xcel are listed here — pay particular attention to the dates, and note it’s XCEL hiring the consultants for the noise monitoring, not Commerce as occurred for the Bent Tree noise complaints:

DoC-EERA notes that:

… and Commission staff repeats this statement in the Staff Briefing Papers (p. 6):

… to which I can only say, DOH!

Doc-EERA recommends this be addressed regarding Turbine 90 only, when a more logical response would be to look at the entire project and compare monitoring results with the pre-construction noise modeling DONE AT THE IMPROPER 0.7 GROUND FACTOR! DOH! and DOUBLE DOH!

Post-construction noise modeling of the project “was completed during the summer of 2020,” but it’s not been filed yet, as of January 14, 2021. WHAT?!?! How long does it take to print out the results, write up a summary, and file it?

And what’s this Xcel July 9, 2020 noise report that was filed on 11/13/2021?

And this November 23, 2020 “Xcel Response to Noise Complaint” that also was not filed until 1/13/2021:

Here’s the initial Noise Modeling from the Application, Appendix A:

Here’s an “updated” Noise Modeling – REDACTED, dated December 2016, filed June 2020:

I really don’t have the time to dig into this, but it’s clear they’re hiding info, that the complaints are legitimate, that there are noise exceedences, and that the Commission knew the noise modeling was off, garbage in, garbage out. The Commission also knew that the setbacks were not adequate, because setbacks at Bent Tree, with smaller turbines, less noise turbines, were not adequate, and there were noise exceedences at 1,150 feet at Hagen’s home and 1,525 at Langrud’s home. They’re “resolving” this in secret, with back and forths between Xcel and Commerce-EERA without involvement of the landowners. THE LANDOWNERS ARE NOT EVEN ON THE SERVICE LIST!

THERE IS NO EXCUSE, NO EXCUSE FOR THIS!