PPSA Annual Hearing Report

December 30th, 2020

It’s out, the Administrative Law Judge’s report on this year’s Power Plant Siting Act Annual Hearing. The hearing this year was particularly frustrating, horrible turnout, and I’ve got a part in that, because I didn’t spend the massive amounts of time getting notice out to people, drumming up interest, so there is that…

Here’s the Report:

Here are a couple of documents to check out that I included with a written comment:

Grant County Solar, LLC… 1,406 acres, 2,058 acres, full of solar panels, blanketing crop land designated as “Farmland Preservation” land by town and county. Even the Public Service Commission’s Environmental Assessment states that this project is not consistent with local land use designation. Well DOH!

And now we’re off to the races, Intervenor testimony due today.

Whew… piles o’ files… Thank Dog for the internet! Remember when we had to make 15 copies just for the PSC?!?!

Brainfart today while working on Data Requests.

NextEra’s Grant County Solar Energy Center Citizen Concerns and Their Justifications

If you’re wanting to site solar on land, rather than on rooftops, wouldn’t transmission easements be a logical place to site solar?

Some lines have distribution underbuilds for convenient interconnection, and many have distributions crossing at various points, for convenient interconnection.

Trees have been cleared, and clearances should be sufficient to allow for low arrays.

Why not? Do tell…

From wind siting, I know that siting decisions are often backwards, and with solar, that is certainly the case. They get the land first, and then figure out how to connect. Distributed solar isn’t even considered, siting near load isn’t even considered. There are better ways to do this.

AFCL’s MERA suit dismissed

November 29th, 2020

The judge’s Order arrived, and it’s disappointing, to put it mildly.

The judge’s decision focused on the belief that these matters had been litigated in another forum, so we couldn’t do it again. Litigated? Intervention is not necessarily litigation, though certainly AFCL intervened in the Freeborn Wind docket, and certainly did not in the Plum Creek, Three Waters or Buffalo Ridge dockets. And in this District Court proceeding, Lisa Agrimonti let me know that another attorney would be lead in this case, that their firm was putting a “litigator” on it. Hmmmm, Agrimonti’s not a litigator, and put Alethea Huyser on the job, so the firm admits that what we, Freeborn Wind and AFCL, were doing in those dockets was not litigation, right, I get it… uh-huh… sigh…

How do we deal with these systemic problems in wind siting? 25 years and still no rules? Setbacks aren’t sufficient to prevent noise standard violations and people need to leave their homes to be able to sleep, so far two families reached settlements and buyouts to get away from noisy turbines. Wind projects pay out for blinds so people can sit in the dark, or suggest going to Florida, to avoid shadow flicker inflicted on them. At the PPSA Annual Hearing last week, the DOT said it wants the 250 foot setback from roads reevaluated. The Public Utilities Commission has actual and constructive notice of these problems for years, yet nothing happens…

Let’s see… rulemaking Petitions denied over and over. The only time we’ve had a contested case, the judge recommended denial because developer had not demonstrated compliance with noise standard, and recommended a lower number of hours as “acceptable” for shadow flicker.

Once more with feeling — the ONLY time, the FIRST time, in Minnesota history where there was a contested case on a wind siting permit, the only time it could arguably be said the issues were “litigated,” the ALJ recommended that the permit be denied!

WE WON!!! ALJ Recommend Freeborn Permit be DENIED, or…

May 14th, 2018

The PUC turned that around in a private settlement with the developer, excluding intervenors.

Freeborn? PUC upends ALJ’s Freeborn Wind Recommendation

September 21st, 2018

Now what… How many more complaints, how many more landowner settlements, before they fix this mess?

What’s the point of intervening, becoming a party? What’s the point of raising issues at the Power Plant Siting Act Annual Hearing (for 23 years)? What’s the point of over and over raising the systemic problems in the PUC’s wind siting? How do we work “within the system” when the system is broken?

PPSA Annual Hearing NOW

November 20th, 2020

RIGHT NOW! It’s the PPSA Annual Hearing… sigh… here we go again.

Go to webex, Event # 146 311 2620. The powerpoint slides will be here (and will also be filed on eDockets).

To be able to comment, you have to get on the phone 866-609-6127, Conference ID: 4449079, and to comment, you need to press #1 and get in queue.

Here is the Commerce info about this year’s projects:

And for the record, folks, note that wind is not exempt from many of the parts of the PPSA: