Does anyone else think it odd, when solar projects in Wisconsin are in the 2-10MW range, to apply to site the 300MW Badger Hollow solar project when there are no rules?  Yeah, I know, it sounds like Minnesota siting 2,000+ MW of large wind projects with no rules and using small wind standards, way too similar.  But this is real.  300MW of solar is a LOT of solar.  It’s central station solar.  It’s on some of the best ag land in Wisconsin.  And it just happens to be on the route of the proposed Cardinal-Hickory Creek transmission line!

What to do?  Rulemaking, of course.  Yeah, we know how that goes (PUC denies Reconsideration re: Wind Rulemaking), but without rules, how will they reasonably site this project?  Without rules, how will they reasonably site any solar project?  So of course here we go, the Jewell Jinkins Intervenors’ solar rulemaking petition:

Petition for Rulemaking_JJI_Solar_FINAL_Signed

And Wisconsin’s PSC “ERFed” it today.  It’s docket 1-AC-254.  It’s my understanding that a comment period will be announced and then the Commission will decide whether or not to proceed with rulemaking.

Hoar Frost over Shell Rock River

December 10th, 2018

This is the Shell Rock River, covered with winter hoar frost today, and part of the DNR’s Shell Rock River State Water Trail, where Freeborn Wind wants to string a transmission line over the river!  Click for larger view:

It’s a State Water Trail – click for larger view:

Doesn’t this just look like the greatest place for transmission across the river?!?!  Good grief, what are they thinking?

Photo of DOE project in Alamosa, under 30 MW

There’s a 300MW solar project proposed for southern Wisconsin, in Iowa County.  Thing is, as with Minnesota and large wind (PUC denies Reconsideration re: Wind Rulemaking), there are no siting rules for solar in Wisconsin!  Really, no rules!  Typically thus far, solar projects are 2-10 MW.  This one proposed is 300MW!  Central station power to put it mildly.

Not only are there no siting rules, but there is no Environmental Impact Statement required for a project covering 3,500 acres!

WHAT?!?!

So on behalf of Jewell Jinkins Intervenors, I’ve just filed this Petition for Rulemaking to get them going on solar rules.

Petition for Rulemaking_JJI_Solar_FINAL_Signed

We shall see what, if anything, they do.

We know who you are, and we saw what you did… and didn’t!

No surprise.  Today the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission rejected Goodhue Wind Truth’s Petition for Reconsideration of the Commission’s denial of our Petition for Rulemaking.  Rules, who needs rules… about 2,500 MW of wind has been sited in Minnesota WITHOUT LARGE WIND SPECIFIC SITING RULES AND/OR STANDARDS!  Really!  And the Commission doesn’t seem to regard that as a problem.  Large wind is sited using SMALL WIND/COUNTY SITING STANDARDS, not intended for large wind.  And the Commission doesn’t seem to regard that as a problem.  Large wind is sited using MPCA’s industrial noise standards which were admittedly NOT designed with wind in mind.  And the Commission doesn’t seem to regard that as a problem.  Large wind is sited using a Commerce boilerplate site permit with 1,000 foot setbacks and staff has no idea where that 1,000 foot setback came from (it’s contrary to even the small wind standards, and there’s no rule or standard of 1,000 ft!).  And the Commission doesn’t seem to regard that as a problem.

GWT_Reconsideration_FINAL

Here’s the rest of the background information:

It’s out, the USDA’s RUS EIS for Cardinal-Hickory Creek transmission project:

Draft Environmental Impact Statement – November 2018

From the RUS Notice, how to send in comments and list of public meetings:

RUS page for Environmental Review for Cardinal – Hickory Creek Transmission Line Project – Iowa & Wisconsin