Tomorrow morning, at long last, the 6 year long rulemaking for Minn. Rules Ch. 7849 and 7850 is before the Public Utilities Commission.

Rules and rulemaking are important — rules are the guide to how administrative sausage is made.  A little history…  Way back when in 2011, I’d filed “Overland Petition for Rulemaking-7850” back in March, 2011.  Did it trigger, inspire, the opening of this Minn. Rules Ch. 7849 and 7850 docket in December, 2012?  Who knows…

I’ve also filed a Petition to OAH,  Petition for Rulemaking Ch. 1400-1405 & PPSAComments, also March, 2011.  Shortly after that, ALJ Lipman published some proposed rule change with NOTICE and proposed rules (ACK!), and I filed this Overland Comments-OAH Rulemaking Oct. 31,2012  Can you tell the proposed rules were dreadful?  There’s no excuse… those proposals disappeared, and I sure hope they don’t resurface.  Ive also filed Overland_MPCA_Petition for Rulemaking re: Wind Noise, Minn. R. Ch. 7030. and got this in return:


Anyway, back to tomorrow’s rulemaking for Minn. Rules Ch. 7849 and 7850.

You can watch the Live Webcast!

The draft rules going before the Commission are here:

Staff Briefing Papers, Chart of Changes, and Draft Rules_20187-145121-01

Yeah, it’s 210 pages long.  The Staff Briefing Papers contain an explanation of issues raised and changes proposed or not taken up; the charts for 7849 and 7850 are an “easy” way to review the issues and changes, and the specific 7849 and 7850 rules with strikeouts and underlinings follow.

To review the full docket, go to eDockets and search for docket 12-1246 — in the box below the “Search” button, “12” and in the box below the “Clear” button, “1246.”  Note how extensive it is.  It’s been six years.  My guess is that everyone who was an active participant in this put in at least 150 hours.  Consider that.  It’s about time we get this moving, and on to the next rulemaking, WIND, Minn. R. Ch. 7854.

Oh, and yet another Petition filed on Monday to grease the skids:

Just filed – Petition for Wind Siting Rulemaking


Yes, I just filed Goodhue Wind Truth’s Petition for Rulemaking #2, or is it #3… Read Attachment B, the “Statement of Need and Reasonableness” (SONAR), for an eye-opening look on why we’re where we’re at.

Petition for Rulemaking_Minnesota Rules Chapter 7854_FINAL

Got a wide broadcast using the PPSA Annual Hearing service list.  Hope that gets the word out.

We’ve been assigned a docket number at PUC: E999/R-18-518.

Dodge County Concerned Citizens asked me to do an information presentation on NextEra’s Dodge County Wind project, which was recently applied for at the Public Utilities Commission.  Here’s my presentation:

Turbine and Transmission Neighbors?

Completeness comments are due August 10, 2018, with reply comments due August 17, 2018.

20187-144854-01_PUC Notice_Completeness Comments_ALL dockets

How to file?

Here’s a form you could use for guidance — yes, its a test, and an essay test at that.  Your original words are what count, because you know your community best, what impacts on the ground might be.  You can best identify the material issues.

To the Public Utilities Commission_Sample Comment

It was interesting that Beth Soholt, is concerned enough to show up on a Saturday morning!  She’s the ED of wind industry association Wind on the Wires (f/k/a program of Izaak Walton League Midwest until Bill Grant was appointed Deputy Commissioner – Energy – Dept. of Commerce)   But her being there was not much of a surprise, because NextEra’s Julie Voeck is Chair of the WOW Board.  And don’t forget that PUC Commissioner Matt Schuerger’s “Energy Systems Consulting Services” was a primary recipient of Waltons/WOW consulting funds.  As we say in transmission, “It’s all connected.”

Can’t find a Dodge County Wind, LLC website (it is a Delaware LLC registered with Minnesota Secretary of State), and NextEra has nothing on its website about the LLC, nor about the Dodge County project, that I can find, ALL Press Releases are about MONEY, not a one about “Dodge County.”  There is a separate transmission page with “project info” but no project specific info there either.

This project was really difficult to dig through, because there are THREE dockets: Certificate of Need (17-306); Wind Siting (17-307); and Transmission Routing (17-308).  WHEW!  This would be overwhelming to anyone, and to try to explain what’s proposed, the process (UGH!), and issues, that’s a couple of books… whether fiction or non-fiction remains to be determined.

Post Bulletin – Proposed Dodge County wind farm raises questions

KTTC – Dodge County Concerned Citizens holds informational meeting on proposed wind turbine project

KIMT – Wind project proposed in Dodge County

This project has been brewing for a while, because there’s a Certificate of Need requirement of a Notice Plan before anything is applied for, and then notice goes out as laid out in the Notice Plan.

20186-144410-04_Order_Approval of Notice Plan

I’m on the general service list for all projects, pretty much everything, so I have an idea what’s new and exciting at the PUC, but it’s pretty hard to track it all.  For this project, the initial “notice” filings for 17-306 (Certificate of Need) & 17-308 (345kV transmission line) were in April, 2017, and the transmission route app and wind site permit app were not filed until 6/29.  The wind site permit is most significant in terms of cost and geographic spread, and nothing was filed until June 29, 2018, less than a month ago.  The wind site permit filings contain an affidavit of mailing of notice but NO ADDRESSES, and the transmission affidavit of mailing of notice DOES have addresses.  Why are no addresses included?

Three dockets, all those filings, at least 1,000 pages, and I confess haven’t read all of it! What jumps out at me is that this is another scattered site project, with a large footprint. It’s a 170MW project, not unusual in that way, but the turbines proposed are 2.5 MW turbines.  That’s BIG!  The reported hub height is 291 feet, and from ground to tip of blade, 485.5 feet.  That’s BIG!

How to look at the dockets:

So now, quick because Completeness Comments are due, it’s time for people to take a look at this project, what’s proposed for the wind project, the big honkin’ transmission line, and whether all this is needed.

Oh, and about that big honkin’ transmission line, here’s a cut and paste from their application:

Characterizing this bundled 345kV line as “generation inter-tie?”  Oh, please…


July 5th, 2018

Alan Muller followed up on the report of an ICE detention facility near us in Elk Run, part of Pine Island.  Pine Island is one of several sites being considered for an ICE detention facility, a jail, a fenced and guarded holding place for asylum seekers, and others grabbed by ICE.  On June 19, 2018, the Pine Island City Council approved a resolution of support of “Management & Training Corporation” and “it’s partners,” unidentified, to build and operate an ICE detention facility HERE!

Pine Island lets ICE know it’s still interested in detention facility

Management & Training Corporation?  Seems to me they doth protesteth too much!

MTC’s Involvement in Operating ICE Detention Centers

MTC’s Imperial detention center

Here’s a view inside the Imperial ICE detention facility via San Diego Union-Tribune.  Here are some statistics on that Imperial facility.  Here’s an interesting post by some folks with a video camera outside Imperial.

MTC is doing the same hustle in Uintah County, near Evanston, Wyoming and Hopkins Park, Illinois, and other sites too.  Does this Hopkins Park resolution look familiar?

Hopkins Park locals are not thrilled about MTC’s proposal either:

Hopkins Park residents fight private immigration detention center proposal

Some Pembroke residents say detention center isn’t welcome

Back to Pine Island’s Elk Run…

As if Elk Run’s troubles with Chronic Wasting Disease wasn’t enough:

Sharpshooters begin destroying elk herd

In January, a female at the farm near Pine Island was found to have CWD, a fatal brain disease. A USDA agency is killing all 700 elk. 
And good news on that front — opposition is organized:

Fighting For-Profit Immigration Prisons

… there are the economic problems…

Legacy of Pine Island biotech park: foreclosures, unpaid taxes and interchange to nowhere