And it’s only March 1st!


Yes, you’ve seen the markets tumbling, crashing… and I’d received an example of why in the inbox yesterday from Wisconsin:

Solar Force Majure in WI – Coronavirus
February 26th, 2020

Today I filed a Data Practices Act Request at Minnesota Public Utilities Commission to get information on what’s happening in Minnesota. If there are declarations of Force Majure in Wisconsin, there’s bound to be similar Notices filed EVERYWHERE!

FYI, here’s an article in Wisconsin State Journal:

COVID-19 coronavirus impedes construction of Wisconsin solar farms


This is Sarah Kostohryz’ idea, the first of her women’s camping weekends, this one at Wild River State Park. And this is Sarah:

From her site, Knitting in the Wild (she’s an amazing knitter, even bright striped socks!):

These camping retreats have been designed to provide the experience and knowledge to orchestrate your own camping trips. You will spend time living and playing outside, eating good food and spending time with old and new friends. We offer that first step to enjoying the wonderful world of camping – and we offer rentals so that you don’t have to buy a bunch of items before you ever set foot in the woods.

Included in the fee: a Minnesota State Park campground site (2 tents per site), tent rental*, an inflatable mattress rental, and all meals prepared on the fire by our very own Chef Dan Kostohryz. In an outdoor class, you will be taught things such as safety, what to look for when buying a tent, what kind of gear is necessary, easy foods to make on an open fire, and how to pack your kitchen box.  And of course, there will be opportunities for you to spend some quiet time with a book, hike or just lounge around by the fire.

For more information, and to contact her, got to the retreat page on her site, linked HERE for the full details.

We met there at Wild River State Park years ago. I had to look up when that was, it was way back in October, 2016!! We were there with Mona and Greg who were down a few sites.

It was a really cold but sunny weekend. Sara and her buddy Grizz came in after dark to the site across from us and were setting up this tent in the cold and dark. We invited them over for ??? Breakfast, dinner, whatever, and have kept in touch ever since.

If you’re new to camping, or interested in learning more, check out this opportunity. Wild River is along the St. Croix River, very woodsy, a great setting to learn some of the ins and outs of hanging out in our state parks.
Here’s the Wild River “campsite” youtube to get a feel for the campsites. And the Summer park map:

And this… and no, we didn’t see a single snake, or many of them either:

If you’re interested in camping, but don’t know anything about it, or if it’s been decades and you’d like to get back to it, consider Sarah’s
Empowering Women — Get Camping weekend, details HERE! . June 12-14 at Wild River State Park. Call your friends and reserve now!

Impacts of coronavirus in China are far reaching. Solar projects now up in the air. Just in from the Wisconsin PSC on the NextEra Two Creeks solar project (note there is NO mention of this on the NextEra Press Release page) and from Invenergy on the Badger Hollow solar project (likewise no mention of this on the Invenergy “News” page):

This is HUGE. It hadn’t registered on me the potential impact of a China shutdown, nor had it registered on the PSC staff’s brain either until now! WOW.

Force Majure is where something happens that’s utterly out of the control of the party making the claim that for whatever reason, they can’t meet their part of the contract, the permit, in this case, some parts for the project, specifically the “Nextracker” racking system for the Two Creeks project (2/6/2020 letter, ERF 38614), and generally unspecified project parts for the Badger Hollow project (2/10/2020 letter, ERF 38613). Many solar panels come from China, and there are thousands of panels needed for these projects.

Likely this is something affecting any solar project expecting shipments from China.

WHY DID IT TAKE 20 DAYS AND 16 DAYS FOR THIS TO BE POSTED ON THE PSC’S SITE BY WPS? WHAT OTHER PROJECTS DOES THIS APPLY TO? For example, the Invenergy letter of February 10, 2020 from Invenergy has only been filed in the Badger Hollow docket, filed by WPS, NextEra’s only for Two Creeks. Has Notice been given verbally to PSC as it was for these projects? Is there a letter to be filed regarding other dockets as well? If so, where’s the Notice? Are there also parts and pieces from China for other Invenergy projects, i.e., the Freeborn Wind project? I’m wondering if these Force Majure Notices are landing in Minnesota too. Inquiring minds want to know!

Xcel 2019 peak demand DOWN

February 25th, 2020

Here we go again, with Xcel’s release of its 2019 numbers in its SEC 10k filing:

And here’s the number that I look forward to every year, the peak demand, why? Because they build the system for peak (and sell the surplus in the valleys):

Here’s what it was over the last many years:

That’s quite a drop, almost down to the 2004, 2008, 2009, 2015, 2017 levels. There’s an energy glut, to be sure, and now Xcel wants to sell its coal generation surplus from the King and Sherco plants on the MISO market. Earth to Mars, who needs more proof that the coal generation is not needed?