Soon… Freeborn Wind appeal

April 14th, 2021

Whew, time to take a breather. We had two briefs due at 1:30 p.m. today, and got them filed with 1/2 hour to spare! Let’s hear it for the power of Doritos! (Only way I got through Contracts and Corporations in law school was a two-fisted supply of Doritos and Haagen Dazs)

Here are our Grant County Intervenor briefs. Here’s the one for the Grant County Solar docket focusing on the CPCN application for that one project, followed by Applicant-Grant County Solar/NextEra:

And our non-party brief in the WP&L acquisition docket for SIX solar projects covering over 5,400 acres, followed by the others:

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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…

Nuclear Spent Fuel Storage

December 21st, 2020

In December, 1994, after the tumultuous legislative session from hell, and the resulting “1994 Prairie Island Bill, Ch. 641, SF 1706,” I noticed a sign up on the window of Kenyon City Hall, looking for someone to represent the City at a Northern States Power (now Xcel Energy) group to “select a site for nuclear waste” somewhere “in Goodhue County,” away from the nuclear plant site. December 14, 1994 was the first meeting of the group, which met over I think 6 months, a most bizarre series of meetings, culminating in NSP’s selection of “Site P” in Florence Township as its preferred site. At that meeting, this truckdriver realized that the seals on the TN-40 casks needed to be replaced. When I asked about that, they had no plan. Oh my, that got my attention — it was clearly not a well thought out plan.

A few nuclear spent fuel documents floated up recently, and here they are:

NUREG-2224 Dry Storage and Transportation of High Burnup Spent Nuclear Fuel

In I think May, 1995, they started filling up casks and putting them on a pad at Prairie Island, and meanwhile, the NSP group’s meetings ended, the Environmental Quality Board formed an official Citizens Advisory Task Force on nuclear waste, with the task of reviewing the NSP application to the EQB for a site permit. The Task Force ended and issued this report:

At that time, I was spending a lot of time learning about casks, paying attention to anything that came up, with particular interest in whether casks could indeed be unloaded.

Trans Nuclear casks were used at Prairie Island, they’re also at Arkansas Nuclear 1, somewhere else to… Here’s a miscellaneous dock from TransNuclear (it has another name now):

Transnuclear Handouts – Part 3 of 6 – 10/07/09 Public Meeting https://www.nrc.gov/docs/ML0927/ML092790437.pdf

Around that time was the “Point Beach Ignition Event” where they left the zinc assembly in the boric acid solution in the cask overnight until the next shift came in, and then tried to weld it. Zinc + boric acid = hydrogen. BOOM! Clue: “Gas ignition event” = EXPLOSION! The cask lid bent up a few inches (it was 9″ thick!!), the wedges holding assembly basket in place blew out onto the floor…

OOPS!

And then there’s the 3 Stooges cask unloading at INEL, this is H-I-L-A-R-I-O-U-S:

Putting this up for future reference – a permanent repository!!!

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.