“Free marketers,” duck and cover. And utilities, contractors, get ready… Just in, for Public Inspection, will be released Monday:

The gist of it is that utility infrastructure and equipment should not be coming in from other countries, particularly “adversaries.” Threat? What threat?

From the E.O., p. 2-3:

I further find that the unrestricted acquisition or use in the United States of
bulk-power system electric equipment designed, developed, manufactured, or supplied by persons owned by, controlled by, or subject to the jurisdiction or direction of foreign adversaries augments the ability of foreign adversaries to create and exploit vulnerabilities in bulk-power system electric equipment, with potentially catastrophic effects. I therefore determine that the unrestricted foreign supply of bulk-power system electric equipment constitutes an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security, foreign policy, and economy of the United States, which has its source in whole or in substantial part outside the United States. This threat exists both in the case of individual acquisitions and when acquisitions are considered as a class. Although maintaining an open investment climate in bulk-power system electric equipment, and in the United States economy more generally, is important for the overall growth and prosperity of the United States, such openness must be balanced with the need to protect our Nation against a critical national security threat. To address this threat, additional steps are required to protect the security, integrity, and reliability of bulk-power system electric equipment used in the United States. In light of these findings, I hereby declare a national emergency with respect to the threat to the United States bulk-power system.

WHAT?!?!

On Wednesday, Association of Freeborn County Landowners filed an appeal of the Public Utilities Commission’s denial of AFCL’s Petition for and Environmental Assessment Worksheet. It was mailed Certified Mail yesterday, as required by statute, and today, filed on the PUC’s eDockets:

The PUC really screwed this up, in so many ways. Granted there are few Petitions for EAW to the Commission, and Commission staff may not be familiar with EQB rules and process. However, in the only other Petition for Environmental Assessment Worksheet/EIS, they denied a Motion and then a Petition for EAW forwarded by the EQB, and it was sent back to the Commission by the Appellate Court:

In the Matter of Minnesota Power’s Petition for Approval of the EnergyForward Resource Package

Lesson not learned. We’ve been trying to get environmental review of wind projects for how long now, particularly given the demonstrable impacts, actual and constructive notice, beyond the “potential” for environmental impacts. Bent Tree noise excedences and landowner settlements? What more is needed?

Bent Tree Order filed by PUC

In the Staff Briefing Papers, which is staff’s recommendation to the Commission, over and over it was said that the Petition was insufficient because there were not 100 signatures, but there were 380+ signatures! In the Staff Briefing Papers, over and over it was said that the Commission could declare the Petition insufficient, when it is NOT the Commission’s job to address sufficiency, that was already determined by the Environmental Quality Board, which validated the Petition and forwarded it to the Commission for action! Read the Briefing Papers… really, it’s that absurd:

I fired off a letter requesting correction, which never happened:

And even after denying AFCL’s Petition, they went further, and provided “notice” in an email to the EQB that the Board had made its decision:

And that “notice” was published in the EQB Monitor on February 18, 2020:

And yet to this date, they’ve not filed an Order or the Record of Decision on this decision! WHAT?!?! Yes, really!!

I’d sent a letter to the EQB about the Commission’s failure to file the Order and Record of Decision nearly a month ago:

STILL NO ORDER OR RECORD OF DECISION. There are no Findings of Facts to explain, to support, the Commission’s decision. I guess it’s harder to make them up than staff thought?!?!

Meanwhile, the appeal deadline of a decision on an EAW Petition is 30 days after the notice is published in the EQB Monitor. Minn. Stat. 116D.04, Subd. 10. It’s kind of hard to Appeal a decision without the necessary documents, so I can guess that’s one more reason the Commission has chosen not to file! Oh well… ONWARD!

Prior posts on AFCL’s Petition for Environmental Assessment Worksheet:

Freeborn EAW – more time!

EQB forwards EAW Petition to PUC

Petition for EAW – Freeborn Wind

2019 PJM State of Market

March 12th, 2020

PJM’s annual State of the Market Report has been released by Marketing Analytics:

What I’m looking for first is demand info, so I’m searching. Here ya go:

It looks like peak demand/load, at 148,228MW is above what it was in 2006. From FERC – Electric Power Markets PJM:

All time peak demand: 144,644 MW (set August 2, 2006), and down to 139,438 in 2007.

Peak demand growth (2006-2007): Peak demand declined 3.6%. See PJM State of the Market 2008, below.

2006
Summer Peak Demand (MW)144,644 139,438
(Source: PJM)

CLICK HERE FOR:  PJM State of the Market – 2008

And about wholesale cost, from the 2019 State of the Market report:

One of the benefits of competitive power markets is that changes in input prices and changes in the balance of supply and demand are reflected immediately in energy prices. PJM real-time energy market prices decreased significantly in 2019 compared to 2018. The load weighted,average real-time LMP was 28.6 percent lower in 2019 than in 2018, $27.32 per MWh versus $38.24per MWh. Of the $10.92 per MWh decrease, 41.5 percent was a result of lower fuel costs. Other contributors to the decrease were the dispatch of lower cost units, decreased load and lower markups (2019 SoM,Intro, p 3).

Once more with feeling –wholesale energy costs and prices are DOWN, DOWN, DOWN, yet rates are going UP, UP, UP. DOH! It’s because, like Xcel, utilities are changing their business plan. They’re not making the money anymore on selling electricity, and can make a LOT more by building infrastructure that we don’t need and charging us ratepayers for it. Transmission costing billions; the rebuild and start up of Sherco 3 after 22 months off-line, and then announcing shut down of 1 & 2; the rebuild of Monticello costing twice the estimate; request to PUC to sell surplus Sherco and King plant generation on MISO market (just how is running it for sale elsewhere consistent with cutting CO2?!?!?)…

Another thing I do see is that the Capacity Market is deemed “Not Competitive,” and this has been a documented problem since 2007. DOH! Yet it continues.

Vol 1, Intro, p. 8

If it’s not competitive, why hasn’t the market structure been changed? After all, it’s all about “let the free market decide,” and where it’s not competitive, that isn’t happening, eh? As Marketing Analytics states, “Structural market power is endemic to the capacity market.” From a wiki definition of endemic, “In epidemiology, an infection is said to be endemic in a population when that infection is constantly maintained at a baseline level…” Houston, methinks we have a market problem…

More to follow, but wanted to get these tidbits out there.

Photo by moi

Here’s the bill everyone’s talking about:

Comments? It’s important to let them know what you think. Here’s the contact info for the Senate Energy Committee (LINKED HERE).

In last week’s Rochester Post Bulletin, about the Senate Energy and Utilities Finance and Policy Committee meeting in Rochester:

Senators take heat on waste-burning energy

Senate Energy Bill… again

January 23rd, 2020

Last night in Performing Arts Center, Westonka H.S., Sen. Osmek held the second Senate Energy Committee meeting, taking testimony and discussing the bill. Good grief, burning garbage is RENEWABLE?!?! Eliminate the new nuclear prohibition?!?! CARBON CAPTURE AND STORAGE!?!?!?! Where on earth do these ideas come from? Lobbyists paid by who?

They put together a list of testifiers. This meeting’s list included TWO who had testified in Rochester! I spoke up and objected to allowing those two to testify before others who had not testified could, and near the end of testimony one was crossed off, BUT, well, guess who was second to the bottom, despite having requested to be put on list 8 days prior in Rochester, and didn’t get to testify.

For the first hearing, they put the three regular folks at the very bottom of the list, those not affiliated with an organization, those NOT paid to show up in suits and testify, and at the outset at Westonka last night, Osmek said, at least twice, “we may not get through the list.” They did in Rochester.

And at the outset of last night’s meeting, he again said, “we may not get through the list” and he limited testimony to 30 minutes total, but didn’t put any limit on individual testimony. AND he said, “we didn’t get through the list in Rochester.” FALSE, you DID get through the list in Rochester. Why say that? Prelude to a dis…

They’re talking about “carbon capture and storage,” “CCS” as if it’s real. It is not. No one else in the room has the knowledge and direct experience working on a project proposing carbon capture that I have, and no one else in the room had signed the non-disclosure agreement in the Excelsior Energy Mesaba Project and knows the details of cost and energy loss. Most of the Senators on that committee weren’t even around during the Mesaba Project, and I do not recall a single one of them weighing in on that boondoggle project. So what all do they know about it? Do they know only what paid toadies are telling them? Do some research! We do not need to reinvent the wheel, and folks, this is rock science, not rocket science.

We went through this “carbon capture” nonsense on the Excelsior Energy Mesaba Project, where it was talked about a lot, but wasn’t part of the actual project, and then, when it was clear the project Power Purchase Agreement “PPA” was tanking, SURPRISE, they popped in a “Plan” at the last minute, in Rebuttal testimony:

Suddenly, a Plan for Carbon Capture and Sequestration
October 19th, 2006

For sure it was utter bullshit, and not enough to save the day and get that PPA through. Here it is:

From MCGPs Initial Brief in Mesaba Project PPA docket (M-05-1993), but first the full brief, the CCS pages are 22-24, with references:

And the section on the Excelsior Energy’s Mesaba Project bogus “Plan for Carbon Capture and Sequestration”

Well DOH! What’s changed since then? Only a large funding of “research” and a larger funding scheme of promotion, a la Great Plains Institute, etc.,

… but carbon capture and storage is no more doable, either in percentage of capture feasible, or in potential for creating seismic activity and earthquakes, well, there is more evidence now that pumping gas into the earth DOES create earthquakes. It’s even made it into corporate news media, REAL NEWS from 2013 and 2016:

Fracking and energy exploration connected to earthquakes, say studies

7 million Americans at risk of man-made earthquakes

From USGS:

Are earthquakes induced by fluid-injection activities always located close to the point of injection?

Also from USGS, 2018:

What more information do you need? Do some research, folks.

Those of us who went through the 5+ years that was the Mesaba Project have the facts. If you want us to do this all over again, yes, phenomenal waste of time, but yeah, OK. Been there, done that, have the files, have the facts, here we go!

To look at the Excelsior Energy Mesaba Project docket at PUC (05-1993) go to eDocketsand search for PUC Docket 05 (year) 1993 (docket no.) in the search field.

p.s. LINK TO MESABA PROJECT ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT STATEMENT