For years, for decades, I’ve been going on and on about the inefficiency of transmission, the electric system, and line losses ad nauseum.  Y’all know that, if you’ve been paying attention.  And here we are, back to discussing inefficiency in the electric system.

The SW MN 345 kV Transmission Lines (PUC Docket 01-1958) turned on line losses.  After that close call, line losses were calculated and considered on a very different model, framing it as a percentage of THE ENTIRE EASTERN INTERCONNECT.  So what’s a little loss of 0.1%, who cares… well, as a part of THE ENTIRE EASTERN INTERCONNECT, it adds up fast.  Let me make this perfectly clear, transmission line loss is substantial.  It’s particularly substantial when you’re talking about using transmission to ship lower capacity energy, like wind and solar.  If you have long, hundreds of miles long, transmission lines, there’s not much, if any, of that energy that would find its way to its destination.

This is not news.  My engineer, Art Hughes, PhD EE, taught me so much about power engineering.  It was a struggle to keep up with him, but the knowledge I gained working with him opened doors in challenging utility infrastructure projects.  Here he is at a public hearing in Peosta, Iowa,  telling people a thing or two about transmission:
Art Hughes filed testimony in the SW MN 345 kV Transmission Lines case, PUC Docket 01-1958) — search the testimony for “losses” upon which this case turned, and was erroneously granted a Certificate of Need, and later a Routing Permit:
Oh well.   It’s long done, this transmission project and many others, the horse is out of the barn, dead, and beaten to a pulp.  There’s been a massive transmission build-out, and now they want to build yet another “transmission overlay.”  Great idea, MISO, Xcel, and all of you dreaming of this revenue generation via capital investment and ROI scheme.
Anyway, back to today’s email.

There’s a “Stakeholder Meeting” coming up:

Register here

Those words, “Stakeholder Meeting” get my attention, because just who is a stakeholder, who decides.  I don’t recall getting this email, but thankfully a client who is regarded as a “Stakeholder” did, so I’ve signed up and will spend the time to show up and raise a few points.

Minnesota Department of Commerce Division of Energy Resources Header


Upcoming Stakeholder Meeting: Opportunities and Barriers to Utility Infrastructure Efficiency

Friday, July 28th from 8:30 a.m. – 12:30  p.m.

Wilder Center – 451 Lexington Pkwy. N, Saint Paul, MN 55104

Register for this free public meeting

Meeting Details

An estimated 12-15% of the nation’s electricity production is consumed by generation auxiliary loads, transmission and distribution losses, and substation consumption. As such, there is significant potential to increase utility infrastructure efficiency by decreasing conversion losses, improving plant operations, and mitigating transmission and distribution losses throughout Minnesota’s electric grid.

The Minnesota Department of Commerce invites you to participate in a stakeholder meeting to explore opportunities and barriers to utility infrastructure efficiency projects, and to begin developing a framework to improve the overall generation, transmission, and distribution efficiency of Minnesota’s electric system.

Meeting attendees will hear from national and local experts and gain insight into how existing, new, and on-the-horizon utility infrastructure technologies can increase system efficiency, including:

  • A presentation by the Electric Power Research Institute, highlighting innovative utility infrastructure efficiency projects and approaches from around the country.
  • A presentation from Minnkota Power Cooperative, discussing lessons learned from implementing infrastructure efficiency projects in Minnesota.
  • Information about next steps in the stakeholder engagement process, including a deeper-dive examination of supply-side efficiency policy issues.

Register here

click for larger version

Congratulations to Neighbors United Against Ameren Power Line, and to their attorney, Paul Henry, on this victory against Ameren’s Mark Twain  Transmission Project  (How dare they name something like this after Mark Twain, he”d be rolling in his grave).  The Missouri Supreme Court will not take up the Court of Appeals decision that Missouri does have jurisdiction over Ameren’s transmission project.  Here’s the decision from the Court of Appeals:

Ameren (ATXI) – Missouri Court of Appeals

Ameren claims were bizarre:

https://legalectric.org/f/2015/08/Ameren1.jpg

And the Missouri Court said, “We don’t think so.” Ameren tried to get it before theMissouri Supreme Court, and failed.

As recently as April, Ameren was proposing new routes through Missouri.  Guess again!

Listening to him speak is painful.  This idiot is talking about “Clean Coal.”   Claims that the Paris Accord stops development of “Clean Coal.”  DOH, IT’S THE ECONOMY STUPID!

He’s again blathering about 3-4% growth.  Delusional.

The Paris Accord hamstrings America?  The Paris Accord limits the American economy?

His points in the speech are insane.  A load of covfefe!

Here are tRumpe’s talking points handed out prior to today’s announcement:

Paris Accord_Talkers

At long last, the final round of Comments on the 5+ year long rulemaking have been filed.  A five year long process to enact the changes consistent with legislation passed in 2005, 12 years ago.  WHAT!?!?!  Yes, that’s how long it’s taken.  These are rules based on the Minnesota statutes for Certificate of Need (Minn. Stat. 216B.243) and the “Power Plant Siting Act” (Minn. Stat. Ch. 216E), which is transmission routing and power plant siting.

Here are the Reply Comments, and note there are very few:

Public Intervenors – No CapX 2020, U-CAN, North Route Group & Goodhue Wind Truth – FINAL_May 31 2017

McNamasra GWT Reply_20175-132415-01

Commerce EERA Reply_20175-132345-01

ITC Midwest_Reply_20175-132421-02

OtterTail Power_Reply_20175-132275-01

Xcel Energy_Reply_20175-132417-01

Next step — on the agenda at a future Public Utilities Commission meeting, where they’ll discuss changes, hopefully we’ll have oral argument of the parties and comments from the public, and then the rules are formally released to the public for public comment, a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge, and then back to the Commission for approval.  Probably it will be August… given the public comment period and hearing, this will be at least a SIX YEAR PROCESS!

From the public meeting materials, here’s what they’re looking at, above.  These are significant additions to the transmission grid in Minnesota and Wisconsin.

MISO’s Economic Planning Users Group is planning a “Regional Transmission Overlay Study” and they’re having another meeting tomorrow, May 25, 2017 down in Metatairie, Louisiana.

Here’s the call in info:

WebEx Information
Event Number: 966 575 350
WebEx Password: Ts824634

Participant Dial-In Number: 1-800-689-9374
Participant Code: 823713

Meeting Materials from the MISO site:

Here’s the problem — they close the meeting, and people like me aren’t allowed to attend.  First I was told, back in January when I tried to register:

Thank you for registering for the Economic Planning Users Group (EPUG) on Jan 31.  The afternoon portion of this meeting will be held in CLOSED session and reserved from MISO Members or Market Participants only.  Please feel free to attend the morning session from 11:00 am to 12:45 pm ET / 10:00 am to 11:45 CT.

I filled out their “CEII – Non-Disclosure Agreement” form and fired it off.  But noooooo…

So next I went to the PUC’s Quarterly MISO update, where I was assured that we could make arrangements so that I could attend.  I resent the “CEII – Non-Disclosure Agreement” and went back and forth and it came to this (click for larger version).  Note this “explanation” of options to be able to attend:

The reason that you were not permitted to attend the closed session is because the meeting involved discussion of Critical Energy Infrastructure Information (CEII) and CEII access requests by Non-Member Individuals requires FERC clearance.  Another access option is to be included on Appendix A of a MISO member or Market Participant.

So that says there are two ways to gain access, 1) get “FERC clearance” or 2) “Another access option is to be included on Appendix A of a MISO member or Market Participant.”  One or the other. Emphasis added.  Here’s the email (click for larger version) laying out those two options:

Oh, I says to myself, off to FERC.  I sent in the requisite paperwork to FERC, and got “FERC clearance” and they shipped me the CEII information, including but not limited to the map.  I let MISO know I’d obtained “FERC clearance,” and here’s the response (click for larger version):

ARRRRGH, they have my CEII NDA on file, have had it since January 23, 2017.  I resent it to the writer of these emails on March 4, 2017, and I sent it again today, and objected to yet another change in their “rules” (click for larger version):

So the plot thickens — from MISO (click or larger version):

And from moi (click for larger version):