Bottom line:

This was the first ever contested case for a wind permit in the state of Minnesota, which has sited many, many wind projects.  Finally they’re doing it right, under the Power Plant Siting Act.  AND in this first ever contested case in Minnesota, the Administrative Law Judge has just recommended that the permit be denied, or Freeborn Wind show how it would comply.  LIKE WOW!  Is this exciting or what!

Here’s the ALJ’s full Recommendation to the Public Utilities Commission:

OAH+80-2500-34633+Final+Order

Noise is real, and Minnesota has been lax about siting.  That will change!

Next stop, the Public Utilities Commission!  Can’t wait!

YEAAAAAAAA!

Update on Bent Tree.  Filed earlier, Notice of Settlement Agreements:

FILED_Bent+Tree+WPL+Settlement+Agr+-+Hagen

FILED_Bent+Tree+WPL+Settlement+Agr+-+Langrud

And today:

20185-142656-01_Settlement Specific Comments

And yesterday from EERA-Commerce:

20184-142562-01_EERA_Commerce_Comments

As for process going forward, Commerce recommends:

From WPL yesterday:

20184-142555-01_WPL_Response Order Show Cause

Next up – Public Utilities Commission meeting, the sooner the better.

 

Center of the American Experiment is at it again, twisting obvious facts, and losing credibility in the process, well, not that they have any…  They must be getting paid big bucks to continue this distortion and disinformation campaign.  And maybe it’s just an attempt to get their name out there, as if they’re a “think” tank, and not a tank of hot air.

Your Taxes, My Friend, Are Blowing in the Wind

There are issues with wind, particularly about siting — the way projects steamroll into communities, putting up turbines too close to people who are already there — bringing the nuisance to the people where the community does not consent.  Very valid issues, particularly where wind companies, on top of that, are violating their permits.  We as a society need to address these issues now so that people are no longer steamrolled, and we need to figure out a way to deal with projects already improperly sited.  If not, well, it’s hard to imagine how any wind project could be sited going forward!

What’s  Center of the American Experiment up to?  This time, it’s about wind subsidies, and they’re again milking that bogus report for whatever they can — please read it carefully and rip it apart — it’s not worth the mb it’s printed on:

Energy Policy in Minnesota: The High Cost of Failure

What’s wrong with their take on subsidies?  Well, they’re on a rant about taxes and pick out wind subsidies, because they want to bash wind, but they don’t address the subsidies for all other sorts of generation.  DOH!  That means that the issue isn’t subsidies, it’s wind.

Worse, they start out about Warren Buffett and tax benefits he gets from his wind projects.  Yup, that’s there.  But earth to Mars, he has a lot more invested in coal.

Warren Buffett owns BNSF which ships coal around the Midwest. BNSF is also a major Bakken BOOM! oil transporter, the impetus for the $5 billion Amtrak deal with BNSF for rail, crossing, and safety upgrades.

Warren Buffett owns the MidAmerican Energy Center, 4 coal plants, which includes the “Walter Scott, Jr. ” 790 MW coal plant — the largest in Iowa.  It cost $1.2 billion to build, and was completed in 2007, just in time to start utilizing the biggest transmission build-out in history!

Just the Facts – Walter Scott, Jr. Energy Center’s New 790 Megawatt Unit

Center of the American Experiment says about transmission that:

There are plenty of people who believe that wind turbines are cost competitive with other sources of energy, but these analyses do not include the cost of the transmission lines needed to transport wind energy (which regularly cost $2 million per mile) or the cost of running conventional power plants as backup sources of electricity in case the sun isn’t shining or the wind isn’t blowing.

Transmission is needed for all generation, none but rooftop solar is at the load. Cost of transmission is not in any PPA.  FERC requires that transmission not discriminate against or favor particular types of generation — what is there is what goes over the wires.  And whatever the generation source, cost of transmission does show up in rates. Utilities get more from capital investments, a/k/a as transmission, than from selling electricity.

And then there’s the basis for that transmission build out — to displace natural gas with coal:

ICF-Independent Assessment MISO Benefits

And “the cost of running conventional power plants as backup sources of electricity”  Natural gas peaking plants are what’s used for backup for wind, they kick in only when needed, and that’s not often.  Further, solar follows peak. Back up occurs when the variable source isn’t running, it’s not simultaneous, not duplicative, DOH!  It’s duplicitous!

As to rates: Xcel’s rate case 15-826, is there for reading, but you seem to ignore the filings. Center of the American Experiment has been silent on Xcel’s e21 “business plan” rate scam and the current bill to change cost review and rate recovery for Prairie Island. Where’s theirconcern about rates when rates are at issue? Oh, right, weighing in on a rate case might involve facts.

Enough of Center of the American Experiment’s repeated disinformation, misstatements… just stop.

Seen on I-35 last night, right across from Cabelas

Last week, I saw the above sign on I-35 across from Cabelas.  Today, Sunday, I saw another, just north of the Clarks Grove/251 exit, between the 19 and 20 mile markers.  I’d guess with these two, there’d also be ones along I-90.  There’s another one on Main in Albert Lea, near the lake; and another eastbound on I-90 near Hwy. 46 exit by Austin.  Anyone see other billboards?

Where is Center of the American Experiment getting the money for this disinformation campaign?  You may ask why I say “disinformation campaign.”  Read on…

Check this out, the “report” they keep recycling:

Energy Policy in Minnesota: The High Cost of Failure

Legalectric post from October:

Center of the American Experiment — Conflatulence!

Who benefits by CAE making arguments that don’t hold up to 30 seconds of research?  CAE does of course, they’re filling their coffers.  But they’re just on this because the funders want this result. The funders?  I don’t presume that it’s as simple an answer as “The Koch Bros.”  The false claims they use tells me it’s more nuanced, because they’re setting people up.  Those who are sucked in to these arguments, who buy into these false claims, will be shot down by regulators and legislators who know the truth of what goes into rates, and who understand that CO2 reduction only happens by reducing burning, DOH! (not by increasing wind, increasing wind only changes the percentages).  They’re sabotaging legitimate issues with wind siting, and they’re ignoring the groundbreaking recent demonstrations that wind projects DO violate the noise related permit conditions and Minnesota’s noise rule (Minn. Ch. 7030).  They’re ignoring that the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission HAS ordered the violators to take action (too late, not enough, but a start).  When there are legitimate issues, why would they ignore them and go for fake news?  Why release the bogus CAE report a month after the Bent Tree Phase I report comes out?  Hmmmmmmmm…

REAL NEWS:

Bent Tree_Noise Monitoring Phase I_20179-135856-01

Bent Tree Post-Construction Noise Monitoring Report Phase II Report

Big Blue – PUC Letter to Show Cause

Big Blue 20183-140861-01_Commission Order

REAL NEWS: Freeborn Wind project is first ever wind siting contested case!  For info, go HERE and search for docket “17” (year) “410” (docket number).  Good reading!

These Minnesota Public Utilities Commission actions should be well known to CAE if they’re going to be doing a campaign like this.  CAE should be spreading this info far and wide… but noooooo….

An example — the day before yesterday at the legislature, there they are touting this report again:

American Experiment Testifies in Front of MN House of Representatives Committee on Job Growth and Energy Affordability Policy on Wind Energy

Soooo, who benefits?  Who benefits from CAE’s big PR push?  Who benefits from uninformed people jumping on the CAE bandwagon, only to lose their credibility by spewing these CAE bogus arguments?  I think this is a very well crafted disinformation campaign.  Who is paying for it?  Usually the Wizard is Xcel Energy, manipulating behind the scenes, spreading money far and wide to whoever will take it.  Here?  We shall see…  And is any of this related to Senate File 3504/House File 3708 (they are identical) introduced on March 15th and 12th 2018??  Circumventing the PUC to get instant rate recovery for rehab of Prairie Island nuclear plant?  We know how Monticello came in at twice the cost.  How would that go here?  PUC review of that might hamper Xcel.  Can’t have that, can we… and we know CAE loves nuclear.

MNGreenEnergyFails.com

Registrant Contact
Name: Peter Zeller
Organization: Center of the American Experiment
Street: 8421 Wayzata Blvd., Ste. 110
City: Golden Valley
State: MN
Postal Code: 55426
Country: US
Phone: +1.6123383605
Email: email@americanexperiment.org

 

Remember when Rep. Tim Walz filed a letter with PUC claiming that Invenergy’s Melville Nickerson was his constituent?

Today, he’s filed another, and it’s much better:

20183-141076-01_PUC Comment

Yeah, that earlier one is a hard one to forget:

Invenergy is Rep. Walz’ constituent?

 Much better, looks like he’s paying attention to his constituents!