There’s been a lot of speculation about the low wind production during the low-low temps at the end of January.  Turns out there’s an issue not anticipated by MISO that they’re going to have to deal with.  I heard it first from a little birdie who heard it while in a flock…

And now from a bigger birdie with primary info from the horse itself: Turbines apparently have a -22F degree or so automatic shutoff, so when it was way cold, they shut off.

Unidentified temperature cutoff thresholds challenged
wind forecasting in morning of Jan 30. Unexpected
shutoffs led to a large deviation from planned output.

Ummmmm, that’s a problem.  Here’s the MISO update on that:

20190207 MSC Item 04 Jan 30 Max Gen Event317407

And from my “good friends” at Center of the American Experiment, who got it twisted again:

Bitter Cold Shows Reliable Energy Sources Are Critical

Twisted?  What’s wrong with that?  Well, their focus is that it was an intermittency issue, which it was not.  As above, it was that shut-off at -22!  And note the part in their post about “unforeseen.”  And THAT is the problem, because the -22 cut-off was not integrated into the MISO modeling, plans, and that was a surprise, and they’re going to have to figure that one out.  It’s possible, probable, and now apparently likely that we will have another -22 degree spell in the foreseeable future.  So get with it, MISO!

And natural gas.  I keep thinking about that CenterPoint natural gas underground storage dome.  7 billion cubic feet at least.  There’s a lot of gas in storage.  Are they relying on pipelines, and does that reliance take into account the many newer natural gas plants?  Does Xcel share/buy from CenterPoint, take advantage of the storage?  What is the impact of so many electric generators fueled by natural gas?  They did recently do a lot of natural gas pipeline work on that primary north/south line running north from Waseca, was that a capacity expansion… upgrades or maintenance ??

Tony Evers, Wisconsin’s soon-to-be Governor, has appointed Rebecca Cameron Valcq as the new head of PSC.
Sounds like at least one docket, the Badger Hollow buy/sell 5-BS-228, is up for a PSC Commissioner recusal when it’s before the Commission!  Why?  Quarles is Rebecca Cameron Valcq’s firm, where she’s big gun in their Energy division.  Quarles just happens to be representing MGE/WPSC, and they were over the top in objecting to Jewell Jinkins Intervenors participation in the MGE/WPSC “buy/sell” docket 5-BS-228, and the Commission blew them out of the water, denied their Motion for Interlocutory Review, with nary a comment”

MGE/WPSC were LOSERS in WI yesterday

Rebecca Cameron Valcq?

From her Quarles bio:

And from a little birdie in the inbox, the direction that Gov. Evers wants to go:

Public Service Commission key to Tony Evers’ climate agenda

This is reminding me of the appointment of Lauren Azar to the Commission…

Hoar Frost over Shell Rock River

December 10th, 2018

This is the Shell Rock River, covered with winter hoar frost today, and part of the DNR’s Shell Rock River State Water Trail, where Freeborn Wind wants to string a transmission line over the river!  Click for larger view:

It’s a State Water Trail – click for larger view:

Doesn’t this just look like the greatest place for transmission across the river?!?!  Good grief, what are they thinking?

We know who you are, and we saw what you did… and didn’t!

No surprise.  Today the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission rejected Goodhue Wind Truth’s Petition for Reconsideration of the Commission’s denial of our Petition for Rulemaking.  Rules, who needs rules… about 2,500 MW of wind has been sited in Minnesota WITHOUT LARGE WIND SPECIFIC SITING RULES AND/OR STANDARDS!  Really!  And the Commission doesn’t seem to regard that as a problem.  Large wind is sited using SMALL WIND/COUNTY SITING STANDARDS, not intended for large wind.  And the Commission doesn’t seem to regard that as a problem.  Large wind is sited using MPCA’s industrial noise standards which were admittedly NOT designed with wind in mind.  And the Commission doesn’t seem to regard that as a problem.  Large wind is sited using a Commerce boilerplate site permit with 1,000 foot setbacks and staff has no idea where that 1,000 foot setback came from (it’s contrary to even the small wind standards, and there’s no rule or standard of 1,000 ft!).  And the Commission doesn’t seem to regard that as a problem.

GWT_Reconsideration_FINAL

Here’s the rest of the background information:

I often use this photo, because it represents one simple fact: Sometimes things go off the rails.  Wind siting in Minnesota is one of those things, we have no wind specific siting criteria!

Thursday, December 6th, we’re back at the Commission, where they’ll address Goodhue Wind Truth’s Petition for Reconsideration, or not (and toss it in the circular file).

PUC Notice – Agenda Meeting 12-6-2018

Here’s some background:

Wind Rulemaking — Petition for Reconsideration

     October 16th, 2018

Today’s Wind Rulemaking Comments

     August 24th, 2018