Remember Excelsior Energy’s odd “appeal” of the PUC’s non-decision regarding the Mesaba Project, Excelsior’s coal gasification (IGCC) Power Purchase Agreement from hell?  Well, Minnesota Power just served out a Motion to Dismiss.  GO, MINNESOTA POWER!

MP’s Notice of Motion and Motion to Dismiss

The essence of the Motion?  “Throw it out because it ain’t ripe!” and “The decisions made by PUC thus far are NOT final decisions.”


I don’t get it.  The PUC Order is NOT a final decision.  So why are they wasting our time with this? Appeal?  Maybe it’s APPALL?  Give it up… sigh…

Here’s what was served out:

Excelsior Appeal – filing letter

Excelsior Appeal – service letter

Excelsior Appeal – Petition for Writ of Certiorari

Excelsior Appeal – Alternative Petition for Discretionary Review

Excelsior Appeal – Statement of the Case

Excelsior Appeal – Waiver of Cost Bond

Excelsior Appeal – Writ of Certiorari

Excelsior Appeal – PUC Order 11-08-07

Excelsior Appeal – PUC Order 8-30-07

Excelsior Appeal – Proof of Service

Go figure.  I imagine that Xcel and Minnesota Power will have something to say, they’re the ones with the big bucks and $$$ interest in this.   So I’ll keep y’all posted!

Just back from the CapX 2020 meeting in Fergus Falls, and learned from Tim Carlsgaard that an Xcel engineer told him that I was off on my suspicions on the 345kV structures.


You’ll note that the structures have arms only on one side and the line’s three phases are vertically arranged, and my suspicion was that before the line was even up, they’d be wanting to “upgrade” and add another full compliment of vertically arranged lines on the other side.  WRONG!!!!  What they say, and it passes the smell test, is that the DOT wouldn’t let them overhand the DOT right-of-way no matter how they squealed and squawked.

OH, OK.  Well, there you have it!  Thanks, Tim!

For the rest of the meeting, you’ll have to go over to  But it’ll take a bit to get it posted.


YES!!!  A stray voltage win in Wisconsin, well, TWO stray voltage wins in Wisconsin.  It’s been a rough week for those poor folks at Xcel…

Here are the cases:

Gumz v. Northern States Power

Schmidt v. Northern States Power

And here’s an article from the Wausau Daily Herald:

Posted December 7, 2007

Stray-voltage award OK’d

State’s high court: Athens-area farmers due $532,000 in damages

By Kevin Murphy
For the Wausau Daily Herald

MADISON — The Wisconsin Supreme Court upheld a $532,000 damage award Thursday to two rural Athens dairy farmers in a stray voltage lawsuit brought against Northern States Power Co.

In a 4-3 decision, the court also upheld Marathon County Circuit Judge Gregory Grau’s rulings that James and Michael Gumz filed the suit within the six-year time limit and jurors could not reduce the damage award based on any alleged deficient farming practices.

James Gumz, who lives along Highway E, said the case he filed in 2001 has dragged on so long that he was not excited by Thursday’s ruling.

“I will be when I see the money,” he joked.

The Gumz family’s dairy herd first exhibited production and health problems in 1991, which was 10 years after James and Michael bought their parents’ farm, served by an electric line installed in 1937.

Although as early as 1993 veterinarians suspected the cows’ symptoms might involve some “outside phenomena,” they concentrated on changing nutrition and milking equipment as the solutions.

Their veterinarian wrote NSP in 1996 stating she suspected stray voltage was causing the herd’s production problems and requested an inspection of the farm’s electrical system. Although NSP’s tests found no problems above a state-prescribed “level of concern,” an electrician hired by the Gumzes found much higher levels of stray voltage coming from off the farm.

On the electrician’s advice, the Gumzes installed electrical equipment, and fewer cows died and production increased. Problems returned by 1999, and when NSP’s test found no stray voltage problems and the Gumzes’ electrician did, the Gumzes filed suit in 2001.

After losing at trial and appeal, NSP appealed to the Wisconsin Supreme Court but lost again on their statute of limitations and other arguments.

“Prior to May 1996, the Gumzes did not know, nor with reasonable diligence should they have known, that stray voltage from Northern States Power was the cause of damage to their herd,” wrote Justice Ann Walsh Bradley.

Justices Annette Ziegler, David Prosser and Patience Roggensack dissented. 

And an Associated Press story:

 Supreme Court upholds nearly $533,000 award in stray voltage case

About time…

It’s here, on No CapX 2020:

Notice of Meetings in Republican Eagle