Remember “Think Globally, Act Locally” — the bumper sticker and the practice?

Now we’ve got the wind industry winding people up to do just the opposite!  This is a study released recently, looking to power the world on Midwest wind:

Global Potential for Wind Generated Electricity

They’re assuming land turbines at 2.5 MW which is nearly twice the size of typical land turbines.  They’re also saying that this could be done with turbines running even at a 20% capacity factor, which I do think makes sense.  But that makes sense when it’s near load, doesn’t make any sense when long transmission lines, with lots of transmission losses.  So powering the world by this limited geographic area does not make sense.

It’s here, the testimony of the Intervenors against PSE&G’s Susquehanna-Roseland transmission project, well, it was last week, and FINALLY I’m getting around to posting it.

STOP THE LINES needs donations to keep up the fight.  Donations can be made by check payable to: Stop The Lines   PO Box 398  Tranquility NJ 07879.  You can also use paypal — just go to STOP THE LINES and scroll down.

Tax-deductible checks are also accepted,  made out to “NJ Highlands Coalition”, and put “Stop The Lines” in the memo
Mail to: NJ Highlands Coalition, ATT: Stop The Lines, 508 Main St. #3,  Boonton NJ 07005



Testimony of Helene Jaros

Exhibit JH-1 – HRA 4150-2, p. 6-7

Exhibit HJ-2 – HRA 4150-2, p. 11-12

Exhibit HJ-3 – VA Pamphlet 26-7, p.13


Testimony of Benjamin Sovacool

Exhibits will take a while — there are a LOT

BKS-1 – PEC Motion to VA Supreme Court


BKS-3 – PSEG 20-K 2008

BKS-4 – NERC PR 05-19-09

BKS-5 – PSEG 2009 Q1 Earnings Call Transcript

BKS-6 – 2009 PJM Load Report

BKS-7 – Rosengren Reuters June 5, 2009

BKS-8 – PEPCO PR MAPP May 19, 2009

BKS-10 – Rebecca Smith, Wall Street Journal

BKS-14 – Brattle Group Evaluation of PJM Forecast Modeling

BKS-15 – PJM Manual 14B

BKS-16 – PATH 1st Delay

Testimony of Steven Balzano


Testimony of Dr. Martin Blank

Yes, more good news.  Yesterday, the TANC Board met, and were heard on the public conference call to vote, one by one, to put an end to this project that no one wants:

Special Op-ed: TANC’s Implosion: Lessons of Failure

July 16, 2009

By Nora Shimoda

Fizzle, crackling and popping noises came to the minds of many as they heard news of a short-circuit in a controversial plan to build a multi-billion dollar high-voltage transmissions line that would span 600 miles from Lassen County to serve Sacramento and Bay Area utility customers.

Following months of agitated protests from community groups organized across Northern California, including Round Mountain, Glenn and Shasta Counties, Capay, Clarksburg, Winters and Davis in Yolo County, Stanislaus and San Joaquin Counties, tribal groups of Native Americans, and environmentalists, the Transmission Agency of Northern California (TANC) terminated the project.

The burden of negative impacts, such as health concerns, blight and loss of property value, affected thousands of people in many communities, yet these communities would not benefit from energy of the line. Inadequate notification to property owners, cities, and counties forced the agency to extend the scoping comment deadline several times.

TANC is a joint powers agency, a consortium of 15 municipal utilities, but only five were participating in the transmission line project (Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD), Modesto Irrigation District (MID), Turlock Irrigation District (TID), Silicon Valley Power (City of Santa Clara) and Redding Electric). State mandates to meet renewable energy goals of 20 percent by 2012, and an anticipated boost to 30 percent by 2020, is the primary justification for the project, according to TANC officials. The scheduled completion was 2014.

Questions of fiscal responsibility arose when a study by the California Energy Commission, called the Renewable Energy Transmission Initiative (RETI), evaluated 30 potential sites for renewable energy and the Lassen County source was ranked virtually at the bottom of the list. The RETI report also stated it was one of the most costly to build and having the most impact on the environment. Despite the evidence, TANC steadfastly moved forward with its plans as a frustrated public perceived its comments falling on deaf ears.

Citing uncertainty of plans by the federal government to construct transmission lines, SMUD, with the largest stake in the project at 37 percent, withdrew its support on July 1. The TID and MID followed suit two weeks later on July 14th. With financial support severed by three significant partners, the entire project collapsed the following day as TANC general manager Jim Beck announced termination of the project, including engineering and EIR/EIS reports.

And that marked the demise of what many critics called, “The Power Line to Nowhere.”

Reasons Why the TANC project Imploded:

1. TANC was not fair and not accepting responsibilities or negative impacts. It is bad public policy to place lines in communities where there is no access to the energy provided and making these communities bear all of the negative burdens, while the cities that benefit suffer no impacts. There are existing rights of way, possibilites of co-location and as much non-densely populated areas in Sacramento where lines could have been placed. If they truly were alternate routes, why do all 3 run through Yolo County and none through Sacramento? All of the lines are generally in the same area. It is a lose-lose situation for many communities, and win-win for many cities that would receive the power and no burden of negative impacts.

2. No notification to local governments, or very vague notification, of lines going over city and county owned properties. No notification to school districts (the proposed central 2 line was directly across the street from Harper Jr. High in Davis). TANC should have worked with the public and city and county governments to developed route criteria before issuing proposed routes.

3. Lack of integrity with public image of TANC and the TANC/Navigant relationship. TANC consistently called itself a not-for-profit agency. But it has just one employee, general manager, James Beck, and his desk is in the Navigant offices. The Navigant web site indicates that it is a worldwide consulting conglomerate that is a publicly traded company on the New York Stock Exchange. It states on its web site, something to the effect that its foremost goal is “maximizing shareholder interests,” which certainly sounds like a profit-making agenda. Perhaps there is nothing wrong with this relationship but the public perception is that of mistrust. If in fact, the tangled relationship turned out to be private, then a private company would not and should not have rights of eminent domain.

4. Lack of transparency despite many requests from the public to have access to engineering and environmental studies, maps of existing transmission lines, and cost/benefit analyses (such as rate increases), TANC did not provide information requested. There was also a failure to provide evidence of congestion and reliability of the current transmission system.

5. Mismanaged planning, as there were no contracts signed for renewable power supply. CEQA regulations require jointly, plans/contracts for power supply and transmission lines.

6. No state regulation of publicly-owned utility agencies. The controversial TANC plan brought to the attention of lawmakers this egregious oversight. State Senator Lois Wolk (D-Davis) introduced legislation (SB 460) to close a loophole in existing state law that exempts publicly-owned utilities from state oversight in planning and location of high voltage transmission lines. Senator Wolk states, “While this project is no longer moving forward, the root problem is still there,” she said. “The TANC project was a cautionary tale of what can happen when local public utilities aren’t held to the same state oversight and coordination as their investor-owned counterparts. The planning process for local public utility projects remains horribly flawed.”

Most opponents of the TANC project have a history of conservation and support the need for renewable energy, but this plan was fatally flawed.

Although it is lights out for TANC, many skeptics now keep a watchful eye on the federal government’s stimulus plan which includes high-voltage transmission projects for renewable energy.

Written by Nora Shimoda, Journalist, Media Strategist, Davis/Yolo County Ad Hoc Coalition opposing TANC.

TANC pulls plug

TANC project ended

TANC power plan plug pulled

TANC tanks as the public gets involved

TANC Powerline project goes dark

NorCal power agency abandons power line project

From “Silicon Valley Mercury News” (ummm, whatever happend to San Jose Mercury News?):

Controversial power line project canceled

By Jeanine Benca,

Bay Area News Group

Posted: 07/15/2009 07:00:00 PM PDT

Updated: 07/15/2009 09:05:35 PM PDT

The plug has been pulled on a controversial 600-mile power line project that would have delivered renewable energy to the city of Santa Clara and other parts of Northern California, officials from the Transmission Agency of Northern California said Wednesday.

The announcement to terminate the $1.5 billion project, made after a special meeting of the 15 public power providers who make up TANC, was spurred by the withdrawal of utility districts in Modesto, Turlock and Sacramento, said TANC spokesman Brendan Wonnacott.

The agency had hoped by 2014 to connect power lines from yet-to-be-developed wind and solar farms in northeastern California to power-thirsty urban areas elsewhere in Northern California. The lines would have wound through parts of the Central Valley and Bay Area, cutting through more than 50 agricultural and viticultural tracts in Livermore and Pleasanton, to bring energy to the city of Santa Clara and other TANC members.

The Sacramento Municipal Utility District abruptly backed out of the project earlier this month, citing financial and regulatory concerns. The district also voiced doubts over whether northeastern Lassen County — the proposed starting point for the transmission line system — was the best site for renewable energy.

On Monday, the Modesto and Turlock Irrigation Districts followed suit.

Read the rest of this entry »

Well DUH, but it’s about time someone looked at “need” for this project, and dig the charts and graphs!

No Need for Xcel Hiawatha Project, by Grace Kelly

She did a lot of good work (extreme understatement!) during and about the RNC debacle, and I look forward to more on transmission.

Bent Tree Comments

July 16th, 2009

Here are Comments filed (that we know of, likely there are more) in the Bent Tree wind project docket at PUC before Steve Mihalchick, ALJ:

Safe Wind in Freeborn County

Safe Wind – Comment – Line by Line Permit Conditions

Safe Wind Comment – Prohibition of Confidentiality Clause in Landowner Contracts

Safe Wind – Exhibit A – Landowner Contract with Confidentiality Clause

Safe Wind – Exhibit B – Landowner Guidelines-Michigan State

Safe Wind – Exhibit B – Windustry Lease Flyer

Safe Wind – Exhibit C – Daily Republic Article

Safe Wind – Exhibit D – North Dakota House bill 1509

Wisconsin Power & Light

Wisconsin Power & Light – Comments – Narrative

Wisconsin Power & Light – Comment – MAPS

Wisconsin Power & Light – Comments – Misc. Exhibits

To see all the Public Hearing Comments and Exhibits, go to and click on blue “eDockets” button, then search for dockets 07-1425 and/or 08-573.