Got to Delaware just in time — Matt and Linda got married today.  As Alan says, it’s good they can be together for 18 years and still want to get married!  THEY DID IT!


They’re my favorite people in Delaware, well, except for Alan of course, and Matt’s mother makes pizelles to die for!  Matt and Linda run DelPizzo Construction:

Linda and Matt are both are active environmentalists, Matt has been a primary part of Delaware Audubon for ages and they did the heavy lifting last year when Audubon gave Alan its environmental award.  Linda has amazing artistic talents, making Alan a beautiful 6 foot bright blue sequin fish costume for a hearing, and for a demonstration in Dover, flat black cut-outs, a water buffalo/pig (?) representing former Gov. Minner connected by chains and led around by the nose by a big bankster!  That’s Matt in the  tan fish outfit at the Delaware AudubonFest:


As weddings go, it was as good as it gets (well, I’m not a big fan, don’t cha know), haven’t been to a wedding in SO long… and, well, I’ve got an aversion to this day, May 18 is my anniversary, 39 years ago — I told Linda about that and she noted that she was 6 months old then.  SAY WHAT!  Whoa, talk about feeling like an old fart, we’re as old as their parents — I had no idea!  Anyway, for them, and to get some long overdue work done in DE, we hit the road.  It was in historic Odessa, Delaware, at the Corbit-Sharp House, really a complex of historic houses and a great barn for serving.  Appetizers (veggies, fruit, cheeze, bread) and sufficient ETOH to be lubricated prior to the show, a short and sweet ceremony, and on to dinner, mostly vegan, PIZELLES and the Rock Fish with Chimichurri Sauce, oh so good, the Cantwell’s Tavern did the food.  And PIZELLES!  Vegan wedding cake of carrot and pineapple (coconut and ??? frosting, maybe soy milk or soy cream cheeze?).  Have to admit, I skipped the cigar bar… and did I mention PIZELLES???!!!???

A few weeks ago when Matt was in Minnesota on an Anderson Windows junket, we corralled him for dinner, he sacrificed a tour in the pole-dancer bus, and it was clear how much he was missing Linda (well, that’s Alan and my guess anyway), they’re one of the few couples I know who are a joy to be around together.  So after 18 years, here they go, married – ’bout time!


A little birdie tells me that my site is a snooze.

That’s true.  I’ve been getting some domestic projects done that I’ve been ignoring, and I’ve started a big project that requires lots of research… zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz… believe me, that’s more of a snooze than my blog, and I hope worth the wait.

So what else is happening?

The Goodhue Wind project was taken off the May 2 Public Utilities Commission agenda and “temporarily” rescheduled for June 20, 2013.  But there’s a new filing provided by Xcel Energy that got me snortin’ recently, dig this:

Letter – Xcel Energy – May 8, 2013

And no hints – you’ve got to read the whole thing.  Peter Mastic is more than a little bruised after this letter!



May 7th, 2013

Yes, it’s true, the snow is now gone.

The North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) released its 2012 Long Term Reliability Assessment last November.  This rates a BIG SIGH, I have yet to post it.  How can that be?  Well, November was a hectic time, to put it mildly, but then I look and it’s the same thing last year.  Anyway, here we go!


And in case you missed it:


Now, as to some of the specifics in the 2012 Reliability Assessment.  I was recently asked about “wind replacing coal” which is a popular fallacy, because it doesn’t replace coal, not physically, not electrically, not legally, no way, no how.

From the NERC 2012 Long Term Reliability Assessment, p. 103-104 (click for larger version):

And NERC Report p. 107 – Retiring coal plants are the old small ones (divide the MW by units)
When you’re hearing people crowing about less coal generation, about using less coal, and about generating less CO2, that’s all because there’s less demand, they’re not needing the old, expensive smaller coal plants to meet demand.

Another view of retirements –dispatch is on “economic” basis, meaning cheapest first.  That means big coal.  The old small coal plants are very costly to run and usually don’t.  What this means is that they can shut down the small inefficient and uneconomic plants without suffering because they don’t need them for demand, and they’re high priced to operate and usually sit idle anyway.  Now that natural gas is so cheap, it also means natural gas, although in Midwest, they don’t use gas for baseload, as they do on east coast.  So the gas here is peaking power, and is usually more expensive because it’s owned by IPP and under Power Purchase Agreements for peaking (high price).  Though Xcel owns its own gas now, remember it repowered a couple old coal plants, and they probably could use that more often and don’t have to pay the higher prices of peaking PPAs.  See Retirements, NERC Report, p. 8 of 335:

And remember, not one Renewable Energy Standard “replaces” anything.  It is a mandate to generate more electricity ON TOP OF the surplus.  And the mandate is needed because there is no market.  It’s adding surplus to surplus.  Not one RES in the nation says “generation X MW of renewable and decrease fossil by X or X-Y or ?.”  There is no replacement intended or accomplished.  Further unlike solar, wind is off peak, when they’re doing their market transactions, selling all the coal they can.  How much can they sell?  Well, it’s not reported in the MISO section of the NERC report, which states that only internal transactions MISO are reported (again, click for larger view):

Anyway, bottom line is that reserve margins are twice what they need to be (click chart for the big picture):

Today begins a holiday weekend in SE Minnesota, well, it started yesterday, but so did the snow, so we’re getting a late start.

100 mile garage sale!

Clean up started in earnest today, they had a bucket truck, bobcat and pick up, and I woke up to a chorus of chain saws.


The office is CLOSED today!