It’s out, the PJM Monitoring Analytics “State of the Market” report.  Check the pages at the very beginning for info about “external subsidies” and proposed subsidization of uneconomic nuclear generation.

Important factoid – peak demand down 4.3%

Here’s the 2017 State of the Market Report:

Volume I
Volume I (2MB PDF) contains the introduction.

Volume II
Volume II (14MB PDF) contains detailed analysis and results.

Check out the real-time PJM Locational Marginal Pricing map:

Coal ash, remember that big impoundment release, photo above, not all that long ago?

Good grief, it was a DECADE ago, and it’s still a mess.  From the EPA page:

EPA’s response to the TVA coal ash release in Kingston, TN

And another ash impoundment failure, our friends at Duke Energy, from EPA page:

EPA’s response to the Duke Energy coal ash spill in Eden, NC

It’s an issue in Minnesota too:

Who cares?  Well, once a rule is proposed, there’s not much variation, because if there is, then it has to start all over again and go through this process.  This is proposed to “amend” the 2015 final rule, so it can’t be good.  Speak up NOW!  Go to EPA’s and make Comments under Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OLEM-2017-0286 — open for 45 days after the proposed rule is published in the Federal Register, which is/was when?  Figure it’s published NOW, and just do it.

From the EPA’s site, here’s the rule proposed to gut the 2015 final rule, because gutting regulation, that’s what this administration does:

View a pre-publication version of the proposed rule

And here’s the poop cut and pasted direct from the source:

Proposed Amendments to the National Regulations (Phase One)

On March 1, 2018, EPA Administrator, Scott Pruitt, signed the first of two rules that proposes to amend the April 2015 final rule. The proposal:

  1. Addresses provisions of the final rule that were remanded back to the Agency on June 14, 2016 by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit;
  2. Provides states with approved CCR permit programs (or EPA where it is the permitting authority) under the Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation (WIIN) Act the ability to set certain alternative performance standards; and
  3. Addresses one additional issue that has arisen since the April 2015 publication of the final rule.

EPA is proposing six provisions that would allow states or EPA the ability to incorporate flexibilities into their coal ash permit programs. These flexibilities would also be available to facilities with U.S. EPA-issued CCR permits.

Additionally, the proposal:

  • Clarifies the type and magnitude of non-groundwater releases that would require a facility to comply with some or all of the corrective action procedures set forth in title 40 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) in sections 257.96 through 257.98 in meeting their obligation to clean up the release.
  • Adds boron to the list of constituents in Appendix IV of 40 CFR part 257 that trigger corrective action.
  • Determines the requirement for proper height of woody and grassy vegetation for slope protection.
  • Revises the current regulations to allow the use of CCR in the construction of final cover systems for CCR units closing pursuant to 40 CFR section 257.101 that are closing with waste-in-place.
  • Adds a new paragraph to 40 CFR section 257.103 to allow facilities to qualify for the alternative closure provisions based on the continued need to manage non-CCR wastestreams in the unit.

EPA will be accepting written comments on this proposal through under Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OLEM-2017-0286 for 45 days after the proposed rule is published in the Federal Register.

Additionally, EPA will hold a hearing on this proposed rule. Additional information about the hearing will be posted in the docket for this proposal and on this website in the near future.

And more, cut and pasted from EPA:

Yes, we know it doesn’t work. Learned that in stopping the Mesaba Project:

IGCC – Pipedreams of Green and Clean

There were IGCC – coal gasification – plants proposed all over the country, and they fell, one by one.  Some not fast enough, the Kemper project, in today’s Guardian, is an example of protracted misrepresentations to keep that money coming in to fund the scam:

The best thing that came from the failed Mesaba Project was the information about the technology that hadn’t been disclosed before.  We were able to use this information all over the country to stop these plants, and stop this one before Minnesotans were utterly and hopelessly screwed as they were in Mississippi with Southern’s Kemper and Indiana with Duke’s Edwardsport. Read the rest of this entry »

We’re making slow but steady progress on the Bent Tree wind project’s noise problems.  Problem?  Yes, now we’ve got the THIRD study showing it’s exceeding noise allowed under MPCA noise rules.

The Complaints about the Bent Tree wind project have been ongoing for seven years.  In 2011, the post construction study showed violations:



But no one was paying any attention… so finally, after many complaints, the Public Utilities Commission ordered Dept. of Commerce – EERA to do noise studies, and the results:

Bent Tree_Noise Monitoring and Noise Monitoring Report_Phase I_ _20179-135856-01

Bent Tree PostConstNoiseMonitoring Report Phase II Report+2+7+18

Oh, great, there we have it, it’s in violation of the noise permit condition, E III in the permit:

Just a couple weeks ago, Big Blue was at the Commission regarding noise violations, and it didn’t go well, because there must be a hearing before a permit can be suspended or revoked.  OK, fine, I can deal with that!  There was notice of a meeting to address the Bent Tree noise eFiled on Friday, and on Monday, we filed:


And the Commission meeting was today. Here are the Staff Briefing Papers (20182-140514-01).

And Alliant/Wisconsin Power & Light’s response to the Phase 2 noise monitoring (their Reply to my Motion for Order to Show Cause and for Hearing isn’t due for a few more days):


Much wrangling at the Commission today. The video will be posted HERE in a week or two.

What did we get?  This is roughly it, but the specifics of the written order may vary, and that’ll take a week or two to be filed.

  • Require Wisconsin Power and Light to Show Cause within 60 days of the Commission issuing a Show Cause Order why its Bent Tree Project site permit should not be suspended or revoked for non-compliance with ambient noise permit condition E III.
  • Require Wisconsin Power and Light to continue to curtail the Bent Tree Wind Project turbines 362, 132 and 397, as outlined in their February 22, 2018 filing, until authorized by the Commission to terminate curtailment.
  • Require EERA to review options for full project site noise monitoring and file preliminary options with the Commission no later than April 30, 2018.
  • Require EERA to evaluate the WPL interim curtailment provisions, and file with the Commission a compliance filing by March 31, 2018 on whether the provisions put forth are sufficient to ensure compliance with the MPCA noise standards in light of the violations alleged in the Phase 2 Report.
  • Wisconsin Power and Light will meet with Complainants as ordered no later than April 30, 2018 (we’re going back and forth scheduling that now).

An interesting wrap up by Commissioner Tuma, a close but not exact rendition:

“Please focus on what’s going on, not tear apart the study.  Find out what’s wrong.”

There were some odd things in the briefing papers, these two points in particular:


Re 1) above — that is framing for causation, and this is an administrative proceeding, causation is not at issue.  Just stop.

Re 2) above — there is no state regulation or level of low frequency noise… Ja, sure, but it ain’t for lack of trying.  I’ve filed two Petitions for Rulemaking to the PUC, both rejected.  I’ve filed another Petition for Rulemaking to the MPCA specifically regarding noise rules, and here’s what MPCA Commissioner Stine said (here’s pdf version Letter_StineMPCA_9-12-2016:

So what does it all mean?  Stay tuned…