Transmission above picnic bench at Memorial Park lookout

The Draft Environmental Impact Statement for Wisconsin’s Cardinal-Hickory Creek transmission line (southern part of MVP 5) was issued at the end of the month. I’m representing Jewell Jinkins Intervenors in this project, and it’s time to wade through the DEIS and see what’s what. What I learned first was that my clients, Jewell Jinkins Intervenors, hadn’t been listed in the DEIS. Then I checked the list on the 2nd Prehearing Conference Memorandum, nope, not there. So then I checked the 1st Prehearing Conference Memorandum, and not there either. Well, I was there, heard intervention granted to the “Group 3” intervenors (Tr. p. 37, l. 14-15).

And then I discover that the Agricultural Impact Statement, Appendix G of the DEIS, is not an AIS, but is a Summary, the Summary is only a draft, and although it says that an AIS “has” been completed, it’s not done. How are we supposed to comment on it, comments due April 14, when the real AIS is not planned to be filed until PSC testimony, April 26th? What will it get to get this timeline in order?

Part of environmental review is “alternatives,” both “system alternatives” and “route alternatives.” A big PR flurry early last week about the “SOO Green Renewable Rail” transmission project caught my attention. It’s claimed to be a “wind” transmission project, though it interconnects the MVP 4 line at the Killdeer substation, taking on whatever energy is there.

Killdeer is in the ITC (blue) part of MVP 4

Oh, but wait… the Cardinal-Hickory Creek is the southern part of MVP 5, with Badger Coulee the northern part.

MVP 3, 4, and 5 (Cardinal-Hickory Creek is “southern 5”

Remember the so-called “benefits” of the MVP 17 project portfolio? Here’s their latest claim in MISO’s MVP report:

Here’s their previous claim:

Wisconsin law requires consideration of “alternatives to an action.” Wis. Stat. 1.11(2)(c)(3). Where do alternatives come from? ” Scoping is an aid to help the commission identify all of a project’s relevant environmental concerns and reasonable alternatives. ” Wis. Code PSC 4.30(2). Then, the EIS must include, “[a]n evaluation of the reasonable alternatives to the proposed action and significant environmental consequences of the alternatives, including those alternatives that could avoid some or all of the proposed action’s adverse environmental effects and the alternative of taking no action. ” Wis. Code PSC 4.30(3)(c).

Now, take a look at the:

The “system alternatives” are all the “applicant’s system alternatives.” Really… Do a search. And the “applicant’s system alternatives” is very limited, artificially limited so that only the applicant’s project “works” and alternatives are rejected.

Are there some “system alternatives” that should be considered that weren’t? Ja, you betcha.

(… manana… this “block” format is royal PITA)

12 GOP Senators voted against tRump’s declaration of a National Emergency.  Let them know you appreciate their vote, whatever their reason.

Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky – (202) 224-4343

Sen. Mike Lee of Utah – (202) 224-5444

Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah – (202) 224-5251

Sen. Lamar Alexander of Tennessee – (202) 224-4944

Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska – (202) 224-6665

Sen. Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania – (202) 224-4254

Sen. Susan Collins of Maine – (202) 224-2523

Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio – (202) 224-3353

Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida – (202) 224-3041

Sen. Roger Wicker of Mississippi – (202) 224-6253

Sen. Roy Blunt of Missouri – (202) 224-5721

Sen. Jerry Moran of Kansas- (202) 224-6521

So did tRump get Russia or Blackwater to crash Facebook?

Hey Red Wing!  Mark your calendars:

City Council Strategic Plan Public Forum & Q&A

Monday, March 18, 2019

6:30 to 8:00 p.m.

Public Library – Foot Room

6:30 to 7:00: Informal Meet and Greet time (snacks and beverages provided)

7:00 to 8:00: Brief presentation, City Council panel discussion, and question-and-answer period with Council members regarding the Strategic Plan draft.

Here’s the 2019 Strategic Plan Draft 3-13-19_201903130811429189-1

And here’s the Red Wing 2040 FINAL for comparison.

This is the “route map” from SOO Green site, used in PR

Announced just now in a major PR push, because Siemens bought it (see below), yet another transmission project, 500+ kV, and it’s supposedly a DC option to be buried underground along rail lines.  Look at the map, provided in the Press Release I guess, because most of the articles use it… check the yellow “SOO Green Available Route” in Minnesota!

Developer proposes a 350-mile underground transmission line to carry wind energy from rural Iowa to Chicago

Now that’s different!

But it’s been a concept looking for a home for quite a while (and check the FERC Orders and dockets below):

spp-miso jpc minutes october 2015

And major PR push? It’s because Siemens just bought the idea:

Siemens Buys Transmission Line to Take Iowa Wind to the Eastern Grid

A July 2018 presentation:


From “Midwest Reliability Organization” at their Fall 2018 meeting, and the map from that presentation:

SOO Green Renewable Rail – A Wind Energy Delivery Project – Joseph DeVito

Yet they used the green map for PR.  Why?  Something else interesting in that presentation is the “Development Team.”

Now look at the yellow “Soo Green Available Route” from MN to IL, and look at the green “Soo Green Primary Route” and guess what is right in the middle between them, why it’s “Cardinal-Hickory Creek” MVP 5 (southern part):

Note that Fredricksen & Byron law firm is involved in both Cardinal-Hickory Creek and SOO Green.

Here are just a few of the articles this week:

Proposed underground power line could bring Iowa wind turbine electricity to Chicago

Renewable energy rail project would run from Mason City to Chicago

Proposed new transmission project would deliver renewables between PJM and MISO

Proposed Area Power Generation to Go to Chicago

Just google, and you’ll find so many more.

MISO wins approval for new rules to link up external transmission

But what do we need more transmission for? We’ve got significant overbuild as it is. One big benefit is that user pays, where with much of the pass-through transmission of CapX 2020 and the MISO MVP 17 project portfolio, the pass-through ratepayers are stuck with a percentage of the full cost of all the projects.

There have been related FERC dockets, most recently the October 12, 2018 Order – Tariff Revision in docket ER-18-1410-000 (also -001):


There’s also an Order on Proposal and Guidance in ER-16-675:


To look at the entire FERC docket, GO HERE and search!

It’s something more to monitor.  Here’s the developer’s site:

Soo Green Renewable Rail

Note that Joe DeVito is heading up Fresh Energy these days, also on Board of Wind on the Wires/whatever new name is.

Need more info.  Interesting concept that addresses some of the huge issues, but need, always need, or lack thereof.