A conceptual solar canal.

Why did it take so long for this to arrive here in the U.S., it took many years, and a release of a study pointing out the siting and efficiency advantages. Parking this here for future reference!

Why India’s Canals Could Help Fast-Forward Its Solar-Energy Plans

“Not only do they perform more efficiently, but because we can assume that the generated electricity is utilised in nearby areas, the transmission losses of (normally) 4% and distribution losses of 3% are avoided,” said Sagarkumar Agravat, head of GERMI’s solar research and development.

Apart from this, since the panels are placed on top of water, they are cooled from below, which also increases their efficiency and enhances output by 2.5-5%.

Renewable future: Gujarat govt to set up 100 MW solar power project atop Narmada canal

The ‘solar canals’ making smart use of India’s space

Overall, Gujarat has more than 80,000km of canals meandering through the state. According to Gujarat State Electricity Corporation, if 30% of this were converted to solar, 18,000MW of power could be produced, saving 90,000 acres of land.

This is not a new idea, a demonstration canal project was built in India in 2012:

Gujarat’s solar panels over canals project is a great idea for sustainable energy production

And almost a decade later, in California:

Study looks at covering California’s canals with solar panels

And the study:

Energy and water co-benefits from covering canals with solar panels

And in Popular Science:

Solar panels and water canals could form a real power couple in California

Regulatory capture at PUC

August 27th, 2021

Yet another example of regulatory capture at the PUC. My take is that for pipelines and wind projects, they want to ram projects through, with little to no regard for those living with and affected by the projects.

Yesterday was the PUC’s meeting for deliberation and decision on the Walleye Wind project. Walleye Neighbors had been completely excluded from PUC Staff Briefing Papers (linked here)!

Walleye Wind was agenda item #4, the last agenda item:

I headed out in plenty of time to get there at the start of the meeting, with a 10 minute delay to get to the one door that was open, on the other side! Construction… and to wait for someone to come out because the door was locked. No problem, got in the room at about 4 minutes after the start, 9:19 a.m., and surprise, SURPRISE, Chair Sieben was introducing the parties to the Walleye docket, and included LIUNA, a mere participant, not an intervening party!

“Somebody” had rearranged the agenda and put Walleye Wind FIRST!

I’d filed a Notice of Motion and Motion based on PUC staff’s exclusion of Walleye Neighbors comments in any of the 3 sections of the Staff Briefing Papers where they should be, the “Relevant Documents,” the “Procedural History,” and “Comments Received.” Staff did not include Walleye Neighbors comments.

The staff also lists “Meeting Details” and Walleye Neighbors’ Comments are not listed in either version 1:

… or version 2:

Here’s how the meeting went, it starts at 19:00 HERE AT THIS LINK.

Sometime yesterday, a changed agenda appeared during the meeting on the meeting link (NOTHING IN THE DOCKET), listing Walleye Wind FIRST, and this one, produced shortly after 1 p.m., included notation of Commission action.

Note that towards the end, Chair Sieben asks participant LIUNA if they have any comments. That same request was NOT extended to Walleye Neighbors.

The Commission has an express mandate regarding public participation in Minn. Stat. 216E.08:

Guess again…

p.s. here’s what LIUNA had to say when I requested a short extension of time when I was retained at last minute by Walleye Neighbors, just one week before comments were due:

Another “just wow…”

There are so many good paragraphs in here that I can’t pick out just a few!

Yeah, just WOW! I cannot believe… in 25+ years practicing before the Commission I’ve not seen such utter failure to include public comments and address the concerns raised. Their notion of public participation is a farce.

In the Walleye Wind dockets, PUC Dockets IP7026/CN-20-268 and WS-20/384, PUC staff utterly excluded the Comments filed on May 20 by Walleye Neighbors of Minnesota and South Dakota. Our comments? Pretty weighty:

I doubt these comments were ignored. My guess is they didn’t want to deal with it and so swept it under the rug. Nope, ain’t gonna let that slide.

Here are the briefing papers, search for “Walleye Neighbors,” and you’ll find just one reference:

Whatever happened to public participation?

We’re on it:

The Commission meeting is tomorrow, starting at 9:15 a.m. Do I really need to get dressed and go to St. Paul? ABSOLUTELY!

UPDATE – 8/23/2021 – Letter from Judge Biren – Petition D-I-S-M-I-S-S-E-D:

CLICK HERE for last night’s City Council meeting. Go to 32:50 for Kent Laugen, 43:00 for George Hintz, 47:45 for Tom Wilder, 51:20 for City Attorney Amy Mace’s explanation of procedure for sanctions, and 55:50 for Kent Laugen again and he’s ushered out of the room.

As if it wasn’t bad enough that Kent Laugen, an attorney licensed in the state of Minnesota… oh, well, NEVERMIND, Kent Laugen is suspended for non-payment:

Anyway, it seems that Kent Laugen emailed a letter to the judge “via the Judge’s personal court email address.” As if that wasn’t bad enough, “individuals have made multiple ex parte communications with the Court regarding this case.” Oh, good idea, folks… (I can guess who a few of them are!).

Just filed by the City of Red Wing’s City Attorney:

And I quick pounded out this:

But then a little voice said to look at Kent Laugen’s MARS listing, and lo and behold, KENT LAUGEN IS SUSPENDED, NOT AUTHORIZED TO PRACTICE:

Based on this, I sent a correction, as I’d assumed, and stated, that he was a licensed attorney in Minnesota and should have known better than to send a private communication to the judge on the judge’s personal email:

Yesterday’s filings have all been accepted by the court and served on parties.

All Laugen has to do is pay up to get his license back, but maybe there are Continuing Legal Education credits needed too? We’ll see…