I’m cleaning the office, trying to move into 2021 with less reliance on paper and more on electronics. That could be asking for trouble, but the piles and piles I’ve got here, decades of utility work, it’s going to topple the house. So I’m continuing my practice of scanning or finding on-line many of these reports and posting them here so I can find them, and others can too.

Years ago, circa 1999, maybe 2000, during the Arrowhead transmission contested case in either Minnesota, working out of a garage and staying in a tent, or Wisconsin, a two month long hearing from hell, rooming with Cassidy, one of two German Shepherds where we were staying…

… I received a “brown paper envelope” copy of “The Bonneville Report,” a report that was issued by Bonneville Power Administration and very shortly thereafter, it was disappeared, and it later returned. The copy I received was a later version, circa 1996. I present to you World Organization of Landowner Freedom’s Exhibit A:

And here’s a 1989 version:

And here’s another great one that shouldn’t be forgotten, particularly as Xcel’s Benson, in rate case testimony about transmission, notes rehab of the King-Eau Claire-Arpin transmission line:

Northern MAPP/Northwestern Ontario Disturbance June 25, 1998


And an interesting report, wherein Xcel forecasts peak demand:

And as they start the shift to “economic” need:

And for those ready to shut down Prairie Island Nuclear Generation Plant:

And anyone remember when “Wind on the Wires” was a program of the Izaak Walton League? This was in 2001, the beginning of the machinations and set up for the big transmission build-out, the SW Minn 345kV line was the first out the gate, and gave Xcel/NSP the start it needed. And below, read the minutes, this transmission that we’re all paying big bucks for is the impact of the enviro sell-out.

Note the part about the “settlement agreement,” for that SW Minn 345kV line!

And here, introducing “Wind on the Wires,” an Izaaak Walton grant program, “identifying the highest priority transmission upgrades and working with utilities, state and federal regulators, and local communities for their completion.” Thanks a lot:

And a LOT of old Arrowhead info, contracts, costs, even application!

And from the “Wisconsin Western Interface Alternatives” (still looking for online), this precursor of CapX 2020 and MISO’s MVP Portfolio below – which ones HAVEN’T they built?

Saving and posting for posterity…

The June 25, 1998 blackout report needs to be on the interwebs available to the world.

June 25, 1998? That’s the night of the transmission fail that disconnected the Midwest from the Eastern Interconnect. That question was asked by Minnesota Power’s attorney of each and every witness, I think other than MP, but maybe MP witnesses too, in the Arrowhead transmission project hearing, circa 1999-2000. There were cries of “Hospitals will go dark without the Arrowhead project,” “We’re going to freeze in the dark in an incubator” which became “We’re going to freeze in the dark on a respirator without a job” — it was so histrionic.

The Arrowhead transmission project was project 13J of the WRAO Report, and the WIREs Report, which presented many transmission lines, but chose the Arrowhead transmission project as the “be all and end all” of transmission in the Midwest, that it would fix all the transmission problems:

The hearing went forward, 2 weeks in Minnesota, where MP got an exemption from Minnesota Power Plant siting law, and for TWO MONTHS in Wisconsin, for Round 1, then 2 weeks after the cost went way up, and another 3-5 days of hearing later when cost went up again. They got their permit, it’s up…

But in that first hearing, I did get to introduce the report that showed that the June 25, 1998, blackout was NOT caused by too little capacity, it was not caused by an unreliable transmission system. It was caused by corporate greed, transmission operators running the Prairie Island-Byron 345kV’s TCEX flow over the limit, disregarding operating guides, and disregarding requests and demands to ramp the power down, violating MAPP Operating Standards and NERC Operating Policies. SHAME, NSP, SHAME!!! And MP was so tacky, trying to attribute their desire for bulk power transfer to the blackout, that the Arrowhead project would save us. Yeah, right…

Here’s the report, below, it’s a gem, I’m posting this today because I’m shoveling off my desk and there are a lot of gems here, so posting them will get them out into the world in perpetuity — can’t disappear something from the internet! Scanning them in is taking a while, a royal and dusty pain in the patoot, but just for you inquiring minds, HERE IT IS:

Here are a couple snippets, starting with p. 2:

Bottom line?



The report goes on and on with stupid human tricks – the flow was NOT reduced by NSP System Operators:

From pps 10-11:

So if the operators had been doing the job, not focused on keeping that line operating with all that power flowing through it, selling that power, the blackout may not have happened. Great…

And for some reason, NSP operators were not communicating:

300 MW above the operating guide limits:


Operator error is a too-generous way to put it — but for the efforts to NOT reduce power flows, the inadequate response of system operators and their failure to communicate the degree of the problem, the blackout may not have happened. And then utilities have the nerve to say that because of the June 25, 1998 blackout, we need the 13j Arrowhead transmission project?

How many years have I been saying that the purpose of this massive transmission build-out is to market coal elsewhere? Decades, folks, it’s been decades… And this latest from Xcel Energy, Notice of Comment period just out today, is demonstration that they plan to keep running those coal plants and selling it. Will the Public Utilities Commission care?

Here’s the newly released Xcel Energy plan, and a comment period:

The plan?

Here’s the Notice:

What to comment about? From the Commission’s Notice:

Bulk power transfer was the whole point of the transmission build-out, to be able to sell anything generated at any Point A to any Point B. And then coal generated here could be sold elsewhere, eastward via transmission, while we use generation that isn’t quite so dirty (but that’s dirty in its own way). We’re so clean here in Minnesota… NOT! We’ve been a pass through for Dakotas’ coal for a while, and now, they’re asking permission to keep burning coal here and send that energy eastward.

They built all that transmission, no Commission I’ve seen has ever found a transmission plan they didn’t like and roll over for, and now we’re paying for it. Rate increases anyone? Are you paying attention to what’s pushing those rates up?

Why ever would I say that it’s all about selling coal? Well… there’s a bit of a pattern going here. There was the Chisago project, starting in 1996 and three iterations in Minnesota and Wisconsin, not to mention the WRAO report:

WRAO laid out many transmission lines and the Arrowhead transmission project, circa 1999, was selected as the be all and end all of transmission after many hearings were held, one hearing in Minnesota and THREE before Wisconsin PSC, the price kept going UP, UP, UP!

But then on September 8, 2001, a meeting with likely intervenors to see if they could be convinced to “approve” of the SW Minnesota 345kV line, remember that, Commissioner Matt Schuerger? I pointed out all that coal lined up in the SW MN 345kV study… and from there on to the SW MN 345kV line, part of ABB plan for coal:

Don’t ya just love that name? It says it all. Why the ABB Lignite Vision 21 Transmission Study? The opening paragraph, linked above, DOH! says:

The SW MN 345kV line was the part that’s running east to west on the lower part of that yellow map, from Split Rock sub to Lakefield Junction. Some claimed it was an “It’s for WIND!” line, but that’s a lie, just read that ABB study again. The powerflows showed that it wasn’t to carry energy off of Buffalo Ridge, there was just 213-302 MVA coming off Buffalo Ridge into the over 2,000 MVA capacity line:

How stupid do they think we are? Well, money talked, and that money ruled the day. That SW MN 345kV line and the TRANSLink Settlement Agreement and 2005 Transmission Omnibus Bill from Hell (and changes to Minn. Stat. 117.189) laid the groundwork to bring us $2+ BILLION of CapX 2020:

And then the MISO MVP 17 project portfolio, now over $6 BILLION:

And then they have the audacity to suggest we need MORE transmission?

Upper Midwest utilities to study transmission grid in light of ambitious carbon reduction goals

CapX 2050 Vision Study

So please explain how selling coal generated electricity on the MISO market is consistent with carbon reduction goals?

What a crock…


The Chamber’s theory: When under siege without a valid argument, start tossing around labels!

Project No Project: The Story of NIMBY

It’s weird, they’re missing a lot, missing a lot of states, a lot of projects, and it’s odd the ones they’re picking.

Minnesota Projects

Wisconsin Projects

Delaware Projects – NONE

Maryland Projects – NONE

New Jersey Projects – NONE

When the Chamber stick their ham-handed hocks in, that tells me they’re worried they’re represented interests aren’t going to get their way!

The US Chamber sure has changed a lot since Bob Jacobsen worked for them…