Blake Wheatley promotes his vaporware project (from Chisago County Press, fair use)

Here’s the latest from the Chisago County Press:

10/22/2009 8:38:00 AM

Hundreds attend LS Power information meeting sponsored by county and Lent Township


Monday night’s informational meeting on the LS Power electric station project began civilly-enough; but as the session stretched into its second hour, peoples’ patience thinned and audience members felt compelled to hoot at some speakers or applaud mightily for others.

Lent Township Hall, an airplane hangar-sized building, was filled to standing room only. Posters were carried by people declaring “stop the power plant” and “we need jobs now.”

The panel of state and local officials walked everybody through the various processes each panel member had regulatory authority over. The public microphone was then opened up for statements, speeches, questions and concerns in the second half of the meeting.

There is no design or site plan available yet for the electric station, which is proposed for an area near County Road 14 and 15, next to the Xcel electric substation.

The Public Utilities Commission has been told to expect a permit application from LS Power in late 2009 or early 2010, according to PUC representative Bob Cupit.

Those attending the meeting were also informed state authorities have “pre-empted” from local authority, the permitting for the LS Power electric station project.

Chisago County Attorney Janet Reiter explained state laws basically require state control over projects needing state permits. The county is a “subdivision” of the state and Reiter added, the county relinquishes siting and permitting tasks for a project like this.

Later in public comment, an anti-power plant organizer Shellene Johnson seemed to support local authorities taking back oversight. She asked Bob Cupit, the Public Utilities Commission official, to expound on ways statutes do indeed allow for a “local siting” procedure.

Cupit said the facility must be operated ONLY as a peaking plant and must use a single source of fuel, for it to qualify under local siting. He was under the preliminary impression the LS Power project did not qualify for this. LS Power proposes a combined fuel plant of natural gas and fuel oil.

Cupit also assured the audience the PUC analysis and review of this plan will be “top end.” Due to the public interest and implications of the project, “no short shrift” will be given to this state review by any PUC regulators, Cupit stressed. LS Power has to demonstrate need for the plant capacity (futures contracts sales, etc.) and show the PUC the project, “is in the interests of Minnesota energy consumers.”

The PUC permitting process can take anywhere from six months to one year, depending on what PUC Board members pursue as a review process. Cupit said law allows for a citizen task force. He anticipates citizens will be asked to contribute during development of the permit evaluations.

If citizens feel the system still failed to consider issues, the decision of the PUC can be appealed to the state Court of Appeals.
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That was the most important thing to come out of last night’s meeting.  Mikey Bull was clear, stating in a most Norwegian way that “despite what Carol thinks, our load is growing,” and that they “won’t have a need… until 2016 or 2017.”   I hope that people LISTENED CAREFULLY and were thinking critically.


Shellene Johnson, CRVC, walked Bob Cupit through the siting review and permitting options:




Bob was thrilled, I’m sure, he thought I’d put her up to it, but hey, I’m innocent — this is info that needs to be public, so that people understand all the options.  Shellene had questions, particularly where this was an issue that had come up way back when we worked on the County Essential Services ordinance, and wanted to beef up the county’s ordinance to give them some options if a project went through local review.  Local review is NOT a new issue for Chisago County, and if you recall, the SE Metro line went through the local review process.

Alan Muller was his usual delightful self, leading Blake Wheatley through a list of questions that demonstrated the “vaporware” nature of this project — he couldn’t or wouldn’t give us any information at all about the project.  He knew NOTINK!

What would be the output of this plant? Answer:
780 MW summer rating.  Over 800 winter rating.  [Gas turbines
make more power when the air is colder and more dense.]

How many generating units would there
Answer: Don’t
know/haven’t decided.

Who would be the manufacturer of the combustion
turbines?       Answer:
Don’t know/haven’t decided.

Who would be the manufacturer of the steam
turbines?    Answer: Don’t
know/haven’t decided.

How many smokestacks would the plant have?
Answer: Don’t know/haven’t

How gallons or barrels of oil would be stored on the
Answer: Don’t know/haven’t decided.

How much oil would be burned in a
Answer: Don’t
know/haven’t decided.

In your air permit application, how many pounds per year of regulated air
pollutants would you be asking permission to put up your
smokestacks?          Answer:  Don’t know/haven’t

And so on …..

…he knew nothing at all about this, and that’s because there’s nothing to know.  There’s no project plan, no Power Purchase Agreement, no state permit applications, nada…  This isn’t a project, it’s a farce… Tom Micheletti could take lessons from Blake Wheatley.  Here’s the site plan, from the Oct 15 2009 Revised Draft Development Agreement:


WOW, that says a lot…

Take the time to read these:

Oct 15 2009 Revised Draft Development Agreement

Draft Host Fee Agreement

I promised to post a few things so people can learn about prior proposals to get an idea what this one means, so let’s do that.  Bear with me, this is interesting stuff!

MISO Queue #G-135

This MISO Interconnection study says that for 660MW of generation at the Chisago sub, lots of  transmission would need to be added.  Here’s what one of the two similar options looks like (it’s better in print than here, looks hard to read):

Option 2

Next is an answer to “what exactly are they proposing” with a couple of prior applications for gas plants as examples of what to expect, what to look for:

Faribault Energy Park – Application

Blue Lake – Application

These two applications are important to see what gas plants are all about.  For example, the Faribault Energy Park is a 250MW plant, and here are some fun facts from the application:


A 250MW plant is 68 dB(A) 400 feet from the plant… what will a plant three+ times that be?



Here’s a closer side view:


Here’s an emissions chart, and remember, the LS Power proposal is 3+ times this, so expect over three times the emissions:


And here’s a fun fact, from the 2004 Blue Lake application, showing their projected “need” back in 2004 that’s WAY overestimated:


From Xcel’s 2008 10-k, p. 10:

Capacity and Demand

Uninterrupted system peak demand for the NSP System’s electric utility for each of the last three years and the forecast for 2009, assuming normal weather, is listed below.

System Peak Demand (in MW)
2006         2007         2008         2009 Forecast
9,859        9,427         8,697             9,662

The peak demand for the NSP System typically occurs in the summer. The 2008 system peak demand for the NSP System occurred on July 29, 2008.

And now we know that instead of inexplicably going up in 2009, it’s going down.  DOWN, further down.  But note that in their 2008 10-k, Xcel admits that system peak was 8.697, lower than 2004.  That pushes out any need until when?  And the longer this drop continues, the further out and less probably any increased need is!  And remember, Blue Lake was added to address the 11,000MW need claimed in the application.  To get beyond that, how long will it take?  With conservation, probably forever, we’ll never need more!

So, folks, as you can see, this isn’t rocket science, and they have no plan, no Power Purchase Agreement, it isn’t needed, it isn’t wanted.  LS Power, go away.