Tomorrow is the day — oral arguments of the appeal of the Public Utility Commission’s Order granting AWA Goodhue a permit.

Notice of Oral Argument

PUC Order – AWA Goodhue Wind Project Permit

Arguments are scheduled for 11:15 a.m. in Room 100 at the Minnesota Judicial Center, 25 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., St. Paul.

I don’t have electronic copies of the Public Utilities Commission and AWA Goodhue briefs, here’s what I do have:

Coalition for Sensible Siting – Initial Brief

Goodhue Wind Truth – Amicus Brief

Coalition for Sensible Siting – Reply Brief

There’s a lot at stake here, primarily local control — whether a county can regulate a wind project.  Under the Power Plant Siting Act (PPSA), local governments are typically pre-empted from regulating utility projects, except in a few narrow cases, for example power plants and transmission where the project applicant chooses local review having met the criteria  set forth in Minn. Stat. 216E.05.  Another way local governments have a say in regulating utility infrastructure is through a legislative tax exemption under Minn. Stat. 272.02 and  Host Fee Agreement in lieu of Utility Personal Property Tax, where the legislative mandate and the Host Fee Agreement can include non-tax material terms.  Neither of these options are available to wind projects or local governments wishing to regulate wind projects.

HOWEVER, the legislature did pass this gem — note “shall” in the language:


A county may adopt by ordinance standards for LWECS that are more stringent than standards in commission rules or in the commission’s permit standards. The commission, in considering a permit application for LWECS in a county that has adopted more stringent standards, shall consider and apply those more stringent standards, unless the commission finds good cause not to apply the standards.

And this is what this appeal is about – whether the Public Utilities Commission had good cause not to apply the standards, because where they do not have good cause, they SHALL apply the county standards.

We’ll see how it goes tomorrow…

Busy day for Goodhue Wind Truth

February 2nd, 2012

Yesterday was a busy day for Goodhue Wind Truth.

First was a Motion to the Appellate Court:

Goodhue Wind Truth – Motion for Intervention/Request for Participation as Amicus Curiae

Next was our Petition for Rulemaking, filed yesterday as a part of our Power Plant Siting Act Annual Hearing Comments, and formally filed with Dr. Haar at the Public Utilities Commission.

Petition for Rulemaking

The PUC is in charge of the Wind siting rules, well, the EQB was directed by the legislature in 1995 to promulgate rules, and finally in January, 2008, the Commission finalized the siting rules for wind projects under 25 MW (and above 5 MW):

PUC Order – Siting of Wind Projects under 25 MW

And for projects 25 MW and above, they haven’t done anything, that was 17 years ago, so here we are… do we have to get a Writ of Mandamus?

WAKE UP PUC!  Time to do some wind rules!

216F.05 RULES.

The commission shall adopt rules governing the consideration of an application for a site permit for an LWECS that address the following:

(1) criteria that the commission shall use to designate LWECS sites, which must include the impact of LWECS on humans and the environment;

(2) procedures that the commission will follow in acting on an application for an LWECS;

(3) procedures for notification to the public of the application and for the conduct of a public information meeting and a public hearing on the proposed LWECS;

(4) requirements for environmental review of the LWECS;

(5) conditions in the site permit for turbine type and designs; site layout and construction; and operation and maintenance of the LWECS, including the requirement to restore, to the extent possible, the area affected by construction of the LWECS to the natural conditions that existed immediately before construction of the LWECS;

(6) revocation or suspension of a site permit when violations of the permit or other requirements occur; and

(7) payment of fees for the necessary and reasonable costs of the commission in acting on a permit application and carrying out the requirements of this chapter.

AWA Goodhue appeal refiled

December 13th, 2011


The T. Boone Pickens’ AWA Goodhue Wind Project proposed for Goodhue County is headed to the Appellate Court… again.

Goodhue Wind Truth – Appeal II

Coalition for Sensible Siting – Appeal II

Here we go!!!

Why again???  Ask the PUC — they sent around a bogus memorandum pushing to appeal in September, we did, and said, “Hey, Appellate Court, look what they’re saying, can you believe it?” and the Appellate Court said, “PUC, what ever do you think you’re doing?  APA rules do not pre-empt your own rules about appeal, DUH!”

PUC Memorandum saying FILE APPEAL NOW OR ELSE!

Appellate Court Order to Dismiss – November 1, 2011

They’re worth a read to see how convoluted and brazen the PUC’s push was.  The Court agreed with us and said the PUC was so egregious that hey, don’t worry about it, when you refile at the appropriate time, NO CHARGE!!!  As it should be.

awagoodhuepuc-53Above, Chuck Burdick with attorney Todd Guerrero arguing at PUC last November.

Today Exceptions to the Report of the Administrative Law Judge were due in the AWA Goodhue docket.

First, the ALJ’s Recommendation:

Recommendation to PUC on AWA Goodhue Wind docket

And now for the Exceptions:

Goodhue Wind Truth – Exceptions

Goodhue County – Exceptions

Belle Creek Township – Exceptions

Coalition for Sensible Siting – Exceptions

Dept of Natural Resources – Exceptions

AWA Goodhue – Exceptions

Notice of Motion and Motion – Limit Public Participation and Exclude Intervenor Exhibits

HA!  Over my dead polar bear!  This “public participation” piece is one of “my” issues, so much so that I proposed some changes in my Rulemaking Petition to OAH:

Overland – Petition for Rulemaking – OAH

To see the full docket, go to, click on “Search eDockets” and search for 08-1233.


GO HERE and click the blue “Watch Webcast” button!

And here are their Information Request responses — can’t email these around, too big, so I’ll have to post them!


AWA Responses to GWT Info Requests – No. 2-12 Part I

AWA Responses to GWT Info Requests No. 2-12 Part 2a

AWA Responses to GWT Info Requests Nos 2-12 Part 2b

AWA Responses to GWT Info Requests Nos 13-35

AWA Responses to GWT Info Requests Nos 36-45

AWA Response to Belle Creek Info Request 2

AWA Response to Belle Creek Info Request 3

AWA Response to Goodhue County Info Request No 3

AWA Resposne to CSS Info Request 1

AWA Response to CSS Info Request No 2

AWA Response to CSS Info Request No 3

AWA Response to CSS Info Request No 4