Transmission — it’s all connected.  In looking at the Minnesota rulemaking, and the existing and proposed rules that utilize the word “regional,” I’m thinking about big picture stuff, the big proposals in the wings, and that Joint Coordinated System Plan (JCSP) map sure presents a big picture. For some reason, I’ve not been able to find the full JCSP report until recently:



Who cares about JCSP?  Well, WE’D better care, because look who’s paying for the transmission build-out (p. 68 of Vol. 1):

Look at the numbers for Midwest ISO, a $-10,293, or for MAPP, a $12,292, that’s a COST, not a savings.  MISO and MAPP get nominal production cost savings and massive load COSTS.  This is not news, but is worth repeating as we discuss “regional.”  And another take with the same take-away of big costs for MISO and MAPP customers, used by our good friends at  AWEA to promote this transmission buildout in their flyer called “Green Power Transmission and Consumer Savings” (flyer below):

Read the whole thing:


What a deal, eh?

Look what AWEA has been advocating to make this happen:

Federal Siting
In addition to regional planning and cost allocation,
substantial reform of the transmission siting process is
required to meet national renewable energy goals. The
most effective model is the siting authority that was given
to FERC over interstate natural gas pipelines. For green
power superhighways, the extra-high-voltage facilities
defined in the regional plans would be subject to FERC
approval and permitting. Separate siting approval at the
state level would not be required. FERC would act as the
lead agency for purposes of coordinating all applicable
federal authorizations and environmental reviews with other
affected agencies.
Check their “Policy Solutions on p. 3:
Again, this is not new news, I remember fighting over this with the Waltons/Wind on the Wires in 2005, their agenda was all about increasing federal authority and decreasing state authority… and of course they’re not part of this rulemaking, there are NO, NONE, NOT ONE enviro group participating in this transmission rulemaking docket.
The point of JCSP is to increase power flows along those red pathways — who benefits and who loses:
There’s been little talk of JCSP lately, but given the rate of return for transmission construction, it’s hard to believe it’s not lying in wait.
And if it’s not all about coal, why is this the case (Vol. 1, p. 190):



Above, “JCSP,” the Joint Coordinated System Plan.



And they don’t give a rodent’s rump what we do with our transmission but THEY DO NOT WANT TO PAY FOR IT!


It’s not anything new, but it seems that the message is getting through all the way to Iowa.   Soon Minnesota? The message?  That the east coast does not want Midwest transmission, that they have their own renewables and not only that, they know that transmission from the Midwest means coal and, most importantly, THEY WILL NOT PAY FOR TRANSMISSION FOISTED UPON THEM.

The 7th Circuit case tossing out PJM’s cost apportionment scheme must be having an impact because everyone is freakin’ about cost allocation.  Again, GOOD!  The court said that PJM could not shove the costs of transmission on those who do not benefit from it:

Illinois Commerce Commission v. FERC – August 6, 2009

Enter the Coalition for Fair Transmission Policy, just launched today with a press conference in Washington, D.C.

Dig this from their site:

Assessment of National EHV Transmission Grid Overlay Proposals: Cost-Benefit Methodologies and Claims

HA!  I love it when that happens…

Here’s some background on our Midwest Transmission — transmission we don’t need and they don’t want:

JCSP & UMTDI in the news

This opposition to Midwest transmission is nothing new, I’ve entered documentation in the record in a couple of proceedings now, but what is new is that as of today’s “launch,” there’s now an industry group advocating against Midwest transmission, and that’s one utility interest I’m glad to see hopping mad as hell and not going to take it anymore!  GOOD!  Maybe that will help stop this stupid transmission-fest across the Midwest.

PUC Chair David Boyd had it right when he testified before Minnesota’s Legislative Energy Commission and led off with, “We need a business plan.”  Yes, that’s true, there is no business plan, and there is no MARKET for transmission.  I just hope that message gets through before “we” build and WE have to pay for all these wires in the air!

Here are a few recent posts of mine on this, followed by today’s article in the Des Moines Register.

Offshore transmission, NOT transmission from the Midwest

Eastern Governors stand up against transmission!

And today’s Des Moines Register article:

Eastern states balk at paying wind cost

By DAN PILLER • • March 5, 2010

Much of the nation isn’t eager to help pay for a high-voltage transmission line to sell Iowa’s extra wind power to big markets east of the Mississippi River.

“If Iowa wants to build a transmission line for their energy, we have no objection. But Iowa or the Midwest should pay for it,” said Ian Bowles, secretary of energy and environmental affairs in Massachusetts. New England states want to produce their own wind energy from offshore farms.

A coalition of utilities in Eastern states will announce today their opposition to a 765-kilovolt transmission line, more than double the capacity of the current 345-kilovolt lines. The line would send electricity from the Dakotas, Iowa and Minnesota to Chicago and points east. Iowa is the nation’s second-largest producer of wind-generated electricity, behind Texas.

Such a transmission line won public support from President Barack Obama on his visit to Newton last April. It is a linchpin of the renewable energy policies of Gov. Chet Culver and Iowa’s largest electric utility, MidAmerican Energy of Des Moines.

Alliant Energy has its objections

Proposals by MidAmerican and ITC Holdings, which runs transmission lines in eastern Iowa, are considered the best chance for Iowa to reap a wind energy version of the financial windfall enjoyed by Texas and other oil- and gas-producing states.

But as wind energy becomes bigger and more corporate, the utility industry is divided even in Iowa.

Alliant Energy, which serves 525,000 customers in parts of northern, eastern and southern Iowa, has joined the newly organized Coalition for Fair Transmission Policy, which promises to fight a government-mandated transmission line from the Midwest.

“We don’t think the costs of transmission should be socialized,” said Alliant spokesman Ryan Stensland. Alliant’s wind energy production in Iowa is a fraction of MidAmerican’s.

Bruce Edelston, executive director for the Coalition for Fair Transmission Policy, said his group has formed to fight a proposal in the Senate to give the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission authority to site and assess costs for a wind transmission line.

“We don’t think it’s necessarily a good idea to build a multistate transmission line,” said Edelston, whose group will hold a coming-out news conference today in Washington, D.C.

The Fair Transmission group represents companies serving 28 percent of U.S. electric customers, including utilities in New York City, Michigan, Indianapolis, New England, Pennsylvania, the Carolinas and Florida, New Jersey and Georgia.

Those states presumably would be among potential markets for the wind-generated electricity moved from the Dakotas, Minnesota and Iowa, which have the potential to produce far more wind energy than would be consumed there.

Other states have their own plans

While Iowa has speckled its countryside with wind turbines, other states have similar aspirations.

Atlantic seaboard states advanced plans for offshore wind farms, which they say would eliminate the need to ship wind-generated electricity from Iowa.
Read the rest of this entry »

Joint Coordinated System Plan

February 12th, 2009


With all these transmission proposals from hell announced, I think we’ve got to take a step backwards, and go through JCSP, the source of an insane “plan” for transmission across the U.S.  JCSP is “Joint Coordinated System Plan,” which is MISO, PJM, SPP, TVA, and MAPP, getting together and fantacizing about transmission.   This has nothing to do with need, with whether there’s a market, with whether it’s in the public interest, it’s what they want.

The NYT “Green Blog” had a post about this a couple of days ago that got this completely wrong, as you can see from the headline:

An Ambitious Vision for Upscaling Wind Transmission


Here’s a NYT “Green Blog” snippet with a look into the JCSP’smotivation (click for the whole thing):

The Joint Coordinated System Plan, as it is called, has been in development for months, according to the Midwest Independent System Operator, which is steering the project — and the full report will not be ready until the fall. But details of the plan were revealed on Monday in order to coincide with debate over the stimulus bill.

Yes, the stimulus bill.  There’s a lot of money in that stimulus bill for transmission, and there’s NO money in the market for building transmission, or anything for that matter — remember, CapX 2020 was hustling Lehman Bros. for money, so it’s possible CapX won’t be built anytime soon.  There they go to the government trough…

JCSP has it’s own site, just a contact form, with no contact information on it whatsoever, other than links to “the participants.”

Joint Coordinated System Plan Site

Here’s their “plan” for transmission across the US:


JCSP Report – Executive Summary

So let’s see, we’ve got CapX 2020, MISO’s MTEP, the JCSP dream/nightmare plan, the Green Power Express… and they keep trying to couch their market dreams into wind, needed for RES.  Can’t beople do a little background checking before they jump on this bandwagon?  Can’t they do their due diligence like NYISO and ISO-NE?

Feb 4 2009 NYISO & ISO-NE Letter to JCSP

DUH!  There’s no market.  This is such arrogance on the part of MISO…