Today Comments were due on Minnesota Power’s Great Northern Transmission Line.  I’m sorry, but I just can’t bring myself to call a transmission line “Great” and that’s just how it is…  Anyway, Minnesota Power is getting ready to file a Certificate of Need application, this is the lead up, what they have to do to provide notice to people when they actually file.  So here’s their draft plan:

Minnesota Power’s Notice Plan for Great Northern Transmission Line

Comments on that plan were due today.  Here’s what I filed:

Overland’s Notice Plan Comments, November 19, 2012

Here’s what Commerce filed earlier today:

MOES Comment – GNTL Notice Plan


Haven’t gotten word on any others.

To keep an eye on what’s going on in this docket, go HERE and search for docket 12-1163.

A little sidebar here — while looking for a logo, some things popped out — did you know that Minnesota Power sponsors, with the Lignite Energy Council, a “Teachers Seminar” on coal?  It’s the only teacher workshop listed, though there are multiple listings under “School Programs” and “Educational Materials.”

Lignite Education Seminar

OH MY!  Check their “Electricity 101” pdf:

Electricity 101

p. 7:

1929—Stock market crash revealed that many holding companies were over-leveraged

–As a result, federal and state governments strengthened utility regulation.

There are some interesting charts and graphs in Electricity 101 that are interesting and that I’d like to see updated.  Hear that, MP!?!?!


hiawathaprojectplusmap-3(above – Overland’s take on what’s really happening here, that Hiawatha is “B to C” of a much larger project, one that’s been in progress for years, check the upgrades at that 280 and East Hennepin substation, and at the Wilson sub at 494 and Nicollet, if you want some concrete and steel proof)

Comments are due tomorrow by 4:30 on Xcel Energy’s Hiawatha Project.  Send to:

Beverly Jones Heydinger, ALJ

Office of Administrative Hearings

P.O. Box 64620

St. Paul, MN  55164-0620

or email:

Some documents you might want to check out are:

Xcel’s filing today – Substation location maps

For an even better showing of substations and which serve what area, where you can see that the Southtown Sub stretches to the southwest beyond the study zone, and that Aldrich serves a significant part of the study zone, and St. Louis Park a little bit.  Check the Application, Appendix A, p. 24 of 102 (click for larger version):


And be sure to take a look at the Zima Schedule 2 and 3, I particularly like Sched. 3, that shows that there is a lot of wiggle room there for the transformers, look at Aldrich, even Elliot Park with the smaller transformers.  Here’s Schedule 3 — click for a larger view.


Here are the exhibits that I entered at the public hearing:

10-694 – Ex. 27 – South Mpls Electric Reliability Study

10-694 – Ex. 28 – South Mpls Electric Distribution Delivery System Plan

10-694 Ex. 29 – pages from 2007 Transmission Plan

10-694 Ex 30-MAPP NM-SPG Meeting Minutes 7/24/2008

10-694 Ex 31 From SW MN 345kv Application, Appendix 7 Conductor Specs

Two things to check out to compare with their “forecasting” for this project:

MISO’s Futures Matrix for MTEP 12

MISO Peak Forecasting Metholodogy Review Whitepaper 2011

Oh there she goes again…


Overland has filed a rulemaking petition with the Office of Administrative Hearings to hopefully address some of the inconsistencies of the rules, and interpretation of the rules, by Administrative Law Judges handling cases for the Public Utilities Commission.

Overland – Petition for Rulemaking – OAH

Why?  Because it is SO hard for people to participate in these dockets, and the rules and the way they’re interpreted make it even harder, and are not in conformance with the Power Plant Siting Act’s requirement to make public participation a priority.

Coming soon – ones covering the issues at PUC and MOES that occur over and over and over and over and over…


Goodhue Wind ain’t C-BED!

April 8th, 2010

Goodhue Wind is in the news, and the timing is perfect foreshadowing for next week’s PUC meeting.

In yesterday’s MinnPost:

T. Boone Pickens Tilting at Minnesota Windmills?

In today’s STrib:

Pickens wind turbines coming to Goodhue

In going through the THREE FOOT pile of mail waiting here when I got back, I’ve been reading the Dept. of Commerce Information Requests to Goodhue Wind, and I am pleasantly shocked, they are ON this.  What is “this?”  The basic financing and C-BED claims of this project — it’s been smoke and mirrors from day one, and Commerce is paying attention, digging for more information, and it’s impressive.  MUST GIVE CREDIT WHERE CREDIT IS DUE, particularly to Commerce!!!

MOES Reply Comments

Staff Briefing Papers


Just in — here are the PUBLIC AWA/Goodhue’s responses to Commerce Information Requests.  All of these below are the PUBLIC versions — I don’t see much to gain by reviewing the specifics because that’s pretty restrictive.

First, Dockets 09-1349l 09-1350 and 09-1186 (PPA & Certificate of Need):

IR 1-4

IR 5

IR 5a

IR 5 Supplemental

IR 6

IR 7

IR 8 & 10

IR 9

IR 11

IR 12-13-14

Next, Docket 08-1233 (the siting docket)

IR 1

IR 2-3

AVA Goodhue Wind has applied for a Certificate of Need and a Routing permit, and there are two Power Purchase Agreement dockets open at the PUC.  To see what’s been filed:

  1. Go to
  2. Click on “Search eDockets
  3. Search for:
  • 08-1233 – Wind Siting Permit
  • 09-1186 – Certificate of Need
  • 09-1349 – Power Purchase Agreement
  • 09-1350 – Power Purchase Agreement

The EIS Scoping Meeting was held by the MN Dept. of Commerce MOES last Thursday, and here’s the report from the Red Wing Republican Beagle:

Published March 05 2010

Weighing in on wind

MAZEPPA – Larry Hartman threw a question out to the large crowd gathered Thursday to learn and comment about a proposed 52-turbine wind farm in rural Goodhue.

“What is wind?” the Minnesota Office of Energy Security staffer asked.

Mumbles from the crowd highlighted what has divided some neighbors and friends the past few years since wind energy companies came knocking, offering landowners money to house turbines.

“An investment.”


“A scam.”

More than 30 residents provided a wide variety of opinions and comments during a three-hour meeting to gather input for an environmental review required as part of AWA Goodhue’s certificate of need application filed with the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission.

The company, managed by National Wind, also has filed a site permit application with the PUC, the state agency that handles such large-sale projects.

Some Goodhue County residents remain skeptical of the proposed 32,000-acre project that some of their neighbors and wind energy company advocates say will stimulate the area’s economy and help the state meet renewable energy demands.

Hundreds of project opponents – dubbed Goodhue Wind Truth – have submitted a petition to the Goodhue County Board asking for a “safe renewable energy plan.”

The petition asks commissioners to implement a one-half mile setback between wind turbines and homes to help reduce the health and safety threats residents say turbines pose.

“The safety and health of people is a priority over money,” said Steve Groth, a Belle Creek Township landowner and member of Goodhue Wind Truth. “The government is there to protect you. When you sidestep that issue, everything falls apart.”

Economic opportunity

Chuck Burdick, senior wind developer with National Wind, said his company’s project will bring 100 to 200 jobs to the area during construction and two to five permanent jobs.

He said leaseholders and participants will receive more than $20 million over the life of the project.

“We think that’s a significant economic injection into the area,” Burdick said.

Some area landowners agree.

They say harvesting wind gives farmers another way to supplement their income and that wind energy is another part of the changing rural lifestyle.

Larry Fox, a Belle Creek Township landowner, said he hears the hum of corn driers and can smell manure when the wind blows just right.

“I don’t complain,” he said. “We just adapt and know this is a farm community.”

Fox said he would receive $30,000 over the next 20 years for housing a wind turbine.

“That’s a tremendous amount of revenue for these small communities,” Fox said. “I think revenue outweighs a lot of factors here.”

Other farmers say they’re excited to house alternative energy on their land.

Sara Linker Nord lives in Minneola Township and has land in AWA Goodhue’s project footprint. She said she found the wind turbines just outside Palm Springs, Calif., “aesthetically pleasing and majestic” and was disappointed when she found out others did not feel the same.

“It gives farms another crop with little land loss,” she said. “Alternative energy created on American soil increases our energy independence.”

Health concerns

But opponents argue the dangers associated with wind turbines outweigh any alleged financial benefits.

“When you put these turbines up and call yourself and environmentalist, I’d like you to do some soul searching,” said Tom Schulte, a rural Goodhue County landowner who said he recently built a geothermally heated and cooled energy efficient home.

“Because you’re probably not doing it for the environment, you’re doing it because you’re profiting.”

Schulte and other opponents said the environment and rural landscape are at risk if wind energy is not developed properly and responsibly. Livestock, water supplies, agricultural land, bald eagles and other birds need to be protected and studies need to be completed to analyze wind farm impacts, several residents told state officials.

Opponents also argue the state-required setbacks between homes and turbines are not great enough to minimize safety and health issues associated with turbine shadow flicker and noise.

Minnesota law requires a minimum 500-foot setback from residences or the state noise standard, whichever is greater. Minnesota’s noise standard restricts wind turbines from exceeding 50 decibels at night.

In practice, meeting that standard often means placing wind turbines at distances of 700 to 1,200 feet, according to a recent report by the Minnesota Department of Health.

The DOH’s scientific study found that noise from wind turbines “generally is not a major concern for humans beyond a half-mile or so,” because of design innovations to reduce noise.

Goodhue Wind Truth members want at half-mile setbacks. AWA Goodhue is doing voluntary 1,500-foot setbacks (just over one-quarter mile) from non-participating residents, Burdick said.

Zumbrota Mayor Richard Bauer also asked state officials to consider two-mile setbacks from Zumbrota and Goodhue’s corporate limits to make sure the cities are able to grow in an “orderly manner.”

Comments for the environmental report will be accepted until March 26. They can be sent to Larry Hartman, Minnesota Department of Commerce, 85 Seventh Place E. Suite 500, St. Paul, MN 55101. Comments can be sent by e-mail to