PPSA Annual Hrg – TOMORROW!

December 19th, 2021

And AGAIN! It’s the Power Plant Siting Act Annual Hearing! You can attend in person, MASKED, or via webex or phone. Primary documents are posted below.

December 20, 2021 @ 9:30

PUC Large Meeting Room

121 – 7th Place East – 3rd Floor

St. Paul, MN

Comments? BE SURE TO NOTE DOCKET NUMBER FOR COMMENTS:

PUC Docket E999/PR-21-18 & OAH Docket 65-2500-37832

Written comments will be accepted through January 10, 2022, by 4:30 p.m.

Note notice only to those “who have requested notice” above? Nope, notice should be to all who are on service and project lists for projects active in the calendar year. Thankfully EERA does give notice to a lot more than just those “who have requested notice” (see “Notice & Service Lists” link posted above).

From the EQB Monitor:

Here are the projects EERA’s Summary says were approved — note that for wind it does NOT list applicable parts of 216E, such as Minn. Stat. 216E.03, Subd. 7!

Meanwhile, the update of rules for PPSA siting, Minn. R. ch. 7850, is stalled out again, WITHDRAWN by the PUC last Thursday, supposedly based on many comments made over the last few weeks by a bunch of people and orgs who were utterly absent through the NINE YEARS of this rulemaking proceeding. My grits are FRIED! The PUC Agenda Item starts at the very end of the meeting, and note the bogus statements about the “why” of this rulemaking. Let’s be clear here — it’s due to the 2005 legislative changes, SIXTEEN YEARS AGO. See PUC Docket R-12-1246. Good grief… Discussion starts at 2:48:28:

RULES! PUC’s 7849 & 7850

October 12th, 2021

Can it be?!?! The rulemaking based on the 2005 statutory changes was published in the state register today. TODAY… 2005… SIXTEEN YEARS, and NINE YEARS since this 12-1246 docket was opened. Comments are due by November 17, more on that below.

The Public Utilities Commission did one hell of a job delaying until BILLIONS of CapX 2020, a/k/a CapX 2050 and Grid North Partners and MTEP MVP projects were rammed through. Public interest anyone? Naaaaaaah…

Here it is — First the Notice (60 page service list!), then Statement of Need and Reasonableness (SONAR) and then the proposed rules (yeah, 120+ pages):

Comments are due November 17th:

Here’s the catch — they are planning on putting these through without a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge, UNLESS there are at least 25 requests for a hearing — I think that can be arranged. Here are the details, note that they must be “valid” requests, which means explain in short what you want differently in the rules:

ONWARD! SIXTEEN YEARS… UNREAL!

PPSA Annual Hearing Report

December 30th, 2020

It’s out, the Administrative Law Judge’s report on this year’s Power Plant Siting Act Annual Hearing. The hearing this year was particularly frustrating, horrible turnout, and I’ve got a part in that, because I didn’t spend the massive amounts of time getting notice out to people, drumming up interest, so there is that…

Here’s the Report:

Here are a couple of documents to check out that I included with a written comment:

AFCL’s MERA suit dismissed

November 29th, 2020

The judge’s Order arrived, and it’s disappointing, to put it mildly.

The judge’s decision focused on the belief that these matters had been litigated in another forum, so we couldn’t do it again. Litigated? Intervention is not necessarily litigation, though certainly AFCL intervened in the Freeborn Wind docket, and certainly did not in the Plum Creek, Three Waters or Buffalo Ridge dockets. And in this District Court proceeding, Lisa Agrimonti let me know that another attorney would be lead in this case, that their firm was putting a “litigator” on it. Hmmmm, Agrimonti’s not a litigator, and put Alethea Huyser on the job, so the firm admits that what we, Freeborn Wind and AFCL, were doing in those dockets was not litigation, right, I get it… uh-huh… sigh…

How do we deal with these systemic problems in wind siting? 25 years and still no rules? Setbacks aren’t sufficient to prevent noise standard violations and people need to leave their homes to be able to sleep, so far two families reached settlements and buyouts to get away from noisy turbines. Wind projects pay out for blinds so people can sit in the dark, or suggest going to Florida, to avoid shadow flicker inflicted on them. At the PPSA Annual Hearing last week, the DOT said it wants the 250 foot setback from roads reevaluated. The Public Utilities Commission has actual and constructive notice of these problems for years, yet nothing happens…

Let’s see… rulemaking Petitions denied over and over. The only time we’ve had a contested case, the judge recommended denial because developer had not demonstrated compliance with noise standard, and recommended a lower number of hours as “acceptable” for shadow flicker.

Once more with feeling — the ONLY time, the FIRST time, in Minnesota history where there was a contested case on a wind siting permit, the only time it could arguably be said the issues were “litigated,” the ALJ recommended that the permit be denied!

WE WON!!! ALJ Recommend Freeborn Permit be DENIED, or…

May 14th, 2018

The PUC turned that around in a private settlement with the developer, excluding intervenors.

Freeborn? PUC upends ALJ’s Freeborn Wind Recommendation

September 21st, 2018

Now what… How many more complaints, how many more landowner settlements, before they fix this mess?

What’s the point of intervening, becoming a party? What’s the point of raising issues at the Power Plant Siting Act Annual Hearing (for 23 years)? What’s the point of over and over raising the systemic problems in the PUC’s wind siting? How do we work “within the system” when the system is broken?

PPSA Annual Hearing NOW

November 20th, 2020

RIGHT NOW! It’s the PPSA Annual Hearing… sigh… here we go again.

Go to webex, Event # 146 311 2620. The powerpoint slides will be here (and will also be filed on eDockets).

To be able to comment, you have to get on the phone 866-609-6127, Conference ID: 4449079, and to comment, you need to press #1 and get in queue.

Here is the Commerce info about this year’s projects:

And for the record, folks, note that wind is not exempt from many of the parts of the PPSA: