It’s that time of the year, errrrrr, it’s that time of every other year… time for the Minnesota Transmission Owners:

It’s filed in Minnesota Public Utilities Commission Docket M-21-111.

The Biennial Transmission Projects Report is required by statute, but there are no longer public meetings, and I must admit, I had pushed and promoted a lot initially, but ran out of time and energy for such a … ahem… waste of time. See Minn. Stat. §216B.2425 for how it’s supposed to go.

If history is any guide, it seems Initial Comments are about a month and a half out, mid-January, with Reply Comments another month and a half out, so mid-March. I’ll put it on the calendar and send a reminder around.

There’s nothing really exciting that I see, at first glance, but I did enjoy seeing the NERC Report excerpts. Last time they included the NERC Reliability as a separate filing, this time they included excerpts at the tail end of the report, above.

Here’s the full NERC Report — it comes out every year, and has a great assortment of important info, about reliability margins, load forecasts, and predictions of generation mix for energy and peak demand. I LOVE THE NERC REPORT!! Here’s the most recent ones — they used to come out in October, now it’s December:

NERC 2020 Long-Term Reliability Assessment

This is how reliability was defined in the transmission world decades ago, circa 1999 NERC Long-Term Reliability Assessment:

Keep in mind that now transmission is no longer about reliability — it’s about economics, so it’s a very different type of evaluation.

Who cares about the NERC Report? Over the decades, the NERC reports have looked at the various areas of the country, based on the grid’s organization, and it evaluates the system’s ability to provide electricity. What I like about it, though, is that the charts, graphs, circles, and arrows belie the party line, like all the talk about decreasing coal and fossil fuel generation, but look at projections for MISO:

Here’s the chart for MISO — the devil is in the details — look at the predominance of fossil fuel:

Remember how the utilities were blathering about the NEED for transmission, and that the transmission build-out would decrease need and reliance on reserve margin — at that time, MISO reserve margin was 15%.

They got their billions in transmission and we’re paying them way too much for it, and look at the reserve margin, the last line in that chart:

18%

Oh, well… I must have misunderstood… SNORT!

And yeah, the purpose of that big transmission build-out morphed into “IT’S FOR WIND!” yet remember, the CapX 2020 lines start at the coal plants and head east:

And the MISO MVP 17 Portfolio of projects supporting coal:

It’s exhausting, dizzying, seeing these scams spinning through, and yet here we go with “Grid North Partners.” Just NO!

Again, there will be opportunity for Initial and Reply Comments, expect Notice in a couple weeks, with Initial Comments probably due in mid-January. So later… in the meantime, look at the NERC report and compare with all the blather you’re hearing, particularly with COP26 in the works.

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!

Here we go again. It’s bad enough that CapX 2020 is morphing into CapX 2050/Grid North Partners, but they’re having a “conference(sign up here) in a couple weeks.

Look at the Chair of this panel, none other than the Chair of the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission, and the description:

… TO MEET OUR COLLECTIVE GOALS?

Remember the toadying for CapX 2020? Remember the toadying for Excelsior Energy’s Mesaba Project coal gasification? Remember the toadying for Prairie Island/NSP/Xcel Energy’s nuclear plants, particularly Prairie Island circa 1994 and 2003?

This sort of thing has been an issue before, and former Chair LeRoy Koppendrayer has been the only one to acknowledge this type of participation as an issue — this was in 2007:

IEDC gets carried away

When this happens, I contact the PUC and register concerns, and have always been assured that they know well the boundaries.

And, well, here’s Commissioner Tuma on DOE Nuclear Waste panel circa 2016:

DOE “Consent-Based” Nuclear Waste Mtg.

20160721_172836[1]

This was also an issue with Commissioner Reha when she went off on a coal gasification junket to Belgium and promotion of CapX 2020! See the John Tuma link, above, for this with active links:

When the promotion and bias is so blatant, I’m not about to watch silently. Earth to PUC Commissioners, here are the PUC’s rules:

https://www.revisor.mn.gov/rules/7845.0400/

https://www.revisor.mn.gov/rules/7845.0700/

And when you see something, say something?

Ummmm, right…

ALJ “INVESTIGATIVE REPORT PURSUANT TO MINN. STAT. § 216A.037”

Listen to Commissioner Tuma’s words that were the subject of our complaint at the link above. And the ALJ’s report delivers this warning:

I guess it will be an informal complaint, eh?

Xcel, cost taxation? WHAT?

April 30th, 2021

Just wow… It’s the sort of thing that makes my head burst!

Association of Freeborn County Landowners has been challenging the invasion of Freeborn Wind, a/k/a Xcel Energy a/k/a Northern States Power into this existing community.

Hundreds of meetings, filings, over the last FOUR YEARS, and we got the first contested case hearing ever for a wind project in Minnesota… the first in 20+ years of siting wind projects, and the first time a projects comes to the test, the ALJ recommends the permit be denied!

The Recommendation of the Administrative Law Judge:

The Public Utilities Commission does a perverse and contorted 180 and lets Freeborn have their way, and the public, residents be damned.

Freeborn? PUC upends ALJ’s Freeborn Wind Recommendation

Then 17 turbines left for Iowa, but 24 remain.

… we get tossed out by the appellate court, which affirmed the Commission’s decisions and Orders.

Freeborn Wind appeal – we lose…

And earlier this week, they serve this:

Let’s see… they have open access to ratepayer pocketbooks, they’re reimbursed for their costs! BY US! We ratepayers have to pay! Meanwhile, for the public to show up, and to challenge for FOUR YEARS on this project, or any project, like the Mesaba project, or CapX 2020!, people hold garage sales, put grain in at the elevator, a silent auction in a tornado, and plain old arm-twisting to cover our comparatively nominal costs.

Our objection just filed:

NOW THEY THINK WE SHOULD PAY THEM $3,312.75?

Meanwhile, don’t cha wonder how’s Xcel Energy doing these days? Their 1Q report just out… More customers, decreased sales, and stock soars:

Hmmmmmmm, remember that Texas storm? Here’s the impacts:

Xcel easily tops earnings estimates

Ain’t capitalism grand…

Soon… Freeborn Wind appeal

April 14th, 2021