A little over a month ago, ITC Holdings filed a rate request with FERC, and utilities in the Midwest got to it and filed “protests” and petitions to intervene in that docket.  FERC had extended the Comment period until March 6, and oh, did they get comments.  The Who’s Who of utilities, with big emphasis on the Midwest, “our friends” at Xcel represented in a number of capacities…  and even National Wind and Goodhue Wind!


A little birdie dropped off a notice that FERC had issued an Order:

FERC Order – april 10, 2009

I’ve just skimmed it so far, but it looks like they pretty much gave Green Power Express (a/k/a ITC Holdings) the whole enchilada… what they’re asking for is the ability to recover $$$ before the line is even energized, which is absurd, but that’s what all these utiltiies have been asking for and getting, so it’s not really anything new.  Theh difference, it appears, is that ITC is pushing into Xcel’s transmission territory, and Xcel isn’t too happy about it.  The Green Power Express is essentially the Midwest part of JCSP and METP 08, but maybe there’s … ahem… a little confusion about just who was going to build that transmission?!?!?  FERC accepted responses of GPE to Comments, and accepted a response of MISO to comments (in which MISO is siding with GPE), but they rejected all the others, like Xcel, GRE, etc., the ones opposing GPE.  Xcel’s probably not used to getting dissed!

I’m really not sure what to think about this.  The project shouldn’t be built, it’s not needed, that’s for sure, and they shouldn’t get rate recovery, that’s also for sure, but I’ve got to give them a few points for butting in on Xcel’s action.

… and now I’ve finally read the whole thing, and it redefines “Shock and Awe” — this FERC Order gives them 99% of what they asked for, and seemed to bend over in doing so, doing everything they can to give Green Power Express the green light, and to start collecting $$$ right away.  So we’ll be paying for this, and even if it’s not built, we’ll be paying for it.  This transmission binge is reminding me of the nuclear days of the 70s, and we are going to get hit so hard.  What are these yahoos thinking?

What next?  Well, I hope that Illinois and New York will get to it and let FERC and Green Power Experss that “WE DON’T NEED NO STINKIN’ TRANSMISSION!”  New York has been doing a good job thus far giving JCSP the finger, and I hope they continue, because this, logically, will have coal on the wires and will facilitate construction of new coal plants in the Midwest.

Hmmmm… my brain just did a “frolic & detour” — “Coal on the Conductors” just popped in …

Going into the CapX hearing with all this transmission lining up…  (she says, shaking her head in disgust)