Just in, Commerce-EERA responses to Association of Freeborn County Landowners’ 11/25/2019 Data Practices Act Request:

This was the one we sent trying to get information on a Pre-Construction meeting that we’d not heard anything about, and damned if the meeting didn’t start about half an hour after we sent this request!!! Here’s the response to that 11/25/2019 request:

Some highlights:

Yes, there is that statement again of that “quick, delete those emails” Commerce policy, stated above: “As your request was received on November 25, 2019, unless I have saved an email, emails that I could provide you with would be from August 27, 2019 to November 25, 2019. ” And six times in that missive, “EERA must reiterate that email correspondence prior to August 27, 2019 had been automatically deleted by the Agency’s email system.” Yeah, we get it…

OK, fine, we send Data Practices Act Request every 90 days… we can do that.

And when we request notice of Pre-Construction meetings, after all, after all, we’re a party, have been for years now, yet from PUC’s Kaluzniak’s email about our April 23, 2019 Data Practices Request there’s an inference drawn about AFCL attendance at meetings…

And EERA says about notice to meetings:

FYI – Here’s Xcel’s Summary of the 11/25/2019 Pre-Construction meeting that no one told us about, filed December 6, 2019:

That same day, just before that Xcel filing and almost 2 weeks after getting confirmation of our 11-25-2019 Data Practices Request from the Data gurus at both PUC and Commerce, this arrives from Rich Davis… can you spell “oppositional” anyone?

Yeah, it’s just more of the “Davis Shuffle.” Save, document, wait… we’re already sitting at the Court of Appeals, and we’re waiting for PUC to address our EAW Petition. Just keep it up…


Minn. Stat. 216E.08

Subd. 2. Other public participation.The commission shall adopt broad spectrum citizen participation​as a principal of operation. The form of public participation shall not be limited to public hearings and​advisory task forces and shall be consistent with the commission’s rules and guidelines as provided for in​section 216E.16.

Freeborn Wind, now owned by Xcel Energy, tried to get Association of Freeborn County Landowners booted out of the Appellate Court. Freeborn Wind’s Motion DENIED!

And here’s the Order of the Appellate Court:

And this delightful snippet:

So now we’re off to the races!! We filed a Motion to Stay the Proceeding, because Xcel has filed its request for a site permit amendment. We shall see…

IA Side of Freeborn Wind

August 2nd, 2019

There’s a “Construction Information Session” happening Thursday, August 22, 2019 in Northwood, Iowa. Plenty of time to prepare!

Invenergy has sold Freeborn Wind, LLC, to Xcel Energy, well, Northern States Power Company – Minnesota. Sooooo, now they’ve asked the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission to approve the acquisition.

On or about June 14, the day of closing, Invenergy, the developer/old owner, TERMINATED 34 leases and good neighbor agreements covering over 4,470 acres of land.

What does that mean? Well, the project, and project approval, was based on 17,435 acres of leased land, and 4,470 is over 25% of the leased land. In the contested case, it was questionable whether the project had enough land, and there’s even a notation that Invenergy was working on acquiring more land, and we were told over and over again that there wasn’t enough room to make any adjustments, to move any turbines even a little bit! So now, at 75%, can they even build this?

Meanwhile, Xcel/NSPM has said they’ll be requesting a permit amendment, because they’ll be changing 32 Vesta V116 to Vesta V120, larger turbines, longer blades (needing larger 3 and 5RD setbacks) and longer blades equals more noise. They’ve said they’ll file new noise study, shadow flicker, and site plan.

In short, the project permitted December 19, 2018 and May 10, 2019, is not the same project.

Now this is NOT the same project… there are substantive, material changes… PUC doesn’t seem to care, Commerce doesn’t seem to care…

Association of Freeborn County Landowners is trying to wake up the Commission:

Xcel/NSPM has asked for approval of the acquisition, and the Commission announced a comment period, so here we go:

And read EERA’s Comment — good grief, blinders on the wrong end of the horse:

PUC will take a look at this sometime soon, but likely the NSPM amendment request will come in, IF they file it as planned, before that, as they expected to file in July. We shall see.