It’s a different kind of “Wild West” in transmission these days (the photo up above could well be the old 230 kV line through PA and New Jersey!).   But it gets pretty exciting reading through these applications and seeing what it is that these evil transmission promoters are doing.

I did send out a lot of Information Requests today on the ITC Midwest MN/IA transmission project:

IR 1 to ITC (sent a while ago, responses received)

ITCM Response to CETF-NoCapX2020 IR No. 1

IR 2 to ITCMidwest

IR3 to ITCMidwest

IR 4 to ITCMidwest

IR 5 to ITCMidwest

IR 6 to ITCMidwest

IR 7 to ITCMidwest

IR 8 to ITCMidwest

IR 9 to ITCMidwest

IR 10 to ITCMidwest

What I’m most concerned about is that they’re touting all these benefits resulting from this project, but the benefits are associated with not just this project, but the REST of MVP 3, which is this project PLUS the MidAmerican part of MVP 3 in Iowa, PLUS MVP 4 (heading eastward to the Mississippi, and MVP 5, which is heading up to the Madison 345 kV ring, not just the part connecting the MVP 3 and MVP 5, but also Badger Coulee connecting CapX from La Crosse to Madison.  IT’S ALL CONNECTED, and the benefits, as modeled by PROMOD, are economic benefits, where a fundamental assumption of the modeling which includes ALL of the MVP projects, and not just MVP 3, MVP 4 and MVP 5, but all 17 of them.  17.  OK, find, we’re including all those benefits…

… but what about costs?  Wellllllllllllll…

They’re only addressing costs for their teeny-tiny portion of MVP 3, about 1/2 of it in Minnesota and a little bit into Iowa, the red part on this map, and no other costs:

ITC MVP Study 3

The cost/benefit analysis of this project is a little unbalanced:


And it should come as no surprise that their lead witness, ITC Midwest’s David Grover, was behind the TRANSLink docket (oh my… for that docket, go to the PUC search page, and search for docket 02-2152 (NSP) and/or 02-2119 (IP&L) where both utilities were asking the PUC for permission to transfer transmission assets to TRANSLink, what was to be the first transmission only company in Minnesota.   It wasn’t exactly going well, and so they bought out the enviros who had intervened:

Settlement Agreement – ME3(Fresh Energy), Izaak Walton League, Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy, North American Water Office

Things went south in transmission from there, because even though the TRANSLink Petition was withdrawn, the utilities just did it another way, and got everything they wanted,  including legislation authorizing transmission only companies:

2005 Ch 97 – Transmission Omnibus Bill from Hell — Xcel’s transmission perks and C-BED

… plus perks like construction work in progress (CWIP) rate recovery, broadened definition of “need,” on and on, a transmission company or utility’s dream.

It’s all connected…


YEAAAAAAAA!  The East Coast Governors are mad as hell and letting the Senate know just what they think of this Midwest plan to build billions and billions of dollars of transmission from here to the East Coast and make them pay for it, oh yes, it’s about time the Midwest schemers start listening.

The Des Moines Register is paying attention — why not Minnesota papers?

Eastern governors protest Midwest wind transmission line

And here’s the letter itself, pretty much the same spirit as the last one, although I don’t see the directly stated link to coal in this one:

East Coast Governors’ Letter 7/10/2010

Here’s  a pithy snippet:

The build-out of the national transmission corridor implicit in S. 1462 is estimated to cost at least $160 billion, the majority of which would be paid for by East Coast states, costing our ratepayers hundreds of dollars per year. In its current form, this legislation would harm regional efforts to promote local renewable energy generation, require our ratepayers to bear an unfair economic burden, unnecessarily usurp states’ current authority on resource planning and transmission line certification and siting, and hamper efforts to create clean energy jobs in our states.

This comes not too far on the heels of some promotional announcements about those transmission plans, the “not so” SMARTransmission study — I though I’d posted this before, but don’t see it, so here it is:

SMARTransmission Phase I Study

How’s this for a vision/nightmare — it’s one of their chosen three:


Let’s hear it for California!

They’re getting the message — transmission is not needed and transmission is not wanted.  If they try to push it through on the landowners across the state, well, they’re in trouble.  And so they did a study of what’s necessary to accomplish their Renewable Energy Standard and here it is.

33% RPS Implementation Analysis – Executive Summary

Here’s a statement from p. 10 of the Executive Summary that leads me to think they’re on the right path — just the simple recognition of this point:

California IOUs are currently on a procurement path that in effect prioritizes long-term market transformation over other policy objectives.

Here’s the full report:

33% RPS Implementation Analysis — Interim Report

And here’s a Power Point that hits the highlights:

Power Point – 33% RPS Implementation Analysis