But wait… it’s already here!

Just in from Bob Cupit, from the Upper Midwest Transmission Development Initiative:

UMTDI Summary Report

Here’s the initial idea:

The RGOS first-mover subset located within the UMTDI states’ footprint is:

• Big Stone, SD to Brookings, SD 345kV – estimated cost of $150 million.
• Brookings, SD to Twin Cities, MN 345kV – estimated cost of $700 million.
• Lakefield Junction, MN to Mitchell County, IA operated at 345kV but constructed at 765kV specifications to allow full upgrading and operation at 765kV in the future – estimated cost of $600 million.
• North La Crosse, WI to North Madison, WI and Dubuque, IA to Spring Green, WI to Cardinal, WI 345kV – estimated cost of $811 million.
• Sheldon, IA to Webster, IA to Hazleton, IA 345kV – estimated cost of $458 million.

In addition to the proposed transmission projects above, the Midwest ISO’s Midwest Transmission Expansion Plan (MTEP) for 2011 identifies the following transmission project as an initial candidate for regional cost sharing because of its regional benefits.
• Ellendale, ND to Big Stone, SD 345 kV – estimated cost of $275 million.

OK, folks, do any of these lines look familiar?  Why is the CapX 2020 Brookings SD to Twin Cities MN 345kV line on this list?  Why is the CapX/ATC North LaCrosse, WI to North Madison, WI on this list?  Hmmmmmmmmmm…yet they say this:

Although UMTDI actively engaged in the identification of possible renewable resource areas and potential transmission corridors, this should not be taken as expression of support for particular routes, particular projects, particular voltages, or appropriate levels of spending in any state proceeding. Those decisions remain for a future day, when specific projects might be proposed. However, the Executive Committee sees great value in affirming its support for coordinated state efforts on these multi-state projects, and its general support for these corridors, which appear to have value in all identified reasonable futures.

Um… hello, they’re listing specific proposed projects.

Of course it’s all connected, how stupid do they think we are?  Well, pretty damn stupid, look what they’re recommending, cost-sharing to shift the cost across MISO:

A key, unresolved issue for construction of projects of this magnitude is cost sharing. The criteria in the Midwest ISO’s recent tariff filing at FERC, as well as other activities ongoing at the Midwest ISO, indicate that these first-mover projects would likely all qualify for cost allocation treatment. This designation would mean that all energy users in the Midwest ISO’s footprint would share the costs of these “no regrets” lines. FERC has not approved this rate treatment, however, and it is likely that FERC will receive a number of comments and objections to the Midwest ISO’s tariff proposal. While the UMTDI Executive Committee has not taken a position on the Midwest ISO’s cost allocation filing, it is safe to say that the absence of cost sharing would make construction of EHV transmission lines in these corridors very difficult.

And PJM too:

The total cost for these first-mover lines is approximately $5.8 billion with $1.4 billion being funded by customers in PJM, the Midwest ISO’s neighboring independent system operator to the east.

And because they know this isn’t needed or wanted, they’re frantically trying to find a way to circumvent state authority — how about a multi-state regulatory body to site transmission… or direction to the states from FERC to act:

States Together

Interstate Compacts At the highest levels, all five states have the power to create a compact, with the consent of Congress, to establish a common agreement on how to develop the UMTDI Project. Minnesota and Wisconsin provide specific powers to their respective governors to enter compacts involving transmission lines. Congress has specifically contemplated the compact mechanism by authorizing three or more states to form a compact, subject to Congressional approval to “facilitate siting of future electric energy transmission facilities.” Sec. 216(i) of the Federal Power Act (FPA), 16 U.S.C. § 824p. Another FPA provision, little used § 209, authorizes the FERC to delegate any subject matter in its jurisdiction to a group of states, offering another potential avenue of federal approval for joint state action on transmission siting and cost allocation.

…”little used § 209″… how perverted can we get?  Perhaps there’s a reason why a state PUC would be reluctant to permit projects like this?!?!?!?


I think it’s one of those things where they’re working toward a pre-ordained result.

Here’s the “Survey” and “Legal Analysis: that arrived a couple weeks ago:

UMTDI Survey on Cost Allocation – August 6, 2009

UMTDI Legal Analysis

“Legal Analysis” my ass… how lame… do they think we’re that stupid?

Note the date, it’s the same date that this great 7th Circuit decision came out on cost allocation:

Illinois Commerce Commission, et al. v. FERC

And then there’s all that cost allocation “problem” with Otter Tail Power and WOW/AWEA:

AWEA and WOW’s FERC filing to protest MISO cost allocation proposal

Methinks they doth protest too much… again… what they’re doing is so transparent, conflating collection, transmission, delivery, looking for a way to justify treatment as the same…


JCSP & UMTDI in the news

February 16th, 2009


More transmission – again in the Wall Street Journal.

Hard to tell which of the alphabet soups this article is about, and I’d say both, it’s about the Joint Coordinated System Plan and the Upper Midwest Transmission Development InitiativeUMDTI! But we know it’s all one and the same.

The article doesn’t really specifically name either “group” and it leaves us wondering just who or what is behind it.  This is a good thing — yes, it really is as amorphous as it sounds! What disturbs me, of course, is the “It’s for wind,” because we know better!

New Grid for Renewable Energy Could Be Costly

FEBRUARY 9, 2009


A substantial increase in the amount of electricity produced from renewable energy would require building a transmission system that would carry a price tag of up to $100 billion, according to a new study.

The new system would be needed because the existing eastern grid couldn’t handle the volume of power coming from the wind-producing states. In addition, the new grid would need to be able to handle the fluctuating nature of wind power, which can surge at some moments and drop sharply at others.

There is strong political and public support for increasing production of renewable energy, and Congress is considering enacting a nationwide standard that would require utilities to garner more of their power from renewable sources. However, there is only an emerging understanding of how new standards would affect the country’s existing electricity infrastructure.

The study, sponsored by some of the nation’s biggest grid-running organizations east of the Rockies, is the most comprehensive attempt by the industry to figure out what kind of infrastructure upgrades would be needed if the U.S. attempts to sharply increase the amount of power it gets from sources such as wind and solar. In 2007, according to the Energy Information Administration, about 7% of the nation’s electricity came from renewable sources, including less than 1% from wind.

If the U.S. wants to get 20% of its electricity from renewable energy by 2024, the study says, it would be necessary to build a new electricity circulatory system, including 15,000 circuit miles of extremely high voltage lines. The system, which would be laid alongside the existing electric grid infrastructure, would start in the Great Plains and Midwest — where the bulk of the nation’s wind resources are located — and terminate in big cities along the East Coast.

The transmission system would cost up to $100 billion. Building the wind turbines needed to generate the desired amount of power would cost about $720 billion, the study estimates — making the total investment about equal to the size of the current stimulus bill. The money would be spent over a 15-year period, and would be financed primarily by utilities and investors.

The purpose of the study was “to make clear that if you need large sums of energy that’s not carbon-based, these are the kinds of numbers involved” to achieve it, said Clair Moeller, head of transmission planning for the Midwest Independent System Operator.

The report was prepared by organizations responsible for electric-system reliability in roughly half the states, including the Midwest Independent System Operator, SERC Reliability Region, PJM Interconnection LLC, the Southwest Power Pool, the Mid-Continent Area Power Pool and the Tennessee Valley Authority.

The projected cost of the system is only one hurdle. Getting the high-voltage power lines build across the country would require the assent of local authorities and landowners, and might require federal intervention. “For that 15,000 miles of lines, I promise about 15,000 lawsuits,” said Mr. Moeller.

The report is generating controversy because there is no guarantee that expensive power lines, if built, would be used primarily to move renewable energy. They could just as easily carry energy from coal-fired power plants in the Midwest or Great Plains.

New York and New England grid operators provided information for the report but say there might be ways to build resources in their regions more economically than hauling power from the Great Plains. “This study doesn’t look enough at alternatives to huge transmission additions,” said Stephen Whitley, chief executive of the New York Independent System Operator.

Utilities are proposing to build some new transmission lines already, but nothing on the scale of what the report says would be needed.

At least the WSJ noticed the NYISO and ISO-NE’s objections — here it is again, it’s one of those letters I just can’t get enough of:

Feb 4 2009 NYISO & ISO-NE Letter to JCSP

The UMDTI is insidious, a cheerleading effort to push transmission through.  The way the thing is structured, is, as I said in my comments at the February 11, 2009, meeting, is ABSOLUTELY ASS-BACKWARDS.  It’s market driven backwards engineering a transmission solution to support nonexistent need.

Upper Midwest Transmission Development Initiative – HOME PAGE

UMTDI Stakeholder Letter 10-28-08

Stakeholder Responses – LINK – look who the stakeholders are – DUH!

Wind on the Wires Comments … sigh…

UMDTI Stakeholder Letter 12-31-08 (Ed Garvey – MISO)

Dec 30 Draft – Cost Allocation Work Group (Marya White – Commerce)

December 30 Draft – Transmission Planning Work Group (Randy Pilo – PSC-WI)

Wind on the Wires cites many studies:

MISO’s Regional Generation Outlet Study (RGOS)

Transmission planning initiatives by” CapX 2020, ATC, Mid-American and others”

Minnesota RES transmission study

MISO’s MTEP-08 and MTEP-09

Joint Coordinated System Planning Stuey

Eastern Wind Integration Transmission Study

None of these studies are linked — and they’re not on the UMTDI site — let’s see how long it takes to find them.

CapX 2020 – they’re HERE

See also the Certificate of Need Appendix A

ATC 10 Year Plan (2008)


Now for the more difficult ones… one moment please…