Two new power line routes proposed
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#1 Dec 31, 2008
Wind advocates have promoted CapX 2020, and the statutory changes that made CapX 2020 possible, because that was required of them in a deal they did in 2003. CapX 2020 is NOT for wind and the applicants will not agree to reserve any portion of those lines for wind. It's regional transmission to facilitate coal and the MISO Midwest Market. CapX 2020 begins in the coal fields of ND and extends to the middle of Wisconsin where it connects to that 345kV network. for more, see www.nocapx2020.info and www.u-canmn.org
#2 Dec 31, 2008
No, Carol -- wind advocates and a number of environmental groups support the lines (with conditions that reserve space on the lines for renewables) because these lines and more are needed so that we're able to develop the wind resources here in the Midwest to meet our state, regional and national climate and renewable energy goals. See www.windonthewires.org .
#3 Dec 31, 2008
nocapx2020.info/wp-content/upl oads/2007/12/settlement-agreem ent-02-2152-me3-waltons-mcea-n awo.pdf
The agreement says that Izaak Walton League, MCEA, ME3, NAWO are supposed to support the legislative changes that made CapX possible (see GRE's Will Kaul's July testimony before the Senate). The 2005 transmission bill that gave utilities construction in progress rate recovery, authorization of transmission only company, "regional reliability" as need... the list goes on... at least you admit the regional and national market agenda here, but it's not efficient to transmit electricity long distances, and Illinois has over 10,000MW of its own wind projects.
We can see the second map in this article where it juts up to Granite Falls, tying into the Big Stone II coal plant's planned transmission. In CapX's maps we can see that the "Fargo" line starts in the middle of North Dakota, that the Blue Lake line starts in Hettinger, that the LaCrosse line goes to Columbia, WI. Ex. 1, CapX 2020 Application, Appendix A-1, Technical Update; Ex. 12, Capx/ 2020 Update Jun 14, 2--6; Rogelstad Testimony Vol. 2A p. 69-74; Rogelstad Direct Testimony p. 17; Ex. 17, 2005 MTO Biennial Report p. 36. It's all connected, we can see what's planned.
Missed you at yesterday's Power Plant Siting Act annual hearing, where we told the PUC staff in technicolor what the problems are with the state's siting/routing process!
#4 Dec 31, 2008
As affected property owners, having just had a 24"crude oil pipeline installed on our properties, that we have not finished with all the details yet even after 2 years. CapX2020 project is the same kind of project we just went through and it is not needed anymore than the crude oil pipeline. Large energy facilities in general, are pushing these lines through our state without regard to property rights, environmental issues, or conservation issues. The present economic disasters effecting the US and other Counties may not turn around soon. It could get worse, if that's possible. All of these issues combined leave no doubt that these transmission lines are not necessary at this point in time.
#5 Dec 31, 2008
Happy New Year!!
#6 Jan 1, 2009
I say put the lines in now, and bill it to the 2009 economic stimulus budget. If we put it off, they'll eventually cost three times what they would today, we'll be plagued with power outages during weather extremes, and property owners/environmental groups will still whine about it.
#7 Jan 1, 2009
Mike Bull wrote "... with conditions that reserve space on the lines for renewables." But as I understand it, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has proclaimed "equal access" to transmission capacity for whatever sources of electricity.
Seems to me that the wind industry, rather than pushing all sorts of anti-democratic measures that promote lines that would carry coal power, should be pushing to get rid of that FERC rule and promote lines that would be *only* for wind, solar, etc.
I think most people agree that the wind industry, as a source of very-low-emissions electricity, should be expanded as fast as possible. But some of the tactics being used by the industry are very short-sighted and divisive.
#8 Jan 1, 2009
Alan -- I don't speak for the "wind industry" , but I strongly agree with your comment that wind "should be expanded as fast as possible." However, I don't buy the premise that the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission doesn't have the authority to impose appropriate conditions on the CapX lines. Wind on the Wires (whom I work for) along with Fresh Energy, the Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy, and the Izaak Walton League of America) made a strong legal and policy case in the CapX2020 proceeding for those conditions -- we don't have to wait for a FERC on that. For wind development to expand as rapidly as it seems you and I agree it needs to, we need to significantly increase transmission capacity.
#9 Jan 1, 2009
Bailing Out Wind
IBD Editorials ^| December 16, 2008
Energy Policy: Obama announces his energy team without mentioning a green source of renewable energy that could create jobs, reduce carbon emissions and reinvigorate a vital manufacturing sector nuclear power.
The domestic auto industry isn't the only uncompetitive industry that seems to require life-sustaining transfusions of government cash to stay in business. Alternative energy sources have relied on such subsidies, called "investments," for years.
Yet in President-elect Obama's announcement of his energy team, we were told "the foundations of our energy independence" lie in "the power of wind and solar." Except that for these alternative sources there's been a severe power shortage.
After decades of tax credits and subsidies, wind provides only about 1% of our electricity. By comparison, coal provides 49%, natural gas 22%, nuclear power 19% and hydroelectric 7%.
Wind power is currently uncompetitive. As the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported recently: "In 1999, 2001 and 2003, when Congress temporarily killed the credits, the number of new turbines dropped dramatically." These subsidies will be renewed in the new administration, but to "invest" in wind and solar to replace fossil fuels will be expensive.
(Excerpt) Read more at ibdeditorials.com ...
Shell to quit wind projects in England
ROYAL DUTCH SHELL has become the second big energy company to abandon the UK wind-energy sector in the last month.
Wind turbine plan scrapped by University of Illinois
By Christine Des Garennes
The University of Illinois has canceled its plans to build wind turbines on campus, citing the university's "deteriorating fiscal condition."
A contract for GE to build and deliver a 1.5-megawatt wind turbine for the South Farms was sent last week to the university from GE, but university officials did not sign it.
Chancellor Richard Herman on Thursday notified GE and student leaders of the university's decision to halt the project......
"In the fiscal situation we're in, we need to be looking for things that have immediate cost savings," Warner said.
One turbine would have generated about 1 percent of the campus's energy needs.
---------How come you never see all these new breakthroughs ever implemented on a large scale? Could it be that they don't work? One thing I've learned over the years is that you can do anything in a labratory enviroment. Putting a technology into real production is something completely different.
When someone demonstrates a workable, economical prototype then I'll start paying attention. Until such time this is just more Rube Goldberg.
#10 Jan 5, 2009
As an affected land owner along the Hampton/LaCrosse line, we would like to forward our thoughts on the project. Our neighbors in Warsaw, Stanton, and Eureka Townships are vehemently opposed to the CapX line. Many of us have lived here for decades, and our family roots reach back many generations. We work hard on our properties, and live responsibly and conservatively to maintain the surrounding environmentâs strong rural character. We oppose the CapX line for many reasons --
-We believe that the need for the line is greatly inflated by the utility companies. The project does not benefit the responsible use of our stateâs resources or work toward or in union with Minnesotaâs renewable energy goals.
-Where is the effort to secure and establish renewable energy sources, rather than continue to contribute to the global climate crisis with additional decades of burning fossil fuels? Why should our children be stuck with these towers for decades for power that is using dirty coal to bring power thru MN to Chicago?
- Exposure to electromagnetic fields (EMF) has been linked to a variety of adverse health outcomes including substantially increased likelihood of childhood leukemia, neurological effects, cancer, farm animal mortality, and many others. This is a very real, and permanent, threat. As parents of two small children, this is of course, our biggest concern. Please see links below:
- Irrevocable negative effects on sensitive natural resources, including rare and threatened plant species, disruptions in migratory paths for both birds and land animals, and destruction of an already low number of wetlands, woodlots, and other natural corridors. Our property, and three adjacent properties, southeast of Dennison, is a very active and critical environment. We have rare sedge grass thriving; compass plant and other native prairie grasses returning as we continue restoration efforts; critical wildlife habitat for dozens of bird species, turkey, deer, pheasant, and many others; and a very large and important wetland complex, providing habitat and migratory corridors. All of this will be irrevocably wounded or destroyed by CapX.
-The choice of the utility companies to route this massive line through quiet, rural landscapes, neighborhoods, farms, and towns, when there is not a proven need for it does not make sense! Help us get out the word for NO CAPX 2020!
Steve & Michelle Johnson
#11 Jan 8, 2009
The magnitude of this project should raise questions from everyone. Its environment and financial impact on our society may not be fully comprehended at this time.
1 We should understand that over 600 miles of transmission line will affect thousands of property owners. State Statutes dictate that the route chosen will be primarily on private land. State Statutes also authorize the use of eminent domain. Read Statute 117, take note of 117.189. The lobbying efforts of this energy corporate make them exempt from most of the rules. Lobbyists stated that the public (you) has ample protection as stated in Statute 216E.12 subd.4 (read). Few if any will choose this because of the restrictions written in to it. The result of this process is you will receive reduced compensation for the privilege of having a permanent easement along with reduced property values, while still paying property taxes on restricted use property. You will be subsidizing the electric corporation by not receiving full compensation for your damages.
2 The ratepayers in Minnesota will be paying a disproportion of the expense because much of the energy will be transported through this state to other markets, but the cost to build will be paid here.
3 When this project was first proposed to the public it was promoted as being needed for renewable energy (wind). What was not revealed is that at the most 20% of the electric power delivered will be wind, 80% possibly more will be fossil fuel generated in other States (think environment). The facts are that transmitting electric power long distances has efficiency costs. One out of ten wind generators output is lost to move the power across Minnesota; the same rule applies to any generating source. The answer should be to develop wind, solar and other renewable generation in the area it is used. The end consumer of these energy sources should be more aware of the impact and costs that are being hidden in large projects like this. You must remember that all corporations are in business to make money and that does not translate into doing what is best in the long run for the public or the environment.
4 What can you do? At the minimum you should contact your Minnesota Legislator and Senator of your district and request that the eminent domain Statutes 117.189 be rescinded. We are responsible for the energy that we consume. We do have an impact on how these supplies are provided. Be informed and participate on all levels that you can, at home, work and in the government. Remember that the government is only as good as its citizens want it to be, and business exist to make money.
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