Friday, July 22, 2011


July 23, 2011.
July 23, 2011. For most people in Wisconsin this has been a heat wave month. Use of electricity has broken many previous records. Madison Gas & Electric Company (MG&E) served up 753 megawatts (MW) of juice to its thirsty customers, breaking their last record of 742 MW back in 2006. Wow, "that's a lot of bananas."

So, how are we doing on the energy reliability front, one might ask? Are we "constrained" and unable to meet this record electricity demand? Are we able to cope using our existing reliable electric energy generation sources and transmission systems? The Dane County Utility spokesman [Steve Kraus] said: "Electricity supplies and transmission operations are adequate to meet even higher power demands expected later this week." The American Transmission Company (ATC) spokeswoman [Kaya Freiman] said: "The system is in good shape and we are anticipating meeting those needs." The We Energy spokesmen [Brian Manthey] said: "The utility saw energy use late Wednesday afternoon that was 2% shy of their all-time high set in July of 2006." The Midwest Independent Transmission System Operator (MISO) said: "Although demand is high and supply is tight, the transmission system remains stable." The MISO vice president [Richard Doying] said: The Wisconsin electrical grid system "had sufficient power supplies available so that the grid operator did not need to ask heavy energy users to curtail electricity use." In fact, our Wisconsin electric generation and transmission system was in such good shape (during this record breaking high demand event) that ATC says it was able to "export power" (surplus electricity) to other parts of the Midwest! That's impressive! Who else in the Midwest can boast that claim?

But wait a minute here folks. I thought ATC had suggested Wisconsin was in a crisis mode, and Wisconsin needed to hurry through another ATC transmission line construction project, in order to keep our heads above water, so to speak. Here is a simple question for all of you citizens. If what the "experts" above have told us is a fact, why are we being asked to spend $425 Million Dollars of electric rate payers money for the proposed ATC Badger Coulee (BC) high voltage-high capacity transmission line? Do we really need another new dirty coal burning import line? Is there really a "reliability" problem in our current system?

We are back to square one. The same old question BVCC keeps asking ATC, and has yet to get an answer to. Where is the "need?" Maybe we should also be asking "Where is the beef?"

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