There's big news on the CapX2020 transmission project. NoCapX2020 and U-CAN have filed Motions to Suspend the Proceedings in both Brookings-Hampton and Hampton-Alma/LaCrosse transmission routing dockets. Why? Because last week, CapX 2020 and Xcel gave notice that the Brookings-Hampton line will be delayed by at least one year. It's already delayed and the lights haven't gone out! This proves CapX 2020 is not about electricity or reliability - it's economically driven - there is no local load need, and without Big Stone II interconnecting, there's no big generator to pay for it. We filed to suspend because if Brookings is delayed, the Hampton-Alma line should be too, they're connected physically and electrically at Hampton.
CapX and Xcel's admission of delay was timed carefully. In the next month, the Appellate Court is expected to rule on NoCapX 2020 and U-CAN's challenge that the PUC should look at the evidence of sharply decreased peak demand, down over 15% since 2006. Also pending is the PUC's decision whether to issue a route permit for Brookings.
Why did CapX file notice of delay? Supposedly because it will take time to establish methodology to recover costs of building the line, in limbo at the federal level. Plus last month at the state, the PUC denied Xcel's cost recovery for construction work in progress on Brookings, $1.9 million of a $2 billion project. That's chump change for Xcel. Xcel has asked the PUC for "clarification" and whether they should continue already slowed work, delay or cease work! Cease work? Yes, we'd appreciate that "clarification."
If Xcel is delaying Brookings over just $1.9 million, 1% of CapX Phase I cost, why? What's the real story? We'll have updates at www.nocapx2020.info. It's not over yet!