National Wind Coordinating Committee
Business Meeting #32 Meeting Summary
Huron, South Dakota
October 16-17, 2003
Bob Sahr Brian Parsons
Chuck Walton Beth Soholt
Adam Sokolski Ron Lehr
John Dunlop Brian Smith
Troy Gagliano Dave Mengskau
Brad Stevens Joe Richardson
Ed Holt Vince Robinson
Jim Burg Bob Putnam
Roger Hamilton Ed Torerro
Matt Schuereger Charlie Smith
Larry Flowers Ed DeMeo
Lee Otteni Craig Cox
Tom Sloan Darrel Gunst
Lisa Daniels Susan Wefald
Discuss the roles and goals for the Organization of MISO
States and discuss ways that the NWCC can be helpful to the organization’s efforts
Learn more about and discuss cultural resource protection
issues on native American lands where wind development
Update members on sector issues and work group activities
Bob Sahr, Chairperson of the South Dakota Public Utility Commission, welcomed the meeting attendees
to South Dakota and shared his desire of making wind power a reality in the state. Through responsible
and environmentally friendly planning, he believes that South Dakota can take advantage of its significant
wind resources to provide economic and environmental benefits to the state.
Abby Arnold, RESOLVE, Inc, reviewed the meeting agenda with the participants. She then opened the
floor to North Dakota Public Utility Commissioner Susan Wefald. Ms. Wefald is also president of the
Organization of Midwest States (OMS) through December 31, 2003. Ms. Wefald provided a discussion of
the current and future work of the OMS to the meeting participants.
Organization of MISO States:
Susan Wefald, North Dakota Regulatory Commissioner (Attachment A)
Commissioner Wefald explained to the attendees that the OMS includes representatives from the same
member states of the Midwest Independent System Operator (MISO) region, which totals fourteen states
and one Canadian Province. The OMS began in June 2003 and was opened to all regulatory authorities
focusing on siting, retail, or distribution of energy. While it is funded by MISO, the OMS functions as an
independent body. The concept for the OMS came from recommendations of the National Governors
Association to establish multi-state entities to address interstate transmission issues. Additional support
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for the OMS comes from the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC). The
OMS mission is to create a fair playing field for all states on transmission issues by increasing
communication and using a consensus process on interstate transmission issues (though majority can rule,
according to the organization’s bylaws). The OMS seeks to create a stronger voice when commenting on
MISO issues with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), and to raise issues at both MISO
and FERC. Through this joint effort, states will be able to resources more effectively through division of
labor and prevention of overlap. Even though the OMS is a collaborative project, the individual states
commissions will retain control of their sovereign decision making powers.
Each state has one representative on the board and volunteers fill each of the seven workgroups:
transmission planning and siting
resource adequacy and capacity markets
market monitoring and market power mitigation
market rules and implementation timelines
Three commissioners of the OMS sit on the MISO advisory committee and represent the opinions of the
OMS. Currently, the OMS is planning on commenting to MISO on pricing issues before MISO files on
The OMS has established a format for discussing transmission siting issues that cross state lines. A Multi-
State Project Siting Team will be created for each project. The team will include only the states involved
and team leaders will be representatives from the lead state siting agencies. The commissioners’ goal is to
create a flexible but efficient multi-state siting model. Each team will create their own goals and process.
When asked by an NWCC member about involvement of other groups in the region that were not part of
MISO or the OMS, Ms. Wefald said that those issues were being handled by individual state
commissions. Ms. Wefald recommended that stakeholders give input at the workgroup level as committee
chairpersons can add them to meeting agendas, or stakeholders should go directly to the individual state
commissions. For more information on the Organization of MISO States, go to the Missouri PUC website
for the articles of incorporation and meeting announcements and minutes. www.psc.state.mo.us. All
conference calls and meetings are open to the public.
Darrel Gunst, Mid-American Energy (Attachment B), discussed the development of TRANSLink, an
Independent Transmission Company (ITC), with the meeting attendees. The lack of investment in
transmission over the past several years, as well as congestion problems and security concerns, has
increased the need for new transmission in the region. However, utilities felt that little incentive existed
for regional utilities to build new lines. With the issuance of FERC Order 2000 promoting the creation of
ITCs, a group of utilities saw a possible benefit in creating an ITC and initiated efforts to start
TRANSLink. The north central utilities in the region have a history of cooperation that encouraged this
collaboration. Project developers envisioned that the new entity would be in charge of planning for,
designing, and constructing upgrades and new transmission. The partnership was granted a petition to
start TRANSLink in February 2000, with the requirement that MISO be consulted to prevent duplication.
FERC compliance for TRANSLink was confirmed in May 2003. The operations are already separate and
it has direct control over MidAmerica and Alliant Energy’s transmission lines.
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The company is headquartered in Minneapolis, MN, but has control centers in Iowa and Nebraska as well.
Currently, TRANSLink is funded by thirteen private, public, and municipal utilities and cooperatives.
Though these organizations have invested TRANSLink, the company has an independent board of
directors. The Western Area Power Administration and Basin Electric are not part of TRANSLink;
however, some participating groups have ongoing relationships with these entities and will continue to
work through seams issues. Currently, TRANSLink is working on rate structure and rate hearings in all
the states affected before operations can begin.
When asked about concerns of another blackout similar to what happened in 2003 to the Northeast, Mr.
Gunst explained that such and event would be very unlikely in the north central US because the Midwest
region utilities are used to working together and has contingency plans to address the chain reaction of
problems that led to the Northeast blackout. Additionally, the region practices power system restoration
drills twice a year to be prepared to restore power given such a failure of the transmission system.
TRANSLink’s rate design is a tiered structure. It works off a highway and zonal cost causation principle,
the same templates that the American Transmission Companies use. There is no rate pancaking. Mr.
Gunst stated that the benefits of such a system allow regional planning and investment to meet local
needs, regional control consolidation, aggregated interconnections and a simplified application processes,
and a focused transmission provider and with the ability to have service innovation.
Protection of Cultural Resources
Bob Gough and Pat Spears, from the Intertribal Council on Utility Policy (Attachment C and D),
discussed the issue of cultural resource protection in the afternoon session. The Intertribal COUP is
composed of eight Tribes working on, among other issues, developing energy resources on tribal lands.
One of their considerations in this development is the protection of sacred sites, including protection of
the full view shed. In addition, to concerns about individual sites and reservations, Mr. Gough explained
that wind development may be difficult on or near tribal lands because areas with the best wind resources
– open lands, ridges, hills, buttes – tend to overlap with land that has cultural meaning, housing medicinal
plants, burial mounts, or prayer or ceremonial sites. Therefore, Intertribal-COUP tries to inform
developers that they may need to work with local tribes even if they are not developing on reservation
According to Mr. Gough, the initial reaction of tribal communities to wind power development tends to
be positive. As a people with a close relationship to the land, they see wind power as more
environmentally friendly than other energy sources. Mr. Spears and Mr. Gough recommended that Tribes
will be much more likely to cooperate if approached early in the siting process. Oftentimes, locations of
sacred places are not on public maps. To avoid protests later, a developer should approach tribes about
any potential concerns regarding wind development in the region. This process should begin even before
the anemometer siting.
Mr. Gough highlighted the success at Rosebud, South Dakota, where the first wind farm on native lands
in the US has been developed. As the economic development aspects of wind power were realized, other
tribal communities have become interested in wind. However, there are worries that without a cultural
resource protection model, development may run into cultural problems unknowingly. For the Rosebud
turbine, the community performed a standard record search at the state lands office to locate camps,
spiritual monuments, burial grounds, and vision sites as well as a site assessment for impacts on plants
and animals that may serve as medicine and food for adjacent tribal communities. As stated before, the
local siting office may not be aware of all the sites, but the elders and spiritual leaders of the tribes will
know them, and thus it is import to confer with them.
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The Intertribal COUP has received a DOE grant to teach other tribes how to develop wind facilities on
their lands and to address environmental justice issues. The Intertribal COUP’s goal of the grant is to
promote clean siting, clean energy generation, and the sale of green tags, or renewable energy credits
(RECs). In a study done by the Bureau of Indian Affairs, on the twelve reservations, 26 sites would be
feasible for wind development. After ruling out those with environmental or cultural issues, an
opportunity exists to focus on a few very good sites and develop them. Currently the BIA is not involved
in the permitting process, though the Secretary of the Interior must sign off on the project if the land is in
the federal trust. It was noted that the developments will be small enough to not impact the grid
congestion in the region, since the energy will be on local distribution lines and used on the reservation.
Ms. Arnold encouraged Mr. Gough and Mr. Spears to work on either an issue brief for developers about
these cultural issues. She also mentioned that a section on cultural sensitivity should be included in the
next version of the Permitting Document.
Ed Holt (NARUC) – NARUC is working on a couple of wind-related projects. Partners include Bergey
Wind Power and GE Wind. They are also looking into how technological advancements have affected
Tom Sloan (KS State Representative) – In Kansas, county commissioners can now petition the PUC for
new transmission. 40% of costs will be spread statewide, while the rest of the costs will be paid by those
who directly benefit from the new lines. The question of whether to build or pay first still lingers.
Troy Gagliano (National Conference of State Legislatures) – NCSL has begun research on transmission
siting issues and regional considerations in conjunction with National Association of State Energy
Officials (NASEO) and NARUC. NCSL is considering drawing up some draft legislation for states. The
next NCSL Energy Institute meeting is focused on security and renewables, and distributed energy
sources will be discussed. NCSL is working with Delaware and Pennsylvania on Renewable Portfolio
Standard (RPS) legislation. In early 2004, NCSL will hold an update on their Legislative Brief on tax
revenues and landowner payments for wind projects.
Ed Torerro (National Rural Electric Cooperatives Association) – NRECA’s Cooperative Research
Network (CRN) is focusing on wind power technology. The Network is planning a rural conference with
IEEE in Arizona next year. Later this month there will be a meeting of international cooperatives in
Alaska. Funding exists in the recent Farm Bill to hold the meeting, and with a growing interest by the
cooperatives in wind, CRN is working to deliver the needed information. NRECA is promoting wind by
giving an Annual Wind Award to the rural cooperative that has best supported wind development in the
Brad Stevens (Energy and Environmental Research Center) – The EERC has combined NREL maps
for North Dakota with their own wind map studies to create a more accurate picture of wind speeds and
locations. EERC is working on maps for Minnesota and Iowa as well. The NWCC will provide links from
its website to those maps. The EERC is also looking to form a regional version of the NWCC and will
serve as the facilitation vehicle for regional voices. Also, the Fifth Annual North Dakota Wind
Conference will bee held in Fargo on February 18-19.
Roger Hamilton (West Wind Wires) – The Western Resource Advocates has executed a contract to
establish West Wind Wires. The group is similar to Wind on the Wires in the Midwest, which focuses its
efforts on strong research and advocacy for wind on regional transmission issues.
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Lee Otteni (Bureau of Land Management) – BLM is seeking comments on its draft programmatic
Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for siting wind on federal lands. Five scoping meetings will be
held on the EIS in California, Utah, Wyoming, Nevada, and Idaho. More information can be found at
Vince Robinson (Lincoln County Economic Development Corporation) – LCEDC is focusing its
attention on new projects being developed in Lake Benton, Minnesota. Critical to the success of these
projects will be the ability to show economic benefits that accrue to the county from wind development.
The recently completed Economic Development Case Studies will be helpful to illustrate this benefit.
LCEDC is also following the possible development of new transmission from Minnesota to Iowa. In
particular, LCEDC wants to understand the financial costs and benefits that will result for this exploratory
Charlie Smith (Utility Wind Interest Group/Nexgen) – UWIG has started four working groups:
operating impacts, distributed wind, turbine technology, and transmission policy. These work groups will
work over the next year to increase UWIG’s activities in the three areas. UWIG will work with the
NWCC and other groups to host workshops and produce reports focusing in these issues areas.
John Dunlop (American Wind Energy Association) – AWEA is following the debate over the proposed
federal Energy Bill. AWEA will continue to push for an extension of the Production Tax Credit for wind
power development and for a national RPS, which would mandate that a portion of the national energy
portfolio be generated from renewable energy sources. The AWEA board of directors has discussed
creating a set of best practices for wind power development. Shell Wind has developed the first draft,
which will be reviewed internally before it is distributed to a broader group. Also, the Canadian Wind
Energy Association, which has been run by volunteers for the last 20 years, has hired an executive
director and is working closely with AWEA. AWEA is holding its first Financing Wind Workshop in
Palm Springs in November 2003. Mr. Dunlop reminded the group about Global Wind Power 2004 in
Chicago. It was noted that as the wind industry segments, from developers, suppliers, and manufacturers,
AWEA’s membership has also broadened.
Larry Flowers (Wind Powering America) – The goals for the organization have changed from 24 states
with 20 MW by 2010 to 30 states with 100 MW by 2010. There are four themes for WPA’s outreach
States: Currently nineteen state wind working groups exist; WPA’s goal is 25 state organizations
by the end of 2004.
Agricultural Sector: Sharing information about money in the Farm Bill
Utility Sector: Encourage attendance at UWIG Meetings
Tribes: Sharing information about technology and financing
Brian Smith (National Renewable Energy Laboratory) – NREL is looking into wind power being used
for desalinization and hydrogen creation, as well as in partnership with hydropower. Further details of
these efforts will be determined in the next few months and subsequently shared with the NWCC.
(Members attachment E, Associate Member attachment F, Interim SC attachment G, Membership plan
attachment H, Matrix attachment I)
Staff reviewed the self-appointed Members and Associate Members lists. If commitments are not follow-
ed through, staff will ask the Steering Committee to allow staff to move names to the appropriate
category. Because of the change in membership, an Interim Steering Committee was formed to represent
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all sectors and workgroups. Sector groups with the NWCC will need to approved members from their
ranks to represent them on the Steering Committee.
Staff presented a general outreach plan along with a detailed list of organizations and contacts. It is not
expected that all listed will be members. Sector calls will be used to ensure the NWCC is representing the
views of all parties correctly. Also, the calls will broaden the reach of the NWCC by including
stakeholders that may not be able to attend workshops and meetings. In general, the broader outreach
plan is intended to extend the NWCC’s visibility and increase its credibility with stakeholder groups.
Credit Trading (presentation attachment J)
Status of Issue Briefs on REC Tracking Activities: Kevin Bryan discussed the status of the Renewable
Energy Credits Issue Brief. The issue brief is intended to promote ideas included in the NWCC report,
Credit Trading and Wind Power: Barriers and Opportunities, that promote the establishment of REC
tracking systems. Meredith Wingate of the Center for Resource Solutions has prepared the first two
drafts of the brief. The work group expects to present the issue brief as a NWCC Resource Document,
and CRS’ effort to prepare the document would be noted. CRS understands that the document may not
represent all of its own viewpoints. The work group is reviewing the second draft. A conference call will
be held to discuss comments on the document.
The work group is holding off on further activities discussions until the NWCC Members have a chance
to reevaluate the best use of resources in the green power market arena. Ed Holt, chairperson of the work
group, presented the attendees with information regarding the current activities of the work group and
some ideas on future work that may be addressed by the NWCC. Brian Parsons, Ron Lehr, Ed Holt,
Charlie Smith, Ed DeMeo, Larry Flowers and Brad Stevens volunteered to participate in a discussion to
consider the NWCC’s short term and long term roles in this focus area.
Avian Fact Sheet: The Wildlife Workgroup is discussing a change in the language of the Avian Fact
Sheet. The discussion is on how to reference bird mortality rates.
Biological Significance Meeting: The meeting will be held in Washington, DC on November 17-18. The
agenda is complete and speakers have been secured for a discussion between wildlife statisticians and
biologists, wind developers, and government agencies on the meaning of biological significance and its
application to wind projects. The Wildlife Work Group will be holding a meeting after the workshop on
the 18th to review current research and discuss next steps.
Methods and Metrics Document: This two page document was written by the authors of the methods and
metrics document to explain the intended use of the “Studying Wind Energy/Bird Interactions: A
Guidance Document.” The NWCC Members approved the document in September and will include the
guidance in subsequent publication mailings.
Wildlife and Wind 2004 Meeting: Ms. Arnold has been working with Tom Gray, AWEA, and Gerald
Winegrad, the American Bird Conservancy to develop a proposal for a meeting to engage developers and
Community Case Studies: The workgroup is focusing on developing a set of case studies to examine
community reactions before, during and post wind facility development. They hope to release the scope
of work by the end of the year.
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Fact Sheets: The Economic Development Work Group has reviewed the second drafts of fact sheets
based on the NWCC report Assessing the Economic Impacts of Wind Power Development. The work
group made suggestions for changes in format and content. Staff is working on incorporating those
changes and will convene a conference call to discuss the new drafts when they are ready.
Some members noted a proliferation of studies and activities underway on this issue of the economic
benefits and costs of wind power development. In particular, WPA has initiated substantial research on
economic benefits accruing to local jurisdictions as a result of the development of wind power facilities
within their borders. With other organizations undertaking research on economic development issues
related to wind projects, some members have encouraged the work group to reconsider its focus in the
area and potentially reallocate resources to other activities. The members are considering holding a
workshop in 2004 to highlight the work done by the NWCC and other groups on economic impacts from
wind power development. Staff will work with work group members and the Steering Committee to
identify a compelling agenda for the workshop.
Charlie Smith, Chair of the Transmission Workgroup, gave the floor to members of the workgroup to
present on several recent Transmission Work Group activities and related projects.
NWCC Midwest Transmission Workshop: Beth Soholt discussed the agenda planning and time frame for
the next Midwest Transmission Workshop. The planning group is currently discussing the meeting which
will focus on the market drivers, MISO planning results, and future planning projects that will yield
concrete results for February. There will also be an update on the Midwest Transmission Expansion Plan
’05 cycle. Ms. Soholt also gave a brief update on the Xcel operating impact study on adding new
Planning Principles: Roger Hamilton provided an update on the NWCC Transmission Planning
Principles. While the principles were initially developed for the western US, members and other
stakeholders believe that the principles are general enough to apply nationally, and thus “Western” was
removed from the title. The principles cover three areas: authority, scope and the process of planning. Mr.
Hamilton has been engaged in conversations with multiple planning organizations on behalf of the
NWCC. The work group has approved the principles and now the NWCC Members will need to approve
them. These approved principles will serve as a “living document” that will then be shared with planning
organizations to gain their support and action. (Attachment K)
Western States Renewable Energy Summit: Ron Lehr informed the participants about the October 8th,
2003 meeting in Reno, Nevada, sponsored by US Senator Reid. The meeting’s purpose was to discuss a
new power marketing authority for WAPA and BPA, issues of transmission and distribution and siting
and permitting of renewable energy power facilities. www.renewableenergysummit.com
Interior West Clean Energy Plan: The purpose of the project is to develop an aggressive but feasible long
term clean electric energy plan for the interior western states (CO, MT, UT, WY, NV, NM, AZ). Tim
Wolf and John Neilsen, from Western Resource Advocates, have modeled the western grid under two
different fuel scenarios, a business as usual (BAU) scenario and a clean fuel mix scenario. They have 24
advisors who agreed with the assumptions made in the model. The first round of results has been released.
The feedback from utilities was that the clean scenario was too difficult, and the environmentalists
thought it was not aggressive enough. The study is being published and will be released in January 2004.
Information on the report is available at:
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New England Wind Barriers Project: Charlie Smith has continued as a liaison for the NWCC to this
project. He has been supporting KEMA-XENERGY’s efforts to look at the New England transmission
issues and trying to use the NWCC Transmission Planning Principles for guidance. There was a meeting
at the end of September and Mr. Smith along with NWCC Associate Members, Matt Schuerger, and Jim
Caldwell attended. At the meeting the New England ISO presented their transmission process, which
maintained many to the ideas espoused in the Transmission Planning Principles. The NWCC may engage
groups in the Southwest Power Pool with a similar exercise for that region. More information can be
found at www.newenglandwindpower.org
UWIG Operating Impacts Brief: Ed DeMeo informed the group that another five case studies have been
added to the UWIG analysis of operating impacts from adding wind power to existing transmission lines.
Blackout: Brian Parsons raised issues regarding the impact of the 2003 blackout on wind power
development. There are possible benefits and problems, and the NWCC needs to be aware of those
discussions. At the present time, however, Mr. Parsons advised that the NWCC not focus its attention on
blackout issues. (Attachment L)
Transmission Issue Briefs: Three of the four proposed Transmission Issue Briefs – scheduling, congestion
management, and interconnection – have been completed and are ready for printing. The fourth brief
discussing transmission planning, should be ready for discussion by the end of the calendar year.
Meeting Schedule (Attachments P,Q, and R)
Members with the support of staff will be planning for two workshops on Midwest and Western
transmission issues in the early part of 2004. There are two business meetings scheduled in 2004. The
members suggested dates and locations for each meeting. Other smaller meetings will happen on an as
needed basis for each workgroup. At this point the proposed Economic Development Workshop will
occur in early fall 2004. See attached chart for schedule. Staff will consult with members to determine
which events staff or members should attend, and which materials should be sent to instead of just listing
on the website.
The Travel Protocol is now in place. Staff will now be looking to sector Steering Committee Members to
determine travel allocations when the budget is limited.
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