LS Power is proposing to put a massive 800+ MW gas peaking plant in Chisago County, right by the Chisago County substation.  This isn’t news for regular Legalectric readers, but the community is just starting to wake up.

This plant was the subject of a utility personal property tax exemption bill introduced by area legislators, Rep. Jeremy Kalin and Sen. Rick Olseen, and they introduced it without notifying local governments that they were pulling out a lot of much needed funding by exempting the plant from taxes (if local residents have to pay taxes, shouldn’t they?  How is LS Power special?).  THIS SAYS THE GOVERNOR VETOED IT.

When it came up at the county, and a Commissioner wanted to send a thank you to Kalin and Olseen, things got a little hot:

Robinson questioned a request from Commissioner Walker if there was consensus to send a thank you letter to state lawmakers for their efforts on the LS Power taxation exemption bill.

Robinson asked who on the County Board supports the electric station project? He wanted a vote that moment on the project.

Chairman Montzka pointed out that all Walker wanted was to let Rick Olseen and Jeremy Kalin know their work at the capitol was appreciated. The LS Power project is under Lent Township zoning authority and while there will be county involvement in wetland issues, etc. the permitting of the facility is not a county matter.

Walker said she’d be happy to just send a personal note if the Board couldn’t unanimously support official correspondence.

That’s encouraging, not everyone is toadying…

There have been meetings this week about the LS Power proposal, one on Monday for “stakeholders” it seems, and another on Tuesday for the public.   The one on Monday, well, we need more information… like, who’s a “stakeholder,” and who decides?

As for Tuesday, here’s a link:

July 23rd Meeting page

And will you look at who was there?!?!?!

Blake Wheatly – LS Power – PowerPoint Presentation

Bob Cupit – Public Utilities Commission 6-23-09

And I hear they’ll be holding another next Monday, so you should go if you’re interested:



I’m struck by how the statutory reference on the “Friends” site is only to Chapter 216E, the siting and routing process, and worse, it focuses on the the shortened “Ram it Through” alternate review... if they’ve got that up their sleeves, they’ll need a whack upside da head on that one.  And if it’s shortened review, they have the option of “local review.” Is that the plan?  FOR AN 855MW PLANT???  GUESS AGAIN, CUPCAKE!!!

And so, welcome to the Certificate of Need concept.

Minn. Stat. 216.243, Certificate of Need

It seems to me that they had at least one similar meeting over a year ago, in April, 2008, looking at a snippet from Larry Baker’s page — who was regarded as a “stakeholder” then??

Citizen’s Stakeholder Workshop for the Sunrise River Water Quality Study (co-organized as President of Friends of the Sunrise River, with Jerry Spetzman, from Chisago Co. Environmental Services

LS Power’s proposal is moving along in the MISO queue:

Transition Feasibility Analysis — scroll down for G975

As you can see from the G975 chart in the study above, G975 has a few problems:

Transition Feasibility Analysis G975

Here’s an earlier report from one of the three prior MISO queue’d projects for this location:

MISO Feasibility Study – G135

… and what’s interesting about is, first, they eliminated a reconductoring option because it was deemed too costly, not feasible, and here are the other options, starting with Option 2, p. 7 in the study above:

G135 - Option 2

See that big honkin’ 345kV line that would have to be built?!?!

And for Option 3, p. 8:

G135 - Option 3 (p.8)

More transmission lines to be built…

Either way you look at it, we’re talking lots of big transmission in Chisago land.

Whatever are they thinking?

One Response to “LS Power’s Sunrise River mega gas plant”

  1. Roger Perrault Says:

    On March 11th 2002 the North Branch City Council decided not to grant a conditional use permit to Prairie Gen Corp to build a 49 Megawatt generator in North Branch.
    Citing failure to prove that the company was a public utility, an acceptable use for the area according to city code, the city planner Al Cottingham recommended that the council deny the Praire Gen request.
    The generator was to be built on land just north of the Xcel sub station. It was stopped.
    I believe that the same codes or laws exist in the county and Lent township.
    In the comprehensive plan for Lent states that the area is for rural growth, wildlife and farming.
    Can we legally hold the township to their plan?
    How can we scour the laws of the county or township to find language that building the LS Power generator on this farmland is illegal?
    Katlin and Olseen greed has clouded there vision and closed their ears to the citizens of Chisago, especally the ones that live close to the substation and can’t count on their help to stop it.
    The greed of the Lent Township board is just as bad. As stated in the Town meeting tonight they are only “cautiously optimistic” about the project.

    Can you help?
    Roger Perrault

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