Picture this scene with a 115kV transmission line on one side of the path… or BOTH?!?! AAAAAGH!

Scroll down for the scoop from Pam Rasmussen, Xcel…

Just when you thought it was the “Midtown Greenway,” maybe Xcel has another idea… maybe it’s going to be the “Xcel Transmissionway.” Xcel has announced the “Hiawatha Project” for Phillips neighborhood in Minneapolis. Where in Phillips?

Here’s the map, but essentially, it’s stretching east-west between Midtown and East Phillips:

Hiawatha Project Map

They’re holding public meetings soon, at both ends of the project:

Midtown Global Market Management

920 East Lake

Greenway Level Conference Room – Lower Level

Wednesday October 29th

12-2pm and 5-7 pm


Thursday November 6

12-2 pm and 5-7 p.m.

Be there or be square…

There are supposed to be other meetings in November at the YWCA on East Lake Street, but I don’t have any info on when — have emailed Pam Rasmussen and her response is down further.

For more information from Xcel, see:


Here’s how they explain the project, from their blurb on the project page:

What is being proposed to improve the system?

Our proposed project involves construction of one substation near the Hiawatha corridor and another in the Midtown area, connected by two 1.25-mile, 115-kilovolt transmission power supply lines. The two lines may be located on the same corridor.

Is that bizarre? In other proceedings they use “geographic diversity” as a reason not to use a pre-existing corridor, and here they’re saying it’s “two” lines which “may be located in the same corridor.” Uh-huh…

Xcel claims that they’ll be conducting “open discussion with all stakeholders, including the city of Minneapolis” (in the Q & A blurb they also commit to including “area neighborhoods), and they say that “[i]nput from stakeholders pertaining to visual impacts will be considered prior to final location of structures, rights-of-way and other areas.” So do tell, Xcel, who is a “stakeholder?” I would expect that the East Phillips, Midtown and West Phillips neighborhood groups would be stakeholders. I would expect that the Midtown Greenway Coalition is a stakeholder. Does Green Institute have a dog in this? The hospitals, clinics, and associated medical interests in the area? The Midtown Exchange? And the Midtown Eco-Burner?

What I’m not seeing in any of this is a need statement with any specificity, but hey, who needs a need statement when there’s no Certificate of Need required? How would system alternatives be considered? It sure wouldn’t happen in the Routing permit. Maybe they just have to say they want it and the City agrees? In looking at the area, with Honeywell gone and WellsFargo in, with all of that hospital and associated medical stuff, and that they took OUT the substation on Oakland, there’s probably not so much a shortage of power as a power quality problem, given the old distribution system. And why would they build line from the 115kV line on Hiawatha to near WellsFargo, a radial line, connecting to the sub, but not to another line, not to the grid? Why not just update the existing system? Is there something else in the works? Inquiring minds want to know.

In their press release, they state:

The company plans to employ state-of-the-art “Smart Substation” technologh that will allow enhanced monitoring and control of substation equipment. In addition, other elements of SmartGrid technology can be incorporated that will improve reliable service to customers.

SmartGrid? That’s the project they’re working on in Boulder, Colorado, and blurbs for that that THEY put out say that it can cut load by 30%. Let’s just forget about transmission and put in SmartGrid, eh?

Where did that SmartGrid blurb of theirs go? It’s in the CapX 2020 exhibits. Will post it later…

Here’s what Pam Rasmussen had to say in answer to a few of my questions:


The project substations and lines are 115 kv and the new lines will be about 1.25 miles long. It will not require a CON, but does fall under the MN PUC Route permit process.

I saw that you found the map. We are going to post it on the web page as a direct link today along with the meeting announcement.
The map should give you an idea of where the two substation siting areas are in the area.

It is two 115 kV kv lines, with single 795 ACSS [originally she reported ACSR, and corrected that to ACSS — thanks for that clarification!] at this time. No bundling. Depending upon the route and design it could be double circuited or it could be two single circuit lines.

This is not replacing the 115 kV line along Hiawatha. The proposed Hiawatha substation will tie into the existing line and then the two new 115 kv lines would go from the Hiawatha sub to the new Midtown substation.

I see you have the dates for the public meetings on your web page. We will be mailing letters to landowners in the area is shown on the map later this week as well as putting ads in the paper.

We don’t have any other meetings scheduled at this time, but will be scheduling them as we move forward. This is just the first set of meetings to provide information on the project and to gather input on concerns or suggestions people have.


As I understand it, there’s been a “stakeholder” meeting with at least one neighborhood group. Still tracking down info on the others… stay tuned!

One Response to “Hiawatha Project – transmission line through Phillips”

  1. Legalectric » Blog Archive » Xcel transmission & Midtown Greenway? Says:

    […] Xcel’s Hiawatha Project is in the STrib today.  I’d posted on this a while ago: Hiawatha Project — transmission line through Phillips […]

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