Xcel’s MN Energy CON

February 4th, 2024

Over the last two weeks, we’ve had a bit of a road show for Xcel Energy‘s MN Energy CON(nection). We went from “Kilowatt Community Center” (really) in Granite Falls, to Marshall, and Olivia (Max’s Grill and Sheep Shed with the best ever salmon salad with feta dressing) and Redwood Falls the first week, and then Litchfield to Monticello and ending in Kimball, MN the following week.

The turnout was intense — and so many who commented were there because of CapX 2020, either on their land or in their community, and they were disgusted and angry. Rightly so! I encouraged them to weigh in, in writing, before the comment period is up on February 21 @ 4:30 p.m.

I’m hoping that folks will send in comments IN TECHNICOLOR about what needs to be in the Environmental Impact Statement — their knowledge of the local environmental issues such as DNR protected areas, field lines and road right-of-way, and their homes and barns and outbuildings. There’s also the magnetic fields modeled to be so much higher than upper bounds set by World Health Organization (though it seems stuck in 2018!) and NIEHS’s EMF Rapid Report (1999) , and there’s also the federal Environmental “Protection” Agency. True there’s no causation proven yet, but there IS association, which is how epidemiology works… not that the Public Utilities Commission or the Minnesota Appellate Court care (“Because we find merit in the commission’s conclusion that, given the lack of “resources at hand and the current state of scientific knowledge,” neither the present record nor any record that could feasibly be developed at this time would justify shutting down the line, we affirm.“).

What’s wrong with this chart? It’s based on 1,100 and 660 MVA. The application states:

Knowing 3,000 amps is more than a tad over 660-1,100 MVA, I asked about that to get it on the record. The first meeting, nada… I wanted to clarify if the twisted pairs in each circuit were also bundled, and couldn’t get that info. The following day, Jason Standing, their engineer on the job, had the answer, and yes, the twisted pairs are also bundled and it’s double-circuited. Sooooo, that’s a lot of power, well, a lot of capacity. So on to 3,000 amps — what’s the MVA associated with this conductor configuration at 3,000 amps? Tried a couple times over a couple days, and couldn’t get at it, and I requested that they, likely Jason, take the time to figure it out. And YES, the next day, he had the number. The twisted pair, bundled, and then double circuited, is…

3,584 MVA Rating

MVA is essentially MW, so think about that when they also say in the application that the line “will enable 4,000 MW of capacity.” Oh really? Now, convert that Table 6.1.12-2 in either row to the 3,584 MVA of 3,000 amps. Jason says, rightly, that it won’t always be running at that level, that it will go up and down, and they’ve no clue of an “average” or how often it’ll bump up that high, or … but let’s be clear, the capacity is there.

As always, their depiction of the magnetic fields multiplied to a max of 3,584 will be a lot higher. Even double of 1,200 and 2,200 MVA is a lot more. And what’s in that table is bad enough. At the edge of the right-of-way, 75 feet from center, at just 1,100 (less than 1/3 of capacity it’s 45 mG! That’s over TEN (10) times the recommendation of World Health Organization.

That said, let’s take a look at need. The purpose of the project is clearly stated on page 1 of the REVISED Certificate of Need (CoN) application:

And on page 3 of the CoN application:

How valuable? I’ve not found a clear answer, but I’m looking!!

Leave a Reply