The Alley, the Phillips neighborhood newspaper, has a few articles that you should check out:

Power or Problem to the People?
Xcel’s Proposed High Voltage Lines–more time needed to develop alternatives

By Eric Hart

In late September 2008, Xcel Energy announced its Hiawatha Project that seeks to increase the amount of electricity flowingto the Midtown area of south Minneapolis.

The plan includes two new substations,one near Hiawatha Avenue and anothernear I-35W, which are to be connected by two high voltage transmission lines. The
potential area for the transmission lines is parallel to the Midtown Greenway between 26th and 31st Streets. It is our understanding that the only approval needed by Xcel is a routing permit from the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (PUC). Xcel does not have to prove the need for the project or study alternatives to it like they would for a larger project. Their application to the PUC could come as early as late January 2009.

We have learned from Xcel and businesses in the corridor that there have been power quality issues that have adversely effected some businesses. It is important that the corridor is served with high quality, reliable power. However, simply running high voltage lines on huge towers through the Greenway corridor or along residential streets is not the long-term solution that causes the least harm to the people in the effected neighborhoods and promotes a
more sustainable future. As of December 3, 2008 the Midtown Greenway Coalition “currently opposes” the Hiawatha Projectgiven the lack of detailed data from Xcel and the lack of any serious alternatives analysis so far. Visit to see the Coalition’s policy resolution or watch for updates on this issue.

The Coalition is working with Xcel, the effected neighborhoods and others to explore solutions that negate the need for the power lines and substations. Alternatives include aggressive electricity conservation, distributed electricity generation (such as solar power or co-generation of heat and power), upgrading the local distribution system, and high-tech demand management systems.


• Recommend to the following parties that alternatives to the Hiawatha Project be studied and that more time be allowed for this purpose: Minneapolis Council
Members (contact info at: or Xcel Energy (Paul Adelmann, paul.adelmann@, 612 630-4384).
• If energy conservation and renewable energy interest you, volunteer your help or request that updates be emailed to you, contact Tim Springer at 612-879-0105 or
• Finally, participate in one or both of these upcoming meeting [that are now past tense, happened Thursday].

Eric Hart is a resident of Longfellow Community and a Midtown Greenway Coalition board member.

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