Prairie Island - Roch - LaX.jpg

I spent some time a couple weeks ago looking at how transmission comes into and out of Prairie Island, and finally got some pictures today — taking a sick day and have to justify my existence, and a good thing to finally check out this route given we’ve got three lines planned in the area, in order of likely appearance:

1) SW MN to Prairie Island (but maybe Hampton)

2) Prairie Island to Rochester to LaCrosse

3) Chisago County sub to Red Rock to Prairie Island

Westwood house on bluff.jpg
This is that house on the bluff, beautiful house and beautiful view, as long as you don’t look to the immediate west and see the 345kV line that is just on the other side of a tree line. And of course that’s the Prairie Island – Byron line, the one that the PI-Roch-LaX will probably share a corridor with up and over the bluffs. And what are they doing up there? Well, that homeowner is selling the house! And they’re putting in the “Westwood” subdivision up there, right next to the transmission line. The lots they’re selling are in the right, under the transmission and to the right. Half of the homes have driveways under the line. Here’s a plat of the project, and I was standing for this photo at the bulbous blip down near the bottom. See how the line goes through all the lots on the right side?

Westwood 2.jpg
If they run another line with this one, where is it going to go? There’s nowhere else but on the right hand side, closer to the houses on that side…

I’ve left messages for the two realtors/developers up there, and the City Planner, no response yet.

Here is the link to the 2005 Transmission Plan that lists the PI lines on p. 36-38. The Prairie Island-Roch-LaX line application is expected 1st quarter 2006 (these things are usually delayed a bit),
Here is the site for the Minnesota Transmission Owners

And here is the section of the report with p. 36-38

Attached is a Download file“>Sept. 6, 2005, letter from CapX2020 giving a quick rundown of these projects, again, this is the Prairie Island-Roch-LaX line that goes over your development up on the bluff right by 61. It’s listed on the bottom of p. 2 in a chart, and on p. 6 is the map.

Westwood 4.jpg
Look close to the house on the right-hand side for the 345kV line.

In MN, there’s the PEER “non-proliferation” theory, and usually new transmission follows existing transmission corridors, and so this will probably follow the PI-Byron line (the existing one up there). However, to build it, it would require additional easement alongside that line. I’d guess that’s a problem!

Here’s their plat with my “artiste’s conception” of transmission route:

Westwood Plat.jpg

There was meeting about this held in Rochester, at Rochester Public Utilities, info on that meeting is on the site. They must under the rules provide notification to the affected cities, counties and townships, but no city, county, or township officials ever show up at the meetings and probably haven’t a clue this is coming up. …sigh… and they’re building new, very expensive homes up there…

Westwood 3.jpg

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