The transmission line passing, with the pipeline, through lower Scott & Dakota County, near Northfield, goes through Red Wing and then south to Wisconsin through LaCrosse.

Letter: Huge transmission lines coming to community

The Republican Eagle

Published Saturday, July 15, 2006

To the Editor:

Utility infrastructure investments are a 50-year energy policy commitment. Utilities are embarking on spending billions of our dollars on thousands of miles over thousands of property.

Is this necessary for reliability, adequacy of service or system security? No, this infrastructure is being built to facilitate unregulated export of bulk power for profit. What do we get out of it? Transmission lines in our yards.

There are three 345kV lines planned through our community. Two are now beginning the application process: Notice plans have been filed with the Public Utilities Commission. Because Minnesota law gives preference to existing corridors, the line is likely to parallel one on north side of Highway 61 atop the hill west of town, then to Prairie Island, taking a scenic meander through the reservation, back up and over the bluffs, through the Westwood subdivision toward Rochester.

I informed the Prairie Island Indian Community and theyâ??re paying attention, attending transmission planning meetings.

Whereâ??re Red Wing and Goodhue County? I informed the Realtors posting signs in Westwood, city planning, too; no one seemed concerned. The subdivision is an example of poor planning. Itâ??s bad enough theyâ??re allowed to build homes there, but whoâ??s telling residents whatâ??s in store?

These transmission proposals are nothing new. The Prairie Island to Wisconsin line was proposed as â??Line 3a/bâ? in 1998 and has been talked about for years. Transmission links are on my blog at in the â??Transmission for Dummiesâ? section. These specific lines are in the 2005 Transmission Plan, and public meetings were held last May. I didnâ??t see any city or county representatives there, and I know they were provided notice because the stateâ??s Transmission Plan rules require it.

Will county and city land-use professionals start attending the state meetings so they know whatâ??s in store and wonâ??t be surprised again? Will developers, landowners and land-use officials pay attention to canons of appropriate land-use? Will local governments submit comments about the Notice Plan and participate effectively in the Certificate of Need docket? Will our elected officials represent us?

Carol A. Overland

Red Wing

Carol Overland is running for City Council member at-large.

Leave a Reply