In early June, there was a suprise announcement that Excelsior Energy had selected a site on Highway 7, past Bovey for it’s “Two Lobbyists and a Wife” Mesaba power plant. Here’s their blurb, and another one that on file with the EQB (at least this second one doesn’t look like my dog wrote it!). Whatever happened to that selling point of developing on the brownfield site in Hoyt Lakes? Whatever happened to that selling point of providing jobs to all those unemployed after the closing of the Hoyt Lakes plant?

Hoyt Lakes map ccpi2_minnesota.jpg

This new site northeast of Bovey in old growth red and white pine bog by pristine Minnesota lakes was disclosed as Itasca County approved support of a bonding bill for Mesaba infrastructure, and around the same time, they hosted tours of the site — why weren’t the landowners included? Here’s a clue for Excelsior Energy — it’s not a good idea to have landowners find out they’re targeted by reading about it in the paper or seeing contractors tromping around the site. Landowners require notice and honesty from project proposers, so they tell me in technicolor.

County seeks state bonding for power plant, MSI

Site list grows for proposed power plant

The STrib did a follow up article a month later:
Coal gas plant may intrude on Minnesota peace, quiet

Here’s the EQB’s main docket site. What I notice is that there are hardly any documents, no site plans, even though the EQB was represented up there on a site tour, and there’s no way to tell where they’re putting it. Well, here they are, and you can see clearly that this is NOT a brownfield site.


Larger site plan – scan of both pages Download file
View image“> Top half of larger site plan
View image“>Bottom half of larger site plan

Close up site plan – scan of both pages View image
Top half of close up site plan View image
Bottom half of close up site plan View image

Here’s where they’re wanting to put this power plant. Does this make any sense? One of the landowners, stunned, says “Is this bizarre?”

Mesaba site map.jpg

But the key to this goes back to the Excelsior Energy blurb above, the one that looks like Kenya wrote it:

Q: Why must Excelsior select its site by mid August?

A: Developing a base load generating plant project is a long and complex task. Excelsior must decide on a location for its first unit by Mid-August to maintain its project development schedule and ensure the Mesaba Energy Project is operational to serve Minnesota?s growing electric energy needs.

Translation by Overland: We need to have this application in to make it look like we’re serious — it’s a hoop to jump through, have an application in, to keep that state and federal grant money rolling in.

Yes. This is BIZARRE. Does anyone else find this a horrifically extreme measure to finance Tom Micheletti’s retirement? Wouldn’t it be more in the public interest, and a hell of a lot cheaper, if the state got Tom and Julie a little get away retreat and a one way plane ticket?

Here’s the contact info for the EQB – get on the mailing list and weigh in:

Environmental Quality Board project docket

Docket No: 05-94-PPS-Excelsior Energy
Project Name: Mesaba Energy Project
Description: Excelsior Energy, Inc. proposes to construct a 531 MW Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle (IGCC) large electric power generating plant (LEPGP) on the Iron Range tax relief area
Subjects: Environmental policy; Power plants
Geographic region: Minnesota; Twin Cities Metropolitan Area; Twin Cities Metropolitan Area
Docket created: March 14, 2005
Contact: Bill Storm, 651-296-9535
Mailing list: register

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