Xcel’s Hiawatha Project is in the STrib today.  I’d posted on this a while ago:

Hiawatha Project — transmission line through Phillips

It’s my old neighborhood, mostly I lived a couple of blocks north of the now Greenway on 16th Ave., but for a while I’d lived just one house north of the train track on 14th, that was back when the tornado came roaring through, I watched it from the Post Coronary Rehab unit at HCMC where I worked.  It tossed a bus into Robert’s Shoes, pieces of the Sears warehouse went flying around, and it took out the roofs of most every house on the block north of mine… climbing through trees to get home, oh, that was something.  Anyway, I digress as usual…

Xcel is hosting meetings, and there are two more today:

Xcel’s Hiawatha Project Open House

Noon to 2 p.m. and 5-7 p.m. today

Midtown Exchange (former Lake Street Sears building) Global Market basement level

Here’s Xcel’s Hiawatha Project page.

Here’s the Hiawatha Project Map.

And here’s today’s STrib’s article on Xcel’s Hiawatha Project:

High-voltage lines: Power struggle in south Minneapolis?

By STEVE BRANDT, Star Tribune

November 5, 2008
The lights flickered and Sharon Hannigan’s computerized cash register shut down. The grocery store she manages at the Midtown Exchange on Lake Street came face to face on a recent Saturday with Xcel Energy’s sporadic problems getting reliable electrical service to parts of south Minneapolis. Rather than pay a hefty help-desk charge to get her credit card equipment restarted, the Produce Exchange went cash-only for the rest of the weekend.

Nearby, Abbott Northwestern Hospital experienced 16 unplanned outages last year, compared to six in 2002. During an outage, it shifts quickly to back-up generators,

“We have seen a trend over the last five or six years of increased reliability issues,” said Tim Grote, who manages hospital facilities. “It is important, especially in health care.”

Such stories emerged last week when Xcel hosted its first open houses about its plans to build high-voltage power lines in south Minneapolis. About 60 area residents and business people came, many to quiz the utility about its plans or to express concern, mainly about the aesthetics or health impacts of the lines. Two more sessions on the Hiawatha Project are scheduled for today.

Xcel wants to branch twin 115-kilovolt transmission lines into the Lake Street corridor, starting at Hiawatha Avenue and reaching almost to Interstate 35W. It also plans new substations at either end.

Company officials say that brownouts and interruptions like those reported by Grote and Hannigan are increasing for customers near the end of its current distribution system. It said that adding the new lines will increase reliability.

But the project, which Xcel intends to complete in 2010, also is arousing opposition. Some of it stems from the same coalition of neighborhood activists who successfully opposed a biomass plant in the Hiawatha-Lake area earlier this year. Their leaflet suggests that Xcel could obviate the need for the proposed high-voltage line with facility and conservation improvements, a claim the company disputes.

Some of the opposition arises from those concerned about the aesthetics of having a high-voltage line for a neighbor. Although Xcel has said that it’s looking anywhere in a five-block swatch paralleling Lake for a route, a number of opponents fear that the line could run in or near the Midtown Greenway.

“We as residents can’t tell you how upset we are,” said Darlene Moen, who bought a new condo overlooking the bike and pedestrian greenway. “A lot of people here don’t know how to fight back.”

Xcel said that it wouldn’t seek to install its transmission towers of up to 70 feet tall in the greenway itself, but might consider using the south lip overlooking the recreational trench. It is also looking at whether the lines could be meshed with a rebuilding of E. 26th St.

Some residents favor burying the lines, which is technically feasible but would raise the cost of the lines by ninefold, according to Xcel’s rough estimate. That cost would be paid by area customers.

Steve Brandt • 612-673-4438

Xcel Energy will hold two more open houses today at which south Minneapolis residents and businesses can learn more about its proposal to build a high-voltage power line and two substations in the Lake Street area:

When: Noon to 2 p.m. and 5-7 p.m. today

Where: Midtown Exchange (former Lake Street Sears building) Global Market basement level.


November 4th, 2008

It’s a heady night at the DoubleTree Hotel in Wilmington, big win for Democrats in Delaware, and with Obama winning (WHEW! … really, can it be?) and their homey Biden probably Vice President, everyone is jubilant.  It’s packed, food everywhere and booze flying over the bar (the only open place by AC was right next to one of the many bars, and oh my…

Here’re the Delaware results:

State of Delaware Dept. of Elections – 2008 Results

And in Minnesota it looks like Franken is winning, another WHEW!  Here’s the SOS site with many ways to dig stuff up:

Minnesota Secretary of State – 2008 Election Results

Now, to dig through these and see what they say!


But as they say… “meet the new boss…”

What more is there to say…

The whole world is…

November 3rd, 2008

… watching… holding its breath. I’ve not seen such a quiet time on the internet since the September 12, 2001. Lots of people are working on the election. I voted a couple weeks ago, and will be watching from Biden-land (a foreign land, for sure), and for me it feels over. And with a good result.

The difficult thing I see is getting Obama away from his coal and utility buddies/funders, turning him from his unreasonable support of unclean coal. He and Biden (who should know better, NRG’s IGCC plan went down in flames in Delaware and they chose WIND!) have been falling over themselves to show they support coal gasification more than McCain, and that’s been disgusting. Every $$$ solicitation I get, I respond with a “gentle reminder” about the economic and environmental disaster called coal gasification. There will be work to do, to hold his feet to the… turbine blades… yeah, that’s it, not the fire. Obama, stand up, don’t bow to the coal companies! Meanwhile, people who should know better are advocating belief that he’s lying about coal, that he’s really against it. That’s just plain delusional. His positions are what they are, and yes, they’re not what I want.  But it could be worse:

Despite Obama’s support of coal, the companies are still worried. This came over the wire from the “Western Business Roundtable” regarding coal gasification — you can see the desperation in the slams of Obama, as someone on the coal list said, the “coal companies will give up their profits when we pry it from their cold dead hands.” I’m sure they already understand that coal is dead, dead, dead, and there’s no need for this. As if Obama is the one making CCS unobtainable and costly? Give me a break…

Western Business Roundtable

For Immediate Release: Nov. 3, 2008
Contact: Britt Weygandt, 303-216-9278

Obama Plan To “Bankrupt” Clean Coal Would Cost Hundreds of Thousands Of Jobs

Business Coalition Calls On Other Politicians To Distance Themselves

Denver, CO (Nov. 3, 2008) — A bipartisan coalition of business leaders is calling on Governors, state legislators and Members of Congress publicly express their opposition before tomorrow’s election to proposals to “bankrupt” the U.S. coal industry and threaten to put out of work several hundred thousand Americans who work in coal-related industries.

The call was issued by the Western Business Roundtable following news reports that Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama intends to make it so costly to build advanced clean coal power plants with carbon capture and sequestration that it will “bankrupt” any company that tries to do so.

“We are calling upon Democrats, Republicans and Independents from coast to coast to publicly express their support for advanced clean coal power generation and to distance themselves from those who say that we should bankrupt the coal industry,” said Britt Weygandt, Executive Director of the Western Business Roundtable. “A lot of Americans are going to be listening in the next 24 hours to see which elected leaders stand up for clean coal and which don’t.”

Obama’s comments regarding coal were made during an interview with the San Francisco Examiner earlier this year, and is available in streaming audio form here.

In the interview, Obama says the following:

“Let me sort of describe my overall policy. What I’ve said is that we would put a cap and trade system in place that is as aggressive, if not more aggressive, than anybody else’s out there. I was the first to call for a 100 percent auction on the cap and trade system, which means that every unit of carbon or greenhouse gases emitted would be charged to the polluter. That will create a market in which whatever technologies are out there that are being presented, whatever power plants that are being built, that they would have to meet the rigors of that market and the ratcheted down caps that are being placed, imposed every year. So if somebody wants to build a coal-powered plant, they can; it’s just that it will bankrupt them because they’re going to be charged a huge sum for all that greenhouse gas that’s being emitted. That will also generate billions of dollars that we can invest in solar, wind, biodiesel and other alternative energy approaches. The only thing I’ve said with respect to coal, I haven’t been some coal booster. What I have said is that for us to take coal off the table as a (sic) ideological matter as opposed to saying if technology allows us to use coal in a clean way, we should pursue it. So if somebody wants to build a coal-powered plant, they can. It’s just that it will bankrupt them.”

Weygandt said: “Regardless of the outcome of tomorrow’s election, elected officials at all levels need to stand up for a robust clean coal coal option for America,” Weygandt said. “They should stand up for affordable and reliable electricity, for a stable and reliable grid, and for the hundreds of thousands of American workers in this industry.”

# # #

What utter bullshit… NO NEW COAL PLANTS!