Xcel’s Hiawatha Transmission Project, through the heart of the Phillips neighborhood in Minneapolis, was on the PUC’s agenda last Thursday.  I had some deadline or other and couldn’t go, but here’s what happened:

MOES – Comment on Application, Task Force, etc.

Of course MOES thought everything was just ducky…

Midtown Greenway filed a Comment:

Midtown Greenway – Letter

Midtown Greenway – Resolution

There was no Petition for a Contested Case filed, but a Contested Case was ordered because Xcel has taken the mandatory Contested Case route.  There were no Petitions to Intervene… There was only ONE comment filed…

Here’s the PUC’s Order:

PUC Order – May 26, 2009

Here’s the Dept. of Commerce’s view of Scoping for the full-blown Environmental Impact Statement:

Draft Scoping Document

So there we are… Bill Storm of MOES is assuming that it’s an EIS we’re doing, that’s a good thing.  Check the DRAFT scope, though, and note how narrow it is.

There’s a public meeting for scoping (hmmmm… I wonder if I got notice… $50 says no — Bill says yes, and where’s the $50, but, “It would be WRONG,” she says, speaking into the lampshade…):

DOE-MOES – Notice of EIS Scoping Meeting

Thursday, June 18, 2009 – 6:oo p.m.

Midtown Global Market

920 East Lake St.

Mpls, MN

Comments accepted until July 10, 2009

Send to:

Bill Storm, Project Manager

MN Dept of Commerce

85 – 7th Place East, Suite 500

St. Paul, MN  55101



OK, folks, get to work!

  • Now’s the time to read the application (Xcel’s Hiawatha Project Page HERE) and draft a Comment about what should be included in the EIS.
  • Now’s the time to put in your requests to be on the Citizens Advisory Task Force
  • Now’s the time to Petition to Intervene! (well, it’s not to late… YET…)


Poor Xcel, getting picked on… a City of Minneapolis resolution to delay the route application for the Hiawatha Project transmission line, and a unanimous preference for undergrounding if it should be built.  SNORT!

LET’S SEE THE SOUTH MINNEAPOLIS LOAD SERVING STUDY (which the Hiawatha Project is supposedly based on) and the SOUTH MINNEAPOLIS ELECTRIC RELIABILITY PROJECT STUDY which is shooting in a 345kV line from Hwy. 280 to the new Hiawatha substation… “100 MW need” my ass…

Here are 16 questions posed by Midtown Greenway to Xcel and 9 answers:

List of 16 Questions for Xcel

9 Answers from Xcel

Piecing together studies found on line, here’s what I think Xcel is up to:


Xcel’s plans for power line run into opposition

By STEVE BRANDT, Star Tribune

January 26, 2009

A resolution asking Xcel Energy to delay its proposed high-voltage transmission line in south Minneapolis and offering an alternate route advanced Monday at City Hall.

The resolution sent to the full council is a rebuff to Xcel’s preferred route for the power line along the rim of the Midtown Greenway recreational corridor.

It was approved without opposition by the council’s Health, Energy and Environment Committee and is due for a Feb. 6 council vote.

The language approved Monday asks Xcel for more study of electrical needs in the central Lake Street corridor that the line would bisect and urges that alternative ways to supply those needs be investigated.

Bury the line?

But if the line is needed, it should be buried under E. 28th Street, according to the resolution by Council Members Gary Schiff, Robert Liligren and Cam Gordon. Xcel has said burying the line would add nearly $16 million to the cost.

Xcel spent much of its presentation arguing that localized power-generation projects or conservation measures alone won’t come close to negating the need for an additional 100 megawatts of power to the area to assure reliable service.

The utility proposes to build the line mostly on the south rim of the greenway, crossing its bike and walking paths four times.

The $15 million project would also include a substation on the east side of Hiawatha Avenue at 28th, where an existing transmission line now runs, and another on Oakland Avenue.

The Midtown Greenway Coalition, an advocacy group for the corridor, also has opposed Xcel’s preferred route and has sought more study of alternatives.

Betty Mirzayi, Xcel’s project manager, said the company forecasts growth in demand for electricity of 1.5 percent annually for the area to be supplied by the proposed line.

She called the proposed line essential to meeting demand caused by redevelopment in the area that has “stretched our capacity to the limit.”

Wanting more proof

But speakers among the many residents who appeared in support of the resolution said they want more proof that the power line is the only way to improve service.

They also argued that the line would stunt planned housing development along the greenway because potential residents would be leery of living near the line.

One legislator, Rep. Karen Clark, DFL-Minneapolis, said later Monday she’s considering legislation that would require additional analysis by the state and Xcel of any health effects associated with the high-voltage line in areas with high poverty or high minority concentrations, which describes portions of the proposed route.

Mirzayi said the permitting process, which will be under the authority of state agencies, provides an arena for analysis of the issues raised by those opposed to the line. Xcel plans to submit its proposal to the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission by the end of March and wants to begin using the new facilities in the first half of 2011.

Take your transmission line and go home, Xcel…



Well this is interesting… to put it mildly…  Xcel’s Hiawatha Project, transmission through Phillips, is in the news.

A move to “delay its application… until it provides a more thorough analysis of the need an alternatives” and that if line is “needed,” to bury it under 28th Street is deemed “trying to get the council to adopt a position without public hearings or notice?”


Now Xcel claims the need for the Hiawatha Project is based on the “South Minneapolis Load Service Study,” but cannot or will not produce a copy of that study.  They say it is not completed yet… Oh, and so you’re wanting this line for what????

And then I find that there’s also a “South Minneapolis Electric Reliability Project” where they want to run a 345kV line from Hwy. 280 to the new Hiawatha Project substation.

As discussed, but not quite yet formally proposed, Xcel’s Hiawatha Project would have a substation somewhere near 28th & Hiawatha, and the line would go east through Prestigious East Phillips to near the old Honeywell site near 35W.

Don’t forget, there are three meetings coming up, one held by the community, and two others by Xcel:

Community Forum on Xcel’s Hiawatha Project

Sponsored by the Phillips Community Energy Cooperative, the Greenway Coalition, and others
Monday, January 12, 2009
At Plaza Verde
1516 East Lake Street
6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

… and an Open House, another opportunity to dig into this project and find out what’s really going on:

Xcel Energy’s Public Open House on the Hiawatha Project
Thursday, January 15, 2009
At Plaza Verde, 1516 East Lake Street
Noon to 2:00 p.m.
and 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.

Search this site for “Hiawatha Project” for background information.


Minneapolis council diverts power-line issue

By STEVE BRANDT, Star Tribune

January 9, 2009

A preemptive effort by several Minneapolis City Council members to state a preferred route for a new Xcel high-voltage power line through south Minneapolis blew up Friday when their colleagues cried foul.

The trio of council members — Gary Schiff, Robert Lilligren and Cam Gordon — wanted the utility to delay its application to the state for the line and two related substations until it provides a more thorough analysis of the need and alternatives.

If no alternative emerged in that analysis, the trio said, the line should be buried beneath E. 28th Street.

But their resolution was shunted to committee after other council members chided them for trying to get the council to adopt a position without public hearings or notice.

“We have a responsibility outside an empty room,” Council Member Lisa Goodman said.

Xcel has said it plans to apply to the state to proceed with the project early this year, start work by late in the year and use the lines in 2010. It plans to present its review of substation sites and transmission line routes to the community this week.

The utility has said that increasing electrical loads in the Midtown area of south Minneapolis are taxing its current lines. It wants to construct an east-west high-voltage line in a corridor between E. 26th and E. 31st Streets, branching from its current line along Hiawatha Avenue.

Opponents charge that Xcel hasn’t done enough to prove the need or that demand can’t be managed by conservation. They express fear about the electromagnetic fields of such a line and some want it buried, which would raise costs considerably.