This is the “route map” from SOO Green site, used in PR

Announced just now in a major PR push, because Siemens bought it (see below), yet another transmission project, 500+ kV, and it’s supposedly a DC option to be buried underground along rail lines.  Look at the map, provided in the Press Release I guess, because most of the articles use it… check the yellow “SOO Green Available Route” in Minnesota!

Developer proposes a 350-mile underground transmission line to carry wind energy from rural Iowa to Chicago

Now that’s different!

But it’s been a concept looking for a home for quite a while (and check the FERC Orders and dockets below):

spp-miso jpc minutes october 2015

And major PR push? It’s because Siemens just bought the idea:

Siemens Buys Transmission Line to Take Iowa Wind to the Eastern Grid

A July 2018 presentation:


From “Midwest Reliability Organization” at their Fall 2018 meeting, and the map from that presentation:

SOO Green Renewable Rail – A Wind Energy Delivery Project – Joseph DeVito

Yet they used the green map for PR.  Why?  Something else interesting in that presentation is the “Development Team.”

Now look at the yellow “Soo Green Available Route” from MN to IL, and look at the green “Soo Green Primary Route” and guess what is right in the middle between them, why it’s “Cardinal-Hickory Creek” MVP 5 (southern part):

Note that Fredricksen & Byron law firm is involved in both Cardinal-Hickory Creek and SOO Green.

Here are just a few of the articles this week:

Proposed underground power line could bring Iowa wind turbine electricity to Chicago

Renewable energy rail project would run from Mason City to Chicago

Proposed new transmission project would deliver renewables between PJM and MISO

Proposed Area Power Generation to Go to Chicago

Just google, and you’ll find so many more.

MISO wins approval for new rules to link up external transmission

But what do we need more transmission for? We’ve got significant overbuild as it is. One big benefit is that user pays, where with much of the pass-through transmission of CapX 2020 and the MISO MVP 17 project portfolio, the pass-through ratepayers are stuck with a percentage of the full cost of all the projects.

There have been related FERC dockets, most recently the October 12, 2018 Order – Tariff Revision in docket ER-18-1410-000 (also -001):


There’s also an Order on Proposal and Guidance in ER-16-675:


To look at the entire FERC docket, GO HERE and search!

It’s something more to monitor.  Here’s the developer’s site:

Soo Green Renewable Rail

Note that Joe DeVito is heading up Fresh Energy these days, also on Board of Wind on the Wires/whatever new name is.

Need more info.  Interesting concept that addresses some of the huge issues, but need, always need, or lack thereof.


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…)



MOES page for Hiawatha Project

Now take a look at this map for the FULL plan, well, at least a larger picture, than what they’re disclosing for the Hiawatha Project.  Here’s the map, and note carefully, from B-C is what they’re calling the Hiawatha Project.  tHIS SECTION IS FOR XCEL’s PAM RASMUSSEN, WHO HATES IT WHEN I PUBLISH THIS MAP, SO I’VE GOT TO BE VERY SPECIFIC WHERE THIS INFORMATION IS COMING FROM AND WHAT CONSTITUTES THE “HIAWATHA PROJECT” and as far as Xcel is disclosing, the applied for Hiawatha Project is “B-C” of this map.  Look below to see where the rest comes from!


Here’s the NM-SPG meeting minutes reporting on the A-B link, the 345kV line from a new substation on Hwy 280 (A) to the new Hiawatha Project substation (B).

Minutes – NM-SPG meeting July 24, 2008

Then there’s “Hiawatha Project” from B-C.

For C, D and E, see the “Minnesota Transmission Owners” 2007 Biennial Transmission Plan, where they list these extension alternatives:

Alternatives. Initial investigation and scoping discussions have led to the development of three potential alternatives:

(1) Construct a new 115 kV line from a new Hiawatha Substation along Highway 55 to a new Oakland Substation near Lake Street and I-35W. The line would then continue south to a new Highway 62 Substation near Highway 62 and Nicollet Avenue. The line would continue to its final termination at a new Penn Lake Substation near I-494 and Sheridan Avenue.

(2) Similar to Option 1, but the final 115 kV line would stretch from Highway 62 Substation to the existing Wilson Substation near I-494 and Wentworth Avenue.

(3) Construct two smaller 115 kV loops with new 115 kV lines running from Hiawatha to Oakland to Elliot Park and a second loop from Penn Lake to Highway 62 to Wilson.

Section 7 of Biennial Transmission Plan, go to Section 7.5 and all the way down to 3rd and 4th to last pages:


Another point to note:  the Hiawatha Project is WAY over spec’d.  This is a double circuited ACSS 795kCmil conductor — see what that means and compare it with the claimed 100MW need in the FUTURE!

Ex. 35 – conductors – from SW MN 345kV docket

And now, for today’s STrib article:

Will burying power lines in Midtown bury city, users with $12.6 million bill?

Xcel Energy prefers to route transmission lines along the Midtown Greenway; public officials question the fivefold cost increase of putting them underground.

By STEVE BRANDT, Star Tribune

Last update: April 27, 2009 – 11:27 PM

If Xcel wanted buried power lines along this corridor, they should have expressed that when the greenway project was in the planning … read more stages. They could have accomplished this with a substantially reduced cost. Poor foresight on their part is not the responsibility of the city.

Xcel Energy has told state regulators that it wants its controversial twin high-voltage power lines through the Midtown area of Lake Street in Minneapolis to run along the rim of the Midtown Greenway.

But the utility told the Public Utility Commission that the line could be run either overhead for $3 million or underground for $15.6 million. If it’s the latter, either the city or electrical users in Minneapolis should pay the extra $12.6 million cost, Xcel said.

Some city and Hennepin County elected officials said the proposal represents an opportunity for state regulators to consider a paradigm shift in assessing those costs and whether the utility should bear the expense of installing a new underground line in an urban area. That’s because the lines would penetrate a dense urban area, unlike more typical routing through rural or developing suburban areas, said Minneapolis City Council Member Gary Schiff.

Read the rest of this entry »


Shame, shame, shame, Xcel…

Remember way back when, Chisago II, when then Northern States Power did a deal with the City of Taylors Falls and the City of St. Croix Falls?  I won’t forget the cities’ joint siging meeting, because the then Mayor of St. Croix Falls, now a felon, ordered me arrested when I inquired during public comment period about the “Project Mitigation Fund and Committee.”  Guess he didn’t want that discussed, didn’t want it questioned… thanks to all the hollering from the audience I didn’t end up with three hots and a cot!

Deal – NSP – Taylors Falls – St. Croix Falls

This was a three way deal.  Well, Xcel has just unilaterally, without permission of Taylors Falls and St. Croix Falls, altered provisions of the construction specifics that were material terms of the agreement.

From the agreement:


See???  Undergrounding “to the existing dam facility on the St. Croix River…”

Simple enough… but here’s what it says in the PUC Order of February 20, 2008:


… and..


So in the agreement, it is undergrounded all the way to the river, and in the PUC Order, it’s above ground from Hwy. 95 to the river on H-frame structures.  EH?  Well, what does that look like?  Here’s the map:


Off to the right, the wider road where there’s a box pointing downward at the wider road where it says “UG Termination Structures” and the line representing transmission changes to sort of a weird dashed line just after the road, that’s Hwy 95 where just east of the highway, it changes from underground to overhead.  If you follow it from Hwy. 95 to the right, east, you’ll see it go over County Road 16, Wild Mountain Road and then over to the St. Croix River.

What does Taylors Falls think about it?  They’re unhappy enough to have rattled Xcel’s cage, and got this response from Xcel:

Xcel’s letter to Mayor Buchite – March 26, 2009

Xcel’s explanation why transmission line was overhead when it was supposed to be underground is… well… read it for yourself:


Oh, right, Xcel, because you got everyone together EXCEPT those who are party to the agreement and they agreed, yeah, seems like it’s OK… uh-huh…

I think a better response: “THAT’S DIFFERENT!”

Should the settlement agreement be amended?  Xcel has this to say:


Xcel says there’s no need to amend the settlement agreement and that they’ve “complied with all of the provisions relative to Taylors Falls.”  Oh… uh-huh…

St. Croix Falls, the other party to the agreement, is outraged!  They took it to Congressman Obey:

St. Croix Falls letter to Rep. Obey – March 31, 2009

Can you hear their eyeballs rolling, hands thrown up in disgust?


And what’s this about the school in St. Croix Falls?????

Xcel is getting a little too big for its britches!