Public meeting on Xcel’s proposed Hiawatha transmission project – get your comments in!

This Thursday, June 18th, the Minnesota Office of Energy Security is hosting a scoping meeting for Xcel Energy’s proposed transmission project.  The meeting will be held at the Midtown Global Market at 6 pm.  If you care about this project, you should attend, or submit your comments online.  All comments submitted must be responded to in the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), and may even be able to shape the alternatives that are studied during the process.

This project would run a new overhead line along a 1.25 mile stretch of the Midtown Greenway between Midtown and Hiawatha Avenue.  Xcel says that increased electrical demand in the southwest portion of the city requires new infrastructure and conservation measures are not up the task.  The need is in the realm of 50 megawatts, according to an Xcel spokesperson.  An above ground line would cost $3 million while a buried line would cost $15 million, according to Xcel.

The Midtown Greenway Coalition, among others are asking that the power line be buried, or perhaps not built at all if conservation measures could be used to address the need.  Their concerns include aesthetics, health impacts, reduced development potential, and the removal of greenspace near the Sabo Bridge for installation of a substation.

If you go to this meeting, drop a comment here and tell me about your experience or your views on the project.

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