Minn. state senator chimes in on Xcel Energy project

Minnesota State Senator Terri Bonoff has implored Minnesota residents to participate actively in the contested case hearing for Xcel Energy‘s (NYSE:XEL) 115-kV Hollydale project.

Bonoff in an Aug. 13 letter to the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (PUC) claimed that the “controversial nature” of the project and its “detrimental” impact on her community necessitated a contested case hearing, to which the Minnesota PUC replied Aug. 15 that the project was already subject to such a proceeding. 

“The question of whether to refer the certificate of need proceeding … to [the Office of Administrative Hearings] for a contested case proceeding will come here before the commission sometime in early to mid-September as part of a determination on the completeness of the applicant’s filing for the certificate of need,” the PUC said.

The Hollydale project involves Xcel Energy rebuilding approximately eight miles of existing 69-kV transmission line to 115-kV, constructing almost a mile of new 115-kV transmission line and building a new 115-kV substation, called the Pomerleau Lake Substation. Great River Energy will modify their Medina Substation to accommodate the project, according to TransmissionHub data.

The project is needed to address electric distribution concerns and to avoid feeder circuit overloads in the Plymouth area distribution delivery system. The project will provide increased distribution capacity in the Plymouth-Medina area. Construction is expected to begin in 2012 with completion expected in mid-2013.

“Constituents have said that a high voltage transmission line is not needed to solve local energy distribution problems, is more harmful to neighborhood property values and aesthetics, and creates greater risks than a lower voltage distribution system solution,” Bonoff said in her letter.

Bonoff currently represents district 43 in the Minnesota Senate and is a democratic candidate for district 44.

About Rosy Lum 525 Articles
Rosy Lum, Analyst for TransmissionHub, has been covering the U.S. energy industry since 2007. She began her career in energy journalism at SNL Financial, for which she established a New York news desk. She covered topics ranging from energy finance and renewable policies and incentives, to master limited partnerships and ETFs. Thereafter, she honed her energy and utility focus at the Financial Times' dealReporter, where she covered and broke oil and gas and utility mergers and acquisitions.