The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission, in an order issued on Nov. 10, said that its executive secretary may proceed to grant a withdrawal request filed by Minnkota Power Cooperative in relation to a proposed 115-kV line.
As noted in an August 2014 Minnkota filing submitted to the commission, the project included construction of a new 5.3-mile, 115-kV electric transmission line and a new 115/4.16-kV substation. The proposed project would start in Leon Township by tapping an existing 115-kV line via construction of a one-way line switch and the proposed project would end in Pine Lake Township at the new 115/4.16-kV substation. The project was needed to serve a single industrial in the Clearbrook, Minn., area, the company added.
As noted in the Nov. 10 order, Minnkota on Sept. 13 filed a petition to withdraw its route-permit application for the Clearbrook-Clearbrook West 115-kV Transmission Line Project in Clearwater County.
Minnkota said in that Sept. 13 filing that it has received a formal request from North Dakota Pipeline Company (NDPC) to withdraw Minnkota’s route permit application for the transmission line project. Since NDPC has petitioned to withdraw its applications associated with a pipeline project that Minnkota’s transmission line would have provided electrical power to, the transmission line for that specific load is not needed at this time. Therefore, Minnkota is formally petitioning the commission to withdraw its route permit application, the company added.
The PUC said in its Nov. 10 order that while no one objected to withdrawal, the Eerie-Boudeaux Family Revocable Trust on Sept. 30 filed comments requesting that withdrawal be granted “with prejudice.”
In that Sept. 30 filing, the Trust said that as the commission considers the request for withdrawal, the Trust asks that the commission recognize that the only justification for the project was in conjunction with the soon-to-be-withdrawn Sandpiper pipeline project, that the transmission project to the Clearbrook West pumping station and tank farm was only for support of the Sandpiper pipeline, and with elimination of the Sandpiper pipeline from consideration, the transmission project should be eliminated as well, permanently eliminated by approval of withdrawal with prejudice.
The commission said in its Nov. 10 order that the matter came before it on Oct. 28.
The order also noted that the commission has delegated to its executive secretary the authority to approve the withdrawal of filings under these circumstances:
- The party that submitted the filing has requested that the filing be withdrawn and has served notice on the persons listed on the official service list
- No person has expressed opposition to withdrawal of the filing within 14 days of service of the notice
- No commissioner or commission staff person has identified a reason that the matter should not be withdrawn
Minnkota’s withdrawal request meets those requirements, the order said, adding that the commission has determined not to consider the request to impose conditions on withdrawal, and the executive secretary may proceed to grant the withdrawal request.