Public information meeting on 161-kV line to be held Dec. 19 in Minnesota

An environmental assessment scoping and public information meeting regarding the route permit application filed in September by Freeborn Wind Energy LLC for its proposed 161-kV transmission line in Freeborn County, Minn., will be held on Dec. 19 in Albert Lea, Minn., the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission said in a Dec. 6 notice.

The purpose of the meeting is to provide information about the proposed project and the state’s permitting process, as well as to solicit verbal or written comments on potential issues and mitigation measures to be studied in the environmental assessment that will be prepared by the state Department of Commerce, the notice said.

The proposed project would interconnect the proposed Freeborn Wind Farm Project to the existing Glenworth substation owned by ITC Midwest LLC, the notice said.

As TransmissionHub reported, according to the company’s application for the approximately seven-mile, single-circuit transmission line, Freeborn Wind – which is an affiliate of Invenergy LLC – is requesting the route permit to build the high voltage transmission line needed to interconnect the proposed up to 200-MW Freeborn Wind Farm, located in Freeborn County, Minn., and Worth County, Iowa.

The Minnesota portion of the Freeborn Wind Farm would consist of up to 84 MW and is under permit review, the company said.

The Freeborn Wind Farm substation would be located in Freeborn County, the company said, adding that the existing Glenworth substation is located just southeast of Glenville, Minn.

According to the Dec. 6 notice, Freeborn Wind Energy requests a 200-foot route width for the project, with wider route widths near substations and narrower route widths near three residences, US Highway 65, and a communications tower, the notice said.

Freeborn Wind Energy indicates that a permanent 80-foot right of way (ROW) is necessary for the project, except that a permanent 22-foot ROW would be used to cross 830th Avenue, the notice said, adding that structures would generally be built of wood or laminated wood and be 80 feet tall.

Freeborn Wind Energy anticipates construction to begin in spring 2020, with an in-service date of December 2020, the notice said, adding that the proposed project is estimated to cost $3.7m.

While only verbal comments are accepted at the meeting, written comments will be accepted through Jan. 3, 2018, the notice said.

Noting that Freeborn Wind Energy cannot begin building the project unless a permit is issued, the notice said that the commission’s final decision on the route permit for the project is expected in August 2018.

About Corina Rivera-Linares 3061 Articles
Corina Rivera-Linares, chief editor for TransmissionHub, has covered the U.S. power industry for the past 15 years. Before joining TransmissionHub, Corina covered renewable energy and environmental issues, as well as transmission, generation, regulation, legislation and ISO/RTO matters at SNL Financial. She has also covered such topics as health, politics, and education for weekly newspapers and national magazines. She can be reached at clinares@endeavorb2b.com.