Northern States Power Company d/b/a Xcel Energy (NYSE:XEL) on April 1 filed on behalf of itself andGreat River Energy (GRE) an annual report with the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission regarding the Hollydale 115-kV Transmission Project and other matters.
As noted in the filing, the commission, in a 2014 order, granted the petition of Xcel and GRE to withdraw applications for a certificate of need and route permit for the Hollydale project. In addition to granting those withdrawals, the order also acknowledged the need to address the existing electrical reliability issues in the Plymouth and Medina areas.
The filing added that in early 2017, it proposed an alternative for the project, known as Alternative C, to meet the existing and future electrical needs in the project area. Alternative C consists of:
- Reenergizing the Hollydale-Pomerleau Lake 69-kV Line
- Expanding the existing Hollydale substation
- Construction of the new Pomerleau substation
- Extending the existing 69-kV line 0.5 mile to the new Pomerleau Lake substation
- Building three new 13.8-kV feeders from the Hollydale substation
- Extending one existing 13.8-kV feeder from the Parks Lake substation
The Plymouth City Council in March 2017 approved Xcel’s permit to build the new Pomerleau Lake substation and the short 69-kV connection from the existing 69-kV line to the new substation. The filing added that in April 2017, the Plymouth City Council approved a land sale to Xcel for the parcel of land upon which the Pomerleau Lake substation will be built. Construction of the Pomerleau Lake substation was completed in 4Q18 and energization is pending line clearances being addressed on the 69-kV line between Hollydale-Pomerleau Lake.
The filing also said that construction of the 0.5-mile line extending the existing 69-kV to the new Pomerleau Lake substation was completed in 1Q19 and energization is also pending line clearances being addressed on the 69-kV line between Hollydale-Pomerleau Lake.
Xcel and GRE in September 2017 executed an asset purchase agreement for Xcel to acquire the existing 69-kV line from GRE contingent upon regulatory approval. Also at that time, Xcel submitted a petition to the commission for approval to purchase the electric transmission facilities and the real property rights associated with the Plymouth-Hollydale-Medina 69-kV line from GRE.
The filing added that the commission in September 2018 issued an order approving the line purchase, and that the transaction closed in 1Q19. Since purchasing the line from GRE, line clearances have been identified and are scheduled to be remedied in 2Q19/3Q19. Xcel will notify landowners prior to energizing the 69-kV line between the Hollydale substation and Pomerleau Lake substation, which is anticipated to be in 2Q19 or 3Q19.
The remaining upgrades – that is, upgrades to the Hollydale substations and feeder extensions from the Hollydale and Parkers Lake substations – are expected to begin this year and to be completed in 2021.
Providing an update on demand-side management (DSM), the filing noted that Xcel has continued to expand the number of customers participating in its DSM programs. New participants in the company’s DSM programs from April 1, 2017, through Feb. 28, 2018, totaled 186 business customer participants and about 1.9 million residential customer participants. Those new participants are located within the Hollydale focused study area – that is, customers who are served by 13 distribution feeders that experience overload conditions, the filing added.