CapX in the STrib

Filed under:Laws & Rules,Reports - Documents — posted by admin on December 25, 2008 @ 7:40 am

Merry Xmas and a lump of coal for CapX 2020.  They’re in the South Metro section of the STrib today, as if it’s just a South Metro project — where’s the West Metro, North Metro, and Greater Minnesota reports?  I think that means it only goes into print version sent to certain “South Metro” areas, and this deserves much wider coverage. The article says response is “muted.”  Hmmmmm, muted by what?  There are two Intervenors in the Certificate of Need proceeding saying NO to CapX2020, NoCapX and U-CAN.  Time to let David Peterson know what you think about CapX 2020!

David Peterson, Star Tribune

612-673-4440

dapeterson [at] startribune.com

Anyway, here’s the article:

The inside line on the south metro power line

By DAVID PETERSON, Star Tribune

December 24, 2008

Thousands of landowners in the rural southern metro area are days away from learning whether their acreage is being eyed for the pathway of a huge new power line that will stretch from South Dakota to Dakota County. Here’s what to expect:

THE PROJECT

Eleven utility companies have banded together to ask the state of Minnesota for permission to run a 345-kilowatt electrical power line from Brookings, S.D., to the Hampton area of southern Dakota County. They say it’s needed to serve not only a growing population but one that is sucking up far more power than it ever has. “In 30 years we’ve gone from 30 percent of homes with air conditioners to 70 percent,” said Randy Fordice, a spokesman for the CapX 2020 group. “We’ve gone from no computers in the home to two or three.”

THE IMPACT

The companies say today’s power lines do not affect farming much at all: There’s a single slender pole, and farmers can plow right up to it. They are seeking to follow roadways and the like as much as possible to minimize the annoyance.

THE ROUTE

That is what is soon to be disclosed, triggering much more intense public interest. CapX officials up to now have only been talking about vague corridors, one through Scott County and the other through Rice and LeSueur. But soon about 3,000 landowners will get letters saying they’ve been picked. “A big challenge has been where to cross the Minnesota River,” said Craig Poorker of Great River Energy, who’s working on routing the line. “One option is near soon-to-be-abandoned sewer ponds near Le Sueur; and there’s a northerly one that follows an existing 69-kilovolt line near Belle Plaine. We’re required to look for existing crossings.”

THE PAYOFF

Some landowners will consider it a holiday gift of sorts: There is a one-time payment for a 150-foot-wide easement. The companies won’t give even a range of dollars, saying there are too many unknowns, including how much of a person’s land is affected.

THE TIMELINE

The companies will file a permit request by early January naming a specific route. There will be public meetings this winter. A judge will preside over preliminary proceedings, and the state’s Public Utilities Commission will hold hearings in mid-2009, issuing a decision by late next year or early 2010.

THE REACTION

So far, it’s muted. “We’ve been tracking this for the last couple of years,” said Scott County’s planning manager Brad Davis. “We are looking at the impacts, including how it will affect some existing and planned roads.” And closer to the scene? “I haven’t heard any complaints yet,” said Dick Klehr, a township supervisor in Belle Plaine township. “But no one knows exactly where it’s going. “It’s like when the pipeline went through for oil: Many were upset at first, but it was really just a few people working others up without knowing the full facts. The complaints turned to compliments once the thing got started. “I have no idea of the dollars involved, and that was true with the pipeline also. No one knew until the company met with farmers. It varied a lot, but it ended up being thousands per acre for some.”

TO LEARN MORE

The utilities involved in the so-called CapX 2020 project have an extensive website full of maps, photos and other background information at www.capx2020.com.

Questions to: brookingsinfo@CapX2020.com or 1-888-473-2279.



image: detail of installation by Bronwyn Lace