CapX in the news

Filed under:Uncategorized — posted by admin on December 2, 2010 @ 10:05 am

Two articles – as we’re on the road with the Fargo Public Hearing “Road Show” — today we start at the El Paso Bar and then on to somewhere in St. Cloud, guess I’d better figure that out pretty soon!

In the Cannon Falls Beacon:

St. Paul’s keeps an eye on CapX

by Ken Haggerty

St. Paul’s Lutheran church and school is among many keeping a close eye on the development of the proposed CapX2020 high power transmission line project in the Cannon Falls area .

St. Paul’s board President Dick Busiahn said the church was alarmed in March, 2010 when some proposed route maps for the line came out that showed it passing 150 to 300 feet away from the St. Paul’s property just west of Highway 52 and north of Highway 19.

Busiahn was especially alarmed that the maps had the St. Paul’s property designated as a residence, rather than a school and church, an error that has been corrected. Busiahn thinks the routing process calls for avoiding a church or school more than a single residence.

Busiahn circulated a petition requesting the route be moved away from St. Paul’s, saying it could negatively impact enrollment and expansion plans. The school has about 60 students, four teachers and attendants plus many volunteer assistants. “It is the congregation’s hope and intent to grow the school and to eventually replace the school structure with a larger building,” said Busiahn.

Busiahn also pointed out in the petition that St. Paul’s soccer fields and softball diamond receive heavy community use and that the power lines also could have a negative effect on those events.

The petition was signed by about 100 people and forwarded to the administrative law judge in St. Paul who is reviewing the utilities route permit application and the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (PUC), which also reviews the applications.

The petition was accepted and recently published by the PUC as formal public comment on the CapX proposal for the Hampton to LaCrosse leg of the power line project.

Busiahn says that he thinks another round of public hearings is expected before any routes are finalized. He believes those could be coming in the first quarter of 2011. Busiahn said an administrative law judge recommended a change in a proposed route of the Brookings to Hampton leg of the project in part to avoid the Buddhist temple between Hampton and Farmington.

The CapX utility group is targeting a 2013-15 construction window for the power lines.

And this, from the Daily Republic, note the link of transmission and the coal plant in SE South Dakota:


Hypothetical path presented to huge wind project at meeting

Creating a 1,000-megawatt windpower project in South Dakota will require more than $2 billion of investment, but an assessment conducted by the South Dakota Wind Energy Association and Stuefen Research says the economic impact from the hypothetical project would be substantial.

The analysis shows that it would cost $2.19 billion to construct 1,000 megawatts of wind power capacity in Deuel County. The analysis is just that — an analysis, rather than an actual plan for a project.

According to the plan, $335 million of the total price would come from local investment, yielding a projected $538 million in total economic impact as the money makes its way through the economy, said Jared Alholinna, of CapX2020.

Besides the actual financing, perhaps the biggest challenge to the project is one that has plagued projects throughout the history of wind energy: transmission.

“We need to get this wind into the Twin Cities,” Alholinna said.

The presentation was part of the South Dakota Wind Energy Association’s annual meeting. About 150 people attended the meeting Tuesday in the amphitheater of the Mitchell Technical Institute Technology Center.

CapX2020 is part of ITC Midwest LLC, an Iowa-based electric transmission company that provides electricity to Iowa, Minnesota, Illinois and Missouri. ITC touts itself as the “only fully independent electric transmission company.”

Stuefen Research is a Vermillion-based LLC that has conducted previous studies on the economic impact of ethanol, wind transmission and a proposed coal-fired power plant in southeast South Dakota.

The project would require the construction of multiple transmission pathways of 345 kilovolt lines that would cover 478 miles, including 83.4 miles in South Dakota.

The South Dakota portion of the lines would cost an estimated $67.5 million. An additional investment of $1.35 billion would have to be made in the Midwest Independent Transmission System Operator — or MISO — to achieve 1,000 megawatts of exported wind energy.

Deuel County was selected in the study because of its proximity to the Brookings County Substation and its wind capacity. The plan would split the 1,000 megawatts of wind into four 250 megawatt farms to, according to the study, “more closely match actual wind development where typically smaller amounts of wind generators are grouped together into several wind farms rather than fewer but larger wind farms.”

The plan would create 5,360 full- and part-time jobs during the construction of the farms.

After construction, the study estimated, 184 “green or new economy” jobs would be created. The operation is predicted to create $6.5 million in new wealth.

And don’t forget that great SDEIA study about transmission build-out, coal and “we need a market!” which is what this is all about:

SDEIA Energy Study – Schulte

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image: detail of installation by Bronwyn Lace