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


dapeterson [at]

Anyway, here’s the article:

The inside line on the south metro power line


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:


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 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.


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.”


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 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.


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.”


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

Questions to: or 1-888-473-2279.

one comment so far »

  1. 30 December 2008

    David Peterson

    Mr. Peterson,

    In light of your 12/24 article on the CapX 2020 project, we would like to comment on your view of our “muted response” to the project. Your article obviously favored the utility companies and pro-line county officials, as there was notably absent any interview or statements from residents in the path of the line. Our neighbors in Warsaw, Stanton, and Eureka Townships are vehemently opposed to the CapX line. Many of us have lived here for decades, and our family roots reach back many generations. We work hard on our properties, and live responsibly and conservatively to maintain the surrounding environment’s strong rural character. We oppose the CapX line for many reasons —

    -Need for the line is greatly inflated by the utility companies. The project does not benefit the responsible use of our state’s resources or work toward or in union with Minnesota’s renewable energy goals. Building 345kV power lines from coal plants in states west of Minnesota to serve the electrical needs of big cities east of Minnesota without the study of alternatives, such as conservation and locally sourced renewable power is not responsible.

    -Where is the effort to secure and establish renewable energy sources, rather than continue to contribute to the global climate crisis with additional decades of burning fossil fuels?

    – Exposure to electromagnetic fields (EMF) has been linked to a variety of adverse health outcomes including substantially increased likelihood of childhood leukemia, neurological effects, cancer, farm animal mortality, and many others. (see attached study)

    – Irrevocable negative effects on sensitive natural resources, including rare and threatened plant species, disruptions in migratory paths for both birds and land animals, and destruction of an already low number of wetlands, woodlots, and other natural corridors.

    -The choice of the utility companies to route this massive line through quiet, rural landscapes, neighborhoods, farms, and towns, when there is an existing (and cheaper) alternative already in place along Highway 52.

    Perhaps a look at both sides of this story would be something to consider for your next article. The residents who will be directly affected by this project are less than pleased.


    Steve & Michelle Johnson

    Comment by Steve Johnson — December 30, 2008 @ 9:22 am

Copy link for RSS feed for comments on this post or for TrackBack URI

Leave a comment



image: detail of installation by Bronwyn Lace