Hiawatha Midtown transmission line costs to be split among five-state rate payers
the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (PUC) decided that Minneapolis Xcel Energy customers should not shoulder the cost of the power company’s plan to upgrade transmission lines planned to run between two new power substations in the midtown area of Minneapolis. This follows the PUC’s decision earlier this year to require Xcel Energy to bury the new Hiawatha Midtown Transmission Line, which will run under East 28th Street between Oakland Avenue and Hiawatha Avenue.
State law requires that transmission lines be placed in a reasonable and prudent location based on the factors set out in the law. Public testimony and evidence in an extensive hearing record from April 2010 showed that it was not reasonable and prudent to locate the line above ground in such a densely populated area next to historic and recreational resources. In 2009 the City of Minneapolis passed a resolution supporting burying the lines if it was determined that the additional high voltage lines were in fact needed and were not avoidable through energy conservation and renewable energy sources.
The City of Minneapolis, the County of Hennepin, the Suburban Rate authority, Xcel Energy and numerous community groups all supported allocating the cost among all rate payers, which is the standard approach. Planning for the construction is well underway and the City expects Xcel to break ground on the project soon.
Published Jun. 29, 2012