Xcel Energy and Great River Energy have been working on the Hollydale project for some time. It continues to surprise me how few people know about the proposed 8 mile long upgrade for transmission lines running through parts of Medina and Plymouth Minnesota. I had published information back on September 7, 2011 entitled, “Buying or Selling a Home in Plymouth or Medina – MUST READ Information about Xcel Energy Transmission Lines.” The project has started to receive some coverage and certainly those homeowners who are immediately affected by the project have been notified by Xcel and Great River, but many people still are in the dark. (Click to view the most recent notification to property owners mailed on December 8, 2011 - New Landowner Notification Dec 8 2011.
UPDATE: Today I had the opportunity to speak with one of the project analysts, Joe Sedarski of Xcel Energy, as I wanted to find out if a final route had been chosen yet. It was my understanding that there was a proposed route and then an alternative route. I was immediately corrected and told there are 13 alternate routes and two alternates for the substations thus making there 26 possible alternate routes.
Joe Sedarski informed me that the decision for the particular route will not be made until later this year. That issue will eventually make it to the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (PUC) later this year. There are 26 alternate routes being considered and evaluated in addition to the initial route proposed by Xcel and Great River. The Minnesota Department of Commerce (DOC) is conducting an environmental impact statement on this issue and they expect a draft issued by mid-April 2012. He also noted that there is a ways to go in the permitting process before final decisions can be made on the route.
I have to say how impressed I was with Joe’s professionalism, understanding of the process and issues and his overall attitude about the project. I came away feeling very confident that whatever happens in this decision, that all parties will have had a chance to be heard and that the energy companies and the government are very thorough in their efforts on this Hollydale Project. I really can’t speak more highly of what my impressions were.
Below is the link to the pdf that Joe sent me. It’s a 25 page document that was sent to the Department of Commerce on December 7, 2011. If there is one document you should read, this is it. Toward the back of the document you will find pages of color maps with all the various routes that have been proposed. There are also links embedded in the document as well that might be helpful.
How can you stay involved?
Information will be available at the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission site as well as at the Minnesota Department of Commerce edockets site. (Be sure to enter the docket number year “11″ and the number “152″. You may want to get on the mailing list to receive email communications from the PUC when there is any new public information about the Hollydale project. I just signed up myself.
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