Report could delay transmission line construction


New language could delay construction of a high-voltage transmission line through a dense Minneapolis neighborhood.

The House Energy Finance and Policy Division approved HF1633/ SF1537* as amended and referred it to the House Finance Committee. Rep. Karen Clark (DFL-Mpls) and Sen. Linda Berglin (DFL-Mpls) are the sponsors.

After working with stakeholders, Clark added language to require a “Neighborhood Energy Reduction Report,” which could delay the project a year or more, according to Deputy Commerce Commissioner Bill Glahn. The amendment would require a project manager to convene a steering committee to provide input for the report, due Feb. 15, 2011. The group would study alternatives to adding the high-voltage line, such as energy conservation and renewable energy sources.

Up to $100,000 would be appropriated from the Renewable Development Fund to cover the study costs.

The bill would also require Xcel Energy to submit a certificate of need for a high-voltage transmission line it plans to build through 1.4 miles of the Phillips neighborhood in Minneapolis. The utility has agreed to the certificate of need, according to Rick Evans, the utility’s director of regional government affairs.