GIANT INTERSTATE POWER LINE (MPR)

A power line company wants to build a massive power line across seven states, including Minnesota.

The line would carry electricity generated by wind to points east and the project could have major implications for Minnesota’s wind developers. It would also require the erection of towers and lines across a big section of the state.

The story (text, photos, and audio), is HERE at Minnesota Public Radio.

Obama’s Renewable Energy Initiative May Not Bring Power to the People

The Obama energy initiative calls for a new national grid, a “smart grid” even, but David Morris of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance argues that a new high-voltage national grid is not the answer.

Building a new high-voltage transmission line diverts resources from the more important task of making the best use of the existing electrical network and integrating the new generation of decentralizing energy technologies.

Building new transmission lines requires the federal government to increasingly pre-empt state and local authority, which may undermine a generation of advances in state electricity regulation.

Read the whole article.

UPDATED INFORMATION ON BROOKINGS ADVISORY TASK FORCES

In their January 27th meeting, the PUC ruled on citizen advisory task forces for the Brookings Line.  They did not designate which specific advisory task forces to have for the Brookings Line or how many.  Their Order said the PUC, “Authorized Office of Energy Security Energy Facility Permitting staff to establish an advisory task force or task forces and develop a structure and charge for them.”

The Office of Energy Security will determine the task force or task forces that will be established. Staff have told us that, on the basis of the Petition filed for Dakota County by several citizens, they are now creating a Lake Marion to Hampton Substation Citizens Advisory Task Force.

If you are interested in being on this Advisory Task Force, please contact Scott Ek, Project Manager, 651-296-8813 or Ray Kirsch, Public Advisor,  651-296-7588  and let them know you would like to be considered.  OES has told me that they are going to appoint five citizens from the Lake Marion to Hampton segment to serve on the Advisory Task Force along with representatives of governmental units that choose to take part.

If you would like the OES to form an Advisory Task Force for a different portion of the Brookings line, please also contact Mr. Ek or Mr. Kirsch.

The following is from Minnesota Statute 216E.08 and describes the Advisory Task Force:
“Subdivision 1.Advisory task force. The commission may appoint one or more advisory task forces to assist it in carrying out its duties. Task forces appointed to evaluate sites or routes considered for designation shall be comprised of as many persons as may be designated by the commission, but at least one representative from each of the following: Regional development commissions, counties and municipal corporations and one town board member from each county in which a site or route is proposed to be located. No officer, agent, or employee of a utility shall serve on an advisory task force. Reimbursement for expenses incurred shall be made pursuant to the rules governing state employees. The task forces expire as provided in section 15.059, subdivision 6  . At the time the task force is appointed, the commission shall specify the charge to the task force. The task force shall expire upon completion of its charge, upon designation by the commission of alternative sites or routes to be included in the environmental impact statement, or upon the specific date identified by the commission in the charge, whichever occurs first.”

IT IS IMPORTANT TO UNDERSTAND THAT CETF WILL NOT BE REPRESENTED ON ANY ADVISORTY TASK FORCE FOR THE BROOKINGS LINE. ROUTING IS NOT PART OF OUR MISSION, AND OUR MEMBERS MAY HAVE DIFFERENT INTERESTS IN ROUTING PROCEEDINGS.

We strongly support public participation in all aspects of this process.