Xcel holding public meeting on proposed power lines along Midtown Greenwayby Stephanie Hemphill, Minnesota Public Radio
Minneapolis — Residents will have a chance to comment Wednesday night on the environmental review of a proposed power line in South Minneapolis.
Xcel wants to build a pair of high-voltage lines along the Midtown Greenway bike trail, and two new substations -- one at Hiawatha Avenue, the other at Oakland Avenue.
Tim Springer directs the Midtown Greenway Coalition, and he said a lot of people would prefer stronger conservation efforts and local generation of electricity rather than new power lines.
"It's 2010 and we shouldn't be bringing in a lot of new energy into the area," Springer said. "If we need more energy we should figure out a way to conserve our way around it or to provide it locally using alternative means, and using smart grid to pull it all together and make it work."
But Project Manager Betty Betty Mirzayi said the growing area needs 55 megawatts more power than Xcel can reliably deliver now.
"We already have in that area really high participation level in our saver switch program, for instance, but that alone can't get us to that 55 MW that we need to achieve," Mirzayi said.
She said the Public Utilities Commission will decide whether the lines should be built on towers or underground.
Xcel says conservation and local generation wouldn't be enough to supply the added energy the growing area needs.
The meeting is at 6:00 p.m. at the Plaza Verde on Lake Street.