Xcel Energy has taken the next step in its effort to build a new power line and substations in midtown Minneapolis.
This week Xcel Energy applied for a certificate of need from the state Public Utilities Commission. Xcel project manager Betty Mirzayi says the 400-page application includes a detailed description of the project. Mirzayi says the application also explains why Xcel thinks the project is needed.
"Our planning engineers and both the transmission and the distribution organization have done extensive studies showing that the revitalization and the growth in this area has created a need for additional electrical infrastructure," Mirzayi said.
The project includes a controversial construction option to run the line along the Midtown Greenway, a popular bike and pedestrian corridor. However, an administrative law judge recently recommended that the line be buried beneath a street that runs parallel to the Greenway.
Xcel officials say the certificate of need process should take about a year to complete. Construction of the new power line and substations should take an additional year.
Mirzayi says if approved by the utilities commission, the project should be completed in 2013.