Judge Recommends Burying Hiawatha Powerline
The Administrative Law Judge, Beverly Jones Heydinger, has formally recommended to the Public Utilities Commission that the Xcel Hiawatha Powerline, proposed to be above ground along the Midtown Greenway, be buried under E. 28th Street. I am very supportive of this recommendation, although I continue to question the need for the powerline itself and would prefer to see an investment in conservation, alternative energy sources and upgrading the existing lines. The judge also recommended that the substations be at Xcel preferred locations. The one nearest Ward 2 would be east of Hiawatha Avenue adjacent to the greenway where there is current green space. The PUC will now accept comments disagreeing with Heydinger’s recommendations. They will wait to make a decision, however, until after the required Certificate of Need process has been completed. Because Xcel has not applied for the certificate of need it looks like the earliest the PUC could act is November, 2011.