01-0515R
   
REPLACEMENT
RESOLUTION GRANTING A SPECIAL USE PERMIT TO MINNESOTA POWER TO UPGRADE AND RELOCATE A PORTION OF AN EXISTING POWER TRANSMISSION LINE LOCATED ALONG THE NORTH AND EAST SIDES OF THE GARY-NEW DULUTH NEIGHBORHOOD.

BY COUNCILOR HOGG:

        WHEREAS, Minnesota Power has submitted to the city council a request for a special use permit to upgrade the existing Arrowhead-Gary 115 kilo volt transmission line to a 345/115 kv double-circuit transmission line along the north and east sides of Gary-New Duluth; and said permit application was duly referred to the city planning commission for a study, report and public hearing, and the city planning commission has subsequently reported its approval to the city council; and

        WHEREAS, the approval was made because of the city planning commission's findings that the state's hearing process and the findings and order of the EQB demonstrate that appropriate safeguards will exist to protect the comprehensive plan and to conserve and to protect property values in the neighborhood if conditions are observed.

        NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, based upon the findings and conclusions of the EQB and the planning commission, which the council adopts, that a special use permit is hereby granted to Minnesota Power to allow for the upgrade of the existing Arrowhead-Gary 115 kilo volt transmission line to a 345/115 kv double-circuit transmission line along the north side and relocate to a new 100 foot wide right-of-way east of the DM&IR railroad tracks to the St. Louis River along the east side of Gary-New Duluth, on the condition that the project be limited to, and constructed and maintained in accordance with the plans and documents submitted by Minnesota Power, dated June 6, 2001, including the "Application for Exemption, 345/115-kv Transmission Line Rebuild from Arrowhead Substation to the St. Louis River," submitted to the Minnesota environmental quality board; and in accordance with the ten conditions as ordered by the MEQB on March 15, 2001, as identified as Public Document No. ________, and the record in this matter shall consist of this resolution and statement of purpose, the planning commission file, written submissions to the council, council proceedings and the findings, conclusions and order of the EQB.



STATEMENT OF PURPOSE: This resolution grants a special use permit to Minnesota Power to upgrade the existing Arrowhead-Gary 115 kilo Volt transmission line to a 345/115 kV double-circuit transmission line along the north side of Gary-New Duluth. This upgrade would follow the existing right of way along the north side of Gary-New Duluth and then would be relocated to a new 100-foot wide right-of-way east of the DM&IR railroad tracks to the St. Louis River along the east side of Gary-New Duluth. Following construction of the new line, the existing line dismantled. This project will not occur if the Arrowhead to Wausau WI line improvements are not approved in total.

The Planning Commission unanimously approved this resolution at its June 27, 2001, meeting.

The Proposal:

Minnesota Power proposes to install the 345/230 kV additions at the Arrowhead Substation, in Midway Township, and construct a 345/115 kV double circuit transmission line within an existing 115 kV transmission line right-of-way from the Arrowhead Substation to the existing St. Louis River crossing. The additions at the Arrowhead Substation would include: a 230/230 kV phase-shifting transformer, four single phase 345/230 kV transformers (three in operation and one spare), switched capacitors, a building to house control equipment and ancillary substation equipment, such as, 230 kV circuit breakers and 345 kV circuit breakers.
The proposed transmission line upgrade is described in three segments:
In City of Hermantown and Midway Township, Segment 1 - Arrowhead Substation South to the Duluth City Limits (3.2 mile 115 kV common corridor) - There are three-115 kV transmission lines located in a common corridor exiting south of the Arrowhead Substation. MP proposes to dismantle the 115 kV Arrowhead-Cloquet (Line No. 22) (H-frame wood pole structures) located on the west side of the existing right-of-way and construct double-circuit, single pole, steel structures designed for 345/230 kV operation. An additional 20 feet of right-of-way on the west side of the existing corridor would be required for this segment. The 345 kV circuit would be a two conductor per phase bundled configuration for the Arrowhead to St. Louis River (terminating at the Weston Substation near Wausau, WI) transmission line. The second circuit would be designed for 230 kV and utilize a conductor compatible with the circuit's future use. The steel structures would be set upon concrete foundations.

The 230 kV circuit would be operated initially at 115 kV and serve as a segment of the existing 115 kV Arrowhead-Hibbard (Line No. 70). A portion of Arrowhead-Hibbard (Line No. 70) was rebuilt to 230 kV design as part of a previously approved transmission line upgrade project (Hilltop project). There would be a transmission line reconfiguration at the south end of the common corridor to utilize the existing 3. 2-mile portion of the 115 kV Arrowhead-Hibbard (Line No. 70) as the reconfigured Arrowhead-Cloquet (Line No. 22).

In Midway Township-City of Duluth, Segment 2 - 115 kV Common Corridor to Gary Area This six-mile segment is located in Midway Township and enters city of Duluth at the south end of the segment. MP proposes to dismantle the present Arrowhead-Gary (Line No. 131) 115 kV H-frame structures and construct the 345/115 kV double circuit, single pole steel structures within the existing 100 foot wide right-of-way.

In the City of Duluth, Segment 3 -Gary Area 2.8 Mile Segment - The existing Arrowhead-Gary 115 kV line (Line No. 131) crosses Highway 23 (Commonwealth Avenue) and heads south along 95th and 96th Avenues West to the Gary Substation. The existing Gary-Stinson 115 kV line (Line No. 132) exits the Gary Substation eastward, crosses the DM&IR railroad tracks and travels south and then east to the present crossing of the St. Louis River, north of the Oliver Bridge (railroad/vehicle bridge, State Highway 39).

Approximately 0.8 mile of the proposed route (Commonwealth Avenue to Gary Substation) would be relocated from the existing right-of-way. The proposed route is located approximately 900' east of 96th Avenue West in Gary, sharing the DM&IR railroad right-of-way. The existing Arrowhead-Gary 115 kV transmission line (Line No. 131) would be dismantled and the 345/115 kV double-circuit transmission line would be constructed within a new 100-foot wide right-of-way east of the DM&IR railroad tracks. For continued reliable service to the Gary-New Duluth area, the Gary Substation would continue to be served by two 115 kV transmission lines - one 115 kV transmission circuit from the Arrowhead Substation (Line No. 131) and one 115 kV transmission circuit from the Stinson Substation located in Superior, WI (Line No. 132).

From the Gary Substation to the St. Louis River crossing, the existing 115 kV transmission line (Line No. 132) would be dismantled and the proposed 345/115 kV double-circuit transmission line would be constructed within the existing 100 foot wide right-of-way.

Project Schedule:

This proposed transmission line/substation project is a part of an interstate transmission line project that would extend into Wisconsin and terminate at the Weston power plant, located six miles south of Wausau, WI and owned by Wisconsin Public Service Company. Approvals from both states are required for the transmission line to be constructed.

Following the Minnesota Environmental Quality Board (MEQB) Exemption Application process, MP will be required to obtain additional local, state and federal permits/licenses for the construction and operation of the transmission line. The City of Duluth Special Use Permit is one of these permits. If the project does not receive all approvals and permits, the project will not occur.

Date Filed:  June 13, 2001
Action Deadline:  October 11, 2001