1) There are better alternatives. Xcel Energy currently operates a 12-megawatt hydroelectric power plant on the east side of the river at St. Anthony Falls. Crown Hydro proposes construction of a 3.2-megawatt hydroelectric power plant across the river on public land owned by the Minneapolis Park Board that would divert water from the flow over the Falls. Updating the existing Xcel plant with current technology could produce even more than 3.2megawatts of additional power at a cheaper cost and without changing the water flow over the Falls.
While frequent commenter, Taxpaying Liberal has his take:
1- Expand the Xcel plant on the other side of the river.
The 1st two points are perfect examples of this.
The writers of this should have known that the very reason Crown Hydro is building on this side of the river is because the city and others turned down Xcels request to expand at their current site.
The compromise was to find and encourage an independent producer who could build on the downtown side of the river. Now many of the same people who opposed Xcels request back in the 80’s are now asking to start the process all over again and that way we can continue this conversation for another 20 years.
I agree that if Xcel can squeeze another 3.2 megawatts out of its existing plant they should if the economics of the project is worth doing but that is a decision that Xcel should make.
At the same time Crown should also be built so we end up with 6.4 megawatts of CLEAN power and reduce the carbon footprint even more.
Wouldn’t you agree that 6.4 megawatts of Clean renewable power is better than 3.2 megawatts?
From the Summary of the FERC:
“Overall, these measures would protect or enhance water quality, fish and wildlife resources, recreational resources, and cultural resources in the Crown Mill project area. In addition, the electricity generated from the project would be beneficial because it would reduce the use of fossil fuel, electric generating plants, conserve nonrenewable energy resources, and reduce atmospheric pollution. No reasonable action alternatives to the project have been identified for assessment. The no action alternative has been considered and is addressed in the Comprehensive Development and Recommended Alternative section (section VI).”
That being said, there have been engineers hired by Minneapolis Park Board as well as University of Minnesota St. Anthony Falls Lab engineers who indicate that the water flow will be largely unaffected and any affect will be visually indiscernible. There are other safeguards put in place by Crown Hydro to make sure that no more than 1000 cubic feet per second of water is taken into the intake structure.
So, if the construction of the Crown Hydro Project will leave the area almost completely untouched, take measures to leave water flow changes negligible including giving the Park Board power to shut off diversion, AND you are willing to see Xcel Energy increase its output to the 3.2 megawatts that Crown Hydro would produce, then what really is the issue here?
On a side note: Some people have emailed me to say that while this project has been sufficiently proven as a legitimate project, there has been no call to action.
Well, here it is: Please take a moment and contact any of the following people to inquire about why this project has been continually held up. Feel free to use any of the information provided here and in previous posts to start getting answers and when you do feel free to email me back with what you have heard (political_muse(AT)hotmail(DOT)com).
Local Legislators:Linda HigginsBobby Joe Championrep.email@example.comPark Commissioners:Jon Olson: 612--230-6443 #2
Stay tuned as we further address the objections to this legitimate project...