Saturday, April 12, 2008 By Aaron Brown
1) The PUC ruled that transmission infrastructure for the Mesaba Energy Project IS exempt from a Certificate of Need as is stated in Minn. Stat. § 216B.1694, but Excelsior Energy still has to have routing and environmental permitting reviews completed on the route(s). This allows EE to move forward with preliminary design, but no construction. (If they have the money to do so, which is a big question mark.)It is possible that Minnesota Power will take this to the courts.
2) The PUC denied Excelsior Energy's petition for an unlimited stay on the (Power Purchase Agreement) for Phase II. This means that the PUC will address the PPA for Phase II and hopefully soon!
“It went very well,” said Excelsior Energy CEO Tom Micheletti by phone about the hearing in St. Paul after it was completed.
Micheletti felt the transmission issue was the more important of the two petitions before the MPUC. He also did not have any qualms about expressing his disdain for Minnesota Power, which asked the MPUC to delay a decision on transmission infrastructure until final action on the power purchase agreement has been taken.
“They (Minnesota Power) are taking frivolous and unwarranted positions on state law,” Micheletti said. “I have a new name for them. ARP. Anti Range Power. And you can quote me on that.”