Wind energy backers want Big Stone II lines to move green power

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A wind farm in Dodge Center, Minn. (Photo courtesy Chad Johnson).

There are signs that a proposed power line project in western Minnesota is moving forward.

The lines were supposed to carry power from the proposed Big Stone II plant, which would have been built just across the Minnesota border in South Dakota. Plans for the coal fired plant collapsed last fall.

But when the power plant went belly-up, wind energy developers said they could still use the lines. They’ve complained for years that a lack of transmission lines for wind-generated electricity was slowing development of the alternative energy.

Last week, Otter Tail Power put some money on the table for the lines. In a letter to the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission, the company says it has purchased some land rights for the line from its former partners in the power plant project.

The company goes on to say in the letter there is a “high likelihood” that the lines will be built. If Otter Tail actually decides to build, they’ll have to go back to the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission for a permit.

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