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Posted on  

August 30, 2002

City won't pursue ethanol electrical service

Bu Linda Larsen

The Granite Falls City Council gave the Granite Falls Community Ethanol Plant committee assurances Monday evening that it will not legally pursue annexation of the electric service territory if it annexes the site of the proposed plant to the city. At Monday night's recessed meeting, Council Members passed a resolution that the city would not pursue annexation of the service territory unless invited to by the ethanol producer.

The action follows a request for proposal process in which Minnesota Valley REC submitted a lower cost proposal to provide electricity to the plant than did the City of Granite Falls' municipal utility. The Ethanol Committee needs to pin down its costs in preparation for a share offering which it plans to make this fall, said Mayor Dave Smiglewski.

Smiglewski also said that the city and the REC have met at the ethanol committee's request to see if they can work together on the project.

The result is a tentative proposal to cooperate on the construction of a sub-station which the REC would build to serve the ethanol plant. At some point the city will need to build an additional sub-station to serve its industrial park, noted Don Kom of CMMPA, a coalition of municipal electric utilities of which the city is a member.

Kom estimated the cost of building the sub-station at $500,000. That cost could be shared under the tentative plan, Kom said.

Service to the ethanol plant would still allow the sub-station to provide additional electricity for use by both REC and city utility customers.

The location of the sub-station would have the additional benefit of being located with direct access to WAPA power, eliminating the $1,000 a month wheeling charge that the city now pays to bring WAPA power to the city.


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