The Huntley Wilmarth Transmission Line Project is expected to impact a 40-50 mile stretch of roadway in Blue Earth, Faribault, Nicollet, and Martin counties in Minnesota. Xcel Energy and ITC Midwest LLC aim to install a 345 kilovolt (kV) transmission line in southern Minnesota to connect Xcel Energy’s Wilmarth Substation, north of Mankato, and ITC’s Huntley Substation, south of Winnebago. View the map.
The Public Utilities Commission currently is reviewing four potential routes and is expected to approve a route in Spring 2018. Once approved, the condemnation law will take effect. This law gives the government power to take private property to complete the project. However, this power does have limits. Learn more about the law.
There are a series of misconceptions related to projects like this. Here’s a quick guide to what impacted property owners need to know:
Appraising the property.
During this process, property owners have the right to obtain independent appraisals. Once the route has been approved by the Public Utilities Commission, Xcel Energy will send a land agent to the properties to determine how much of the land will need to be taken and the price. In many cases, financial offers and even payment will be made on the spot. Historically, property owners receive far less during this visit.
What is your property worth? This could be among the most important steps property owners can take to protect their rights and investments during this process. Quinlivan & Hughes works with clients to secure an independent appraisal from an appraiser who specializes in condemnation and maximize just compensation. Under law, Xcel Energy must show a public purpose and must pay just compensation to landowners.
Receive a free legal consultation.
Each property is different and each property owner will have unique concerns. Property owners impacted by this project may receive a free consultation with a Quinlivan & Hughes attorney experienced with condemnation law and representing Minnesota property owners on a variety of similar projects. Receive your free consultation to understand your rights and identify next steps by calling 1-800-325-5650.
Quinlivan & Hughes has had extensive experience in handling pipeline and powerline cases representing property owners just like you. The firm has been working in the area of eminent domain for 50 years.
Recently, the firm handled multiple cases involving the CAPX2020 Project and, when needed, successfully argued before the Minnesota Supreme Court on behalf of property owners in the cases of Northern States Power v. Aleckson (Minn. 2013) and Great River Energy v. Swedzinski(Minn. 2015).
Award for attorney fees.
While most property owners enlist attorneys on an hourly fee arrangement, they also may choose to have a contingent fee based on a successful award. In eminent domain cases, there is potential to receive an award for attorney fees so the property owner does not incur any legal costs to ensure their rights and investments are protected through the process.
Key Phases & Dates
(Subject to change)
- Certificate of Need and Route Permit Applications Submission
- Informational and Scoping Meetings (public meetings and comment)
- Draft Environmental Impact Statement Issued (public meetings and comment period)
- Public Hearings
Second Half 2018
- Commission Decision
First Half 2019