Mayor addresses November 1 power outage

Earlier this summer, Cottage Grove saw a series of power outages that were addressed by the city council and Xcel Energy representatives at the Sept. 7 city council meeting. The outages were deemed a result of feeder splice failures from the Chemolite and Cottage Grove feeder stations. The issue has since been addressed by Xcel Energy, and to remedy in the future, they are planning to install 2,600 feet of underground replacement feeder in early 2023.

When thousands of residents lost power on Nov. 1, many thought it was more of the same and contacted the city for an explanation.

“We did have another power outage that happened,” said Mayor Myron Bailey at the Nov. 2 city council meeting. “This one, though, was different. I did have some of the homeowners in the same areas reaching out to me.

“In this particular case,” Bailey said, “this was not something that was very specific to any area of our community. As a matter of fact, over 8,000 households and businesses covering Cottage Grove, Woodbury, St. Paul Park, Newport, and Old Cottage Grove lost power. It was unbelievable how wide this was.”

He said that they were contacted by Xcel Energy representatives that an event took place at the substation that completely took it down. Xcel was able to remedy the failure within hours because it was localized.

“It was a specific issue that wasn’t related to blowing transformers or anything like that. This was a failure at the substation at Hinton and 70th Street, if my understanding is right. Hopefully they’ve got those issues addressed now, and won’t have them going forward.”

According to Cottage Grove Public Works Director Ryan Burfeind, it appears “it was a squirrel that got into the substation and made contact with part of the equipment that effectively ‘tripped the breakers.’” There has only been one brief outage in the area since then, affecting a small number of customers.

November 16, 2022