The developer of a proposed wood-burning power plant in the Phillips area of south Minneapolis announced Friday that it is dropping efforts to build it on a city-owned site.

Kandiyohi Development Partners said that it was taking that step in light of city promises to help find another site for an unspecified renewable energy facility.

The announcement was a victory for the activists from the Hiawatha-Lake area who had fought the plant on the grounds that the area already had too much pollution. It also recognized the barriers posed by recent legislation requiring added studies before a state permit could be issued for that site, as well as the city's move to cancel its sale of the land.

The developer met Thursday with Council Members Gary Schiff and Scott Benson, but Schiff said no explicit commitment was made to help Kandiyohi find another site for producing power.

However, he said the firm did suggest the South East Industrial Area between the Prospect Park and Como neighborhoods as one possible site. Another generating facility has been proposed near there to supply power to the Rock-Tenn paper recycling facility in St. Paul.

Kandiyohi said that with more than $2 million invested in planning for the electrical and steam-producing generator, it deserved more clarity early in the project from the state and city, especially regarding environmental challenges in the Phillips area. Among the investors is Council Member Lisa Goodman, a friend of Kandiyohi's principals.

"We're happy that it's not going to be in the Phillips neighborhood," said state Rep. Karen Clark, DFL-Minneapolis, who helped pass the law requiring study of cumulative pollution in the area. "We're not taking a position on where it should go."

Schiff said Kandiyohi expressed an interest in avoiding areas with the high childhood asthma rates that plague Phillips and other areas of high poverty.

Steve Brandt • 612-673-4438