Video Presentation: What the City of Minneapolis Clean Energy Partnership Represents

A First-in-the-Nation City-Utility Clean Energy Partnership

Contribution submitted by: John Farrell November 25, 2014,
In the past month, the city of Minneapolis and its two investor-owned utilities adopted the nation’s first clean energy partnership, with a wide range of goals including meeting the city’s ambitious greenhouse gas emission reduction goals. How did it happen and can it happen elsewhere, too?
Click Here to Watch the You Tube Video of John Farrell with Institute for Local Self-Reliance taking part in a panel "What the City of Minneapolis Clean Energy Partnership Represents" Wednesday, November 5, 2014 at the MnSEIA conference in Bloomington, MN.
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Progress Report from Oct. 6th hearing

The October 6th, 2014 presentation and public hearing to the Minneapolis City Council's Health Environment & Community Engagement committee fulfilled the recommendations of this year's Energy Pathways Study which included a dual strategy of

1: A shorter utility franchise agreement with stronger reporting and transparency

2: A city-utility clean energy coordinating partnership that it gives the city real decision-making power in conjunction with the utilities on helping achieve its climate action plan goals and energy vision.

007.JPGMinneapolis Energy Options has been working hard to secure this
 next step. We've collected hundreds of petition cards to city council member asking for a 2 year length for the next utility franchise agreements and to structure the city utility partnership so that it is inclusive of community input. Following Monday's hearing we released the hundreds of the petition cards and print-outs of online signers to Vice Presidents David Sparby and Laura McCarten of Xcel and Vice President Joe Vortherms of CenterPoint. The Institute for Local Self-Reliance also published a report on an alternative grid model for Minneapolis the morning of the hearing as an independent analysis that can guide the EVAC and the Partnership board going forward. 

 The long-awaited results of the franchise agreement and partnership agreement negotiations between the city and both utilities were revealed in an online city press release last Thursday. Read on to get the details on what we accomplished.


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Mobilizing Public Comments for EPA Clean Power Plan

A big part of what motivates Community Power is the moral imperative for all of us collectively to lower carbon dioxide emissions on short order. What will actually push the dial for climate mitigation is phasing out existing coal fired power plants; shutting down the oldest and dirtiest coal plants first (ex. Xcel’s Sherco plant). Power plants account for 40% of all greenhouse gases in the U.S and 74% of those emissions are from coal-fired power plants. However, so many utilities have so much sunken investments into existing coal plants, they will face stranded assets if coal plants are shut down long before their natural depreciation is complete. Utility cooperation with this moral imperative has a lot to do with whether the companies see that coordinated action on new climate policy as something inevitable to prepare for or whether they assume political success with climate policy won’t happen. We are fortunate to have such an opportunity before us right now to build that public and political pressure right now.


We currently have a narrowing window of time to protect the outcome of the EPA's long-overdue and historic draft proposal to cut carbon dioxide emissions from all existing power plants by 30% from 2005 levels by 2030. Public comments on the draft rules for the nation's first ever carbon limits are being accepted until Dec 1st, 2014. The EPA is legally required to read and respond to all comments in deciding the final rules to be issued in June 2015. As a result we need as much supportive and forward looking commentary as possible in order to outweigh the onslaught of commentary from those who want to quash the EPA proposal and keep the status quo.

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Knowledge is Power

knowledge is power

The Future

The Future