Commitment to Minneapolis City Utility Partnership Formally Acknowledged at PUC Hearing

On Tuesday April 29th, the Public Utilities Commission held a hearing on Minneapolis’ ambitious energy goals and how Xcel Energy and Centerpoint Energy are responding.  The City of Minneapolis has issued a press release on the hearing that has additional background information, which can be read here. Excitingly, the city and both utilities confirmed formal recognition of that commitment in front of the PUC.

 Chris Clark from Xcel Energy expressed excitement about opportunities for energy efficiency and accelerated renewable energy and is looking forward to working with those who are bringing new ideas. Jeff Daughtery from Centerpoint also stated that “our interests are aligned with the city” and wants to partner collaboratively.





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This Weeks Headline Digest

1: City sets goal to reduce greenhouse gas 80 percent by 2050 (4/25/ 2014) City of Minneapolis News and events

2: Council committee approves ambitious goal to cut greenhouse gas emissions by Sarah McKenzie  Apr 14, 2014 Southwest Journal 

3: US Solar Energy Capacity Grew An Astounding 418% From 2010-2014 CleanTechnica ‎-Silvio Marcacci  (4/24/ 2014)

4:  Judge strikes down Minnesota's anti-coal energy law A federal judge in St. Paul said it interferes with interstate commerce. State officials plan to appeal: By DAVID SHAFFER, Star Tribune  April 18, 2014 

5: Omnibus energy bill passes House, heads for Senate By Jonathan Avise (4-22, 2014)

6: Xcel sets stage for solar bidding war  Renewable energy companies will compete to build large, utility-size solar parks.    by: DAVID SHAFFER , Star Tribune  April 23, 2014 - 

PUC Ruling for Geronimo Solar Provides an Educational Exhibit for Utility Economics

On March 27th, the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission ordered Xcel Energy to pursue a power purchase agreement with Geronimo Energy’s  proposal to build 20 large solar arrays totaling 100 MW adjacent to Xcel substations. The project would require no new expensive transmission lines and will improve electric reliability by providing voltage support to the substations.

Geronimo Energy beat out an RFP competition with three natural gas projects on grounds of cost competitiveness and the interests of ratepayers. Administrative law Judge Eric Lipman's ruled back in December that Geronimo was the most cost-competitive proposal.

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Interesting Energy Utility Headlines for March/ April

Here are some key Minnesota Energy Utility headlines from the 3-12 to 4-9 time period. Articles about the PUC's Geronimo Solar approval will have their own separate blogpost:

March 12, 2014 -Minnesota becomes first state to set ‘value of solar’ tariff  Posted by Dan Haugen Midwest Energy News 

April 1, 2014, NRC troubled by 'degraded' performance at Monticello nuclear plant by DAVID SHAFFER , Star Tribune

April 3, 2014 - Xcel Energy gets clear message from NRC about Monticello plant performance  By Tim Hennagir Monticello Times

 April 6, 2014 -  Xcel conservation programs shave 1.7 percent off power sales by STEVE FISCHER , Star Tribune 

April 9, 2014 - Higher CenterPoint gas charge wins key approval from judge by DAVID SHAFFER, Star Tribune 

04/09/2014 If ‘value of solar’ is optional, will Minnesota utilities adopt it? Posted by Ken Paulman Midwest Energy News 


See below for a brief summaries of the featured articles. 

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Xcel Energy Representative says Minneapolis Energy Options conversations “created opportunities.”

We have had a successful run at the state legislature because we helped position the City of Minneapolis to establish a relationship with our utilities that actually promises to move the City toward its energy goals. This culminated at the March 17th informational hearing before the House Energy Policy Committee. Minneapolis City Council Vice President Elizabeth Glidden started off the hearing by testifying about the City's strong intent to get cleaner, more efficient and reliable energy services that are affordable and provide local economic development benefits. A big takeaway from Elizabeth Glidden's testimony is about the city's goal of 10% local renewable energy by 2025 and her statement 

It is no secret that Minneapolis had a debate about municipalization in 2013. This debate for some was a reflection of a desire to explore all options that relate to our energy future.”


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