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.

Read more

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. 

Read more

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.”


Read more

Legislation to Empower all 4 Minneapolis Energy Pathways gets March 17th Hearing


Three bills that would greatly help implementation of the Minneapolis Energy Pathways Study recommendations are set to have a state legislative hearing in the Energy Policy Committee. The hearing will take place on Monday March 17th at 12:00 PM in Room 10 of the State Office Building across the street from the capitol. We encourage supporters to be present during the hearing both to make a positive visual impression to the legislators and because Committee Chair Representative Melissa Hortman might ask for public testimony about the proposed legislation. Any of these three pro-local control bills has to win the committee vote in order to have a chance at becoming law this year. 

Read more

Minneapolis Energy Options praised at City Council Committee meeting

Minneapolis Energy Options and supportive members of the Minneapolis City Council were given praises and gratitude in their February 24th meeting of the Health, Environment and Community Engagement Committee

“The city has gained great momentum on energy issues. The advocates have done a tremendous job at driving a city wide conversation on energy options.”

 Mike Bull, lead presenter of the Energy Pathways Study

Read more