Study presents paths to cleaner, more sustainable energy options for Minneapolis consumers

Today, the Center for Energy and Environment presented the Public Utilities Commission with a report that makes recommendations the City is moving forward on to achieve its ambitious energy goals. The City of Minneapolis energy system goals include carbon and energy savings, equity of energy services, local economic development and a reliable supply of energy. This report identifies several innovative, pragmatic ways the City is working to coordinate with its two investor-owned energy utilities, Xcel Energy and CenterPoint Energy, to help meet these objectives.

The Center for Energy and Environment has already presented this report to the Minneapolis City Council; with this presentation, the City is keeping the commission informed as it moves forward on the recommendations. The City intends to move forward in pursuing partnerships with the utilities to meet shared goals.

This action comes as the City prepares to enter into energy franchise negotiations with Xcel Energy and CenterPoint Energy. State law currently limits Minneapolis’ authority over utilities in franchise agreements; however, the City is seeking legislative changes to allow more flexibility to make progress toward its goals.

The study helps frame the future franchise negotiations with Xcel Energy and CenterPoint Energy, as well as the City’s work to get more clean-energy options for consumers. The City currently has utility franchise agreements with Xcel Energy for electricity and CenterPoint Energy for natural gas. These agreements, which were signed in the early 1990s, both expire at the end of 2014.

The report includes:

The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission is the state’s agency responsible for the regulation of public utilities such as electric, natural gas and landline telephone service. The commission also has oversight of the construction or modifications to large energy facilities such as electric power plants, transmission lines, wind power generation plants, and large natural gas and petroleum pipelines.

Published Apr 29, 2014