Minnesota utility regulators are studying a proposal by Xcel Energy to close two biomass plants that could mark a turning point for the industry here, particularly as prices for renewable energy drop.
Minnesota regulators recently heard proposals from Xcel Energy to introduce a sophisticated new electric grid software platform and to build an energy storage system instead of a substation.
A group of large industrial users joined consumer advocates in decrying a bill that would permit Xcel Energy to build a 786 megawatt combined cycle natural gas plant without regulatory approval.
A Minnesota utility is helping six communities create energy plans that engage residents and businesses in reducing the power their homes and buildings consume, as well as to promote renewable energy.
Xcel Energy announced today that it will close two units of the state’s largest coal plant by 2026, while committing to developing 1,200 megawatts of new renewable energy by 2020.
In early June, workers began installation of a $3.5 million solar farm next to the Blue Lake Wastewater Treatment Plant, part of an ambitious plan by a Twin Cities regional government agency to use marginal land it owns for solar installations. Another solar farm and community solar gardens are also in the works.
Minnesota’s community solar garden program will be one of the largest two in the country even if the regulators this week decide to reduce its scope.
Xcel Energy has reached an agreement with several developers that proposes to limit the size of co-located community solar gardens to 5 MW or less. The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission will decide on the matter Thursday.
Community solar developers in Minnesota are accusing Xcel Energy of openly defying state regulators in its effort to prevent multiple projects to be co-located at the same site.
After talks with solar developers reached an impasse, Xcel Energy announced plans Tuesday to strictly limit the size of community solar projects in Minnesota.