Sunday, April 7, 2019

Xcel’s Integrated Resource Plan- what is at stake, why it matters and what we deserve from Xcel

What is Xcel’s Resource Plan?
  • Xcel Energy is Minnesota’s largest electric utility. Every 3 years they are required to put together a plan that outlines how they will meet their customers’ energy needs for the next 15 years. This business plan, called an integrated resource plan, must then be approved by the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (PUC), the government watchdog agency that oversees utilities.
  • Xcel’s 15-year business plan is due to the PUC in July. The PUC will review the plan to determine if Xcel’s plan meets its customers’ needs while ensuring reliable, low cost electricity.

Why does it matter?
  • Xcel recently announced a vision of 100% carbon-free energy for its entire 8 state system in 2050. It previously announced a vision for Minnesota of 85% carbon-free energy by 2030, including 60% renewable energy. Xcel’s resource plan gives customers the opportunity to ensure Xcel meets or exceeds this vision and make significant strides toward ensuring clean water and clean air for all.
  • Xcel can meet or exceed this 85% carbon-free goal. A recent report details that Minnesota could retire the state’s coal plants, build no additional natural gas plants, and still meet energy demands reliably through clean renewable energy and energy efficiency. And Minnesota can do this while reducing energy costs and tripling clean energy jobs.

What is at stake?
  • Minnesota is currently failing to meet the bipartisan carbon reduction goals in state law.
  • Moving toward 100% renewable energy will help protect the drinking water we depend on, and the lakes, rivers, and streams that Minnesotans value.
  • Clean energy not only means clean air and clean water, it means jobs. In 2017, Minnesota’s clean energy sector grew two times faster than overall job growth in the state. Minnesota now has over 59,000 clean energy jobs with 40% of clean energy jobs located in greater Minnesota

What do we deserve from Xcel?

  • Articulate a Path to 100% Renewable Energy: Xcel Energy must retire its remaining dirty coal burning power plants (Allen S. King & Sherco 3) by 2030 and replace them with renewable energy and energy conservation and not fracked gas.
  • Ensure Community & Worker Transition: Xcel Energy must develop transition plans with communities and workers to ensure they are kept whole and support economic diversification in plant retirement communities that doesn’t include new polluting industry.
  • Ensure Equitable Access to All of Clean Energy’s Benefits: Clean energy growth must be designed to create fair access to jobs and economic development opportunities, support community-based clean energy models in addition to utility-scale clean energy, and ensure the low cost benefits of clean energy are first allocated to low-income customers to keep bills low.
  • Strong Plan for Transit Electrification: Xcel must develop a plan for a future with high electrification of cars, public transit, buses and trucks