Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (PUC) ruled in favor of solar as a cost-competitive energy source for Xcel Energy. Geronimo Energy's Aurora Solar Project was selected by the PUC to fill a portion of Xcel's future generation needs. The Aurora Solar Project is a 100-MW distributed solar generation project that will utilize solar arrays ranging in size from 2 MW to 10 MW across Xcel's service territory.
Minnesota Public Utilities Commission
In response to recent state legislation that explicitly provides for rate-regulated utilities to pursue multiyear rate plans, the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission adopted a set of guiding principles for the development of such plans. The law, passed in 2011, allows utilities to request multiyear plans, up to a maximum three-year rate-effective period, under which the rates to be charged in each year of the set period will be established in but a single rate proceeding.
Upon review of a load profile study submitted by Xcel Energy, the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (PUC) found that “it is clear … that solar PV facilities contribute to Xcel’s capacity requirements and that the existing Standby Service tariff does not reflect that contribution.” The commission ruled that $5.15 per kW per month would be a reasonable, conservative interim rate to be paid to sellers in the form of a capacity credit.
The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission announced it will re-examine the proposed 78-MW Goodhue wind project in Goodhue County, given changes in ownership structure, financing, date of service, and operating elements. New Era (formerly AWA Goodhue), the current project owner, and Xcel Energy, the power purchaser, are re-negotiating project milestones, including the in-service date.