Xcel Energy: Resource Plan update shows progress on wind and efficiency, proposes generation project review

Xcel Energy Media Relations

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MINNEAPOLIS — Xcel Energy today submitted an updated Resource Plan that shows continued progress in adding new wind resources and implementing cost-effective energy efficiency programs and that proposes reevaluating two generation expansion projects.

“Resource planning allows us to continually work to implement the best combination of resources to meet our customers’ needs for safe, cost-effective, clean energy, and we have had great success in implementing our plans,” said Judy Poferl, president and CEO of Northern States Power Co.-Minnesota, an Xcel Energy company.

Poferl pointed to Xcel Energy’s successful effort to achieve 1.5 percent energy efficiency and conservation savings and also noted that the company is ahead of schedule to meet state renewable energy targets and expects to meet all renewable energy milestones in each Upper Midwest state it serves.

“However,” she added, “the continuing economic downturn and updated project cost estimates have led us to conclude that certain adjustments to our plans are appropriate at this time.”

The proposed adjustments – withdrawing a proposal to expand generation at Black Dog Generating Plant in Burnsville until the company determines how to proceed at a future date and reevaluating a proposed capacity expansion at Prairie Island Nuclear Generating Plant – are consistent with meeting customer needs in a cost-effective manner, Poferl said.

According to the plan update, continued slow economic growth and the loss of municipal wholesale customers have reduced Xcel Energy’s projection of customers’ electricity demand, which prompted the company to propose deferring the Black Dog plant investment. Xcel Energy now expects to have enough generating capacity to meet customers’ needs through 2018, the update states.

“Additionally, while our current analysis suggests the proposed capacity upgrade at Prairie Island remains cost effective, longer than anticipated federal reviews and updated cost information prompt us to seek concurrence from stakeholders that the project should proceed,” Poferl said.

Xcel Energy’s Resource Plan describes how the company proposes to reliably and safely meet customer energy needs in a cost effective and environmentally responsible way for a 15-year period. The plan update was filed today with the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission and the North Dakota Public Service Commission and shared with regulators in South Dakota, Wisconsin and Michigan.

“We look forward to working with regulators and stakeholders to implement this plan on behalf of our customers,” Poferl said.

The Resource Plan update will be available on Xcel Energy’s website, http://www.xcelenergy.com.