On Tuesday, Feb. 8. 2022, the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission approved Xcel Energy’s 2019 Integrated Resource Plan (IRP), which guides investments between 2020-2034. The IRP approved by the Commission keeps costs low for residential customers and businesses, reduces carbon emissions, and puts Minnesota workers and communities first.
“As the Commission considered this IRP, the cost to Minnesota’s families was at the forefront of our minds. The plan we approved today goes to great lengths to minimize cost increases to consumers, while continuing to ensure safe, reliable and affordable service,” said Katie Sieben, commission chair. “Requiring Xcel to retire uneconomic coal plants and replace them with low-cost renewable resources will help ensure a brighter future for all Minnesotans. I appreciate the input we heard from across the state to help us reach a plan that we are proud of.”
The approved IRP included a provision for Xcel to acquire or build up to 4650 MW of renewable resources (solar, wind, and storage) by 2032. Xcel’s plan will lower carbon emissions by 86%, relative to 2005 levels. By 2032, 81% of Xcel’s electricity will be generated from carbon-free resources. The commission also required Xcel to develop remediation plans with host communities who will experience plant closures and to work with state agencies and labor organizations to develop plans to support affected workers.
“Helping Minnesota workers and communities who will be affected by future plant closures was a priority for this Commission, this is why we added provisions requiring Xcel to develop plans to support host communities and workers as they move into the next phases of their lives and careers,” said Joseph Sullivan, commission vice-chair. “I also want to thank members of the public and community leaders for participating in this lengthy process, your participation helped create a better outcome today.”
An IRP is a forward-looking document that requires utilities to give advance notice of how they plan to generate electricity over the coming 15 years. Decisions on generation can affect many things, such as electric rates, the communities where power plants are located, and the environment. A resource plan provides a way for interested people and organizations to review these plans and offer input. For more information about the IRP process, click here.