Xcel and buried power lines in Fargo

Apr 17, 2017

The Public Service Commission said a plan to have Fargo’s Xcel Energy electric customers to pay for a project in downtown Fargo is raising questions.

Fargo city leaders have asked Xcel to bury power lines in the downtown area. It proposes a “special facilities rider” on Fargo’s Xcel customers’ bills.

"It basically allows a company to develop a plan," said Commissioner Julie Fedorchak. "They (Xcel) would account for the costs that are higher than standard construction parameters. If the city agrees, Xcel would allocate it to all the city customers."

Fedorchak says it raises some questions.

"How does the city discuss and approve these types of projects, so the public is aware this is happening?" said Fedorchak. "How do the residents of Fargo get engaged? Without that kind of public discussion, this becomes another tax, that get assessed through the electrci bill."

The PSC has suspended the rate pending further research. Fedorchak said a formal hearing could be held on the proposal.