Xcel Energy seeks incentive for increasing its electric reliability in Fargo

Apr 12, 2018

Public Service Commissioners (left to right): Brian Kroshus, Randy Christmann (chairman) and Julie Fedorchak.
Credit Dave Thompson

Xcel Energy has filed with the North Dakota Public Service Commission to collect an incentive payment for meeting reliability standards.

The incentive was part of a rate case several years ago. Xcel was having problems with power outages in the Fargo area. The incentive was added to that case, so if Xcel would reduce the number of outages, it would be eligible for the incentive. And the incentive would be between $250,000 and $1 million.

Under that rate case, if a customer experienced three or more outages in a year not due to weather, Xcel would pay $50.

"It was a tough threshold," said Commissioner Julie Fedorchak. "They narrowly missed it last year."

Fedorchak said the company has made significant investments and improvements in the Fargo area to improve reliability. But Fedorchak and Commissioner Brian Kroshus said they will have some questions for the utility.

"It's safe to say I'm not terribly excited on how this is framed up," Kroshus said. "But I'm willing to keep an open mind."

The money could come from reallocation of resources, or from a charge to Xcel customers.

The PSC has not yet scheduled a hearing.