Xcel to use tax cut savings to remediate Fargo manufactured gas plant

Sep 19, 2018

Xcel Energy is proposing to use the money it will be saving because of the federal tax cut to clean up a site of a former manufactured gas plant in Fargo.

The plant operated from the early 1900s to 1960.

"Back in the day, coal used be manufactured into gas that was used to light streetlights and be distributed to homes and businesses, much like natural gas is today," said Xcel Senior Regulatory Consultant Dave Sederquist. "There are some residual materials left underground."

Sederquist said the utility is cleaning up the site. It's digging out and removing conataminated soils, and an apartment building on site is being torn down. He said the timing of the federal tax cut is fortuitous.

"We get a chance to apply those savings right to the project," Sederquist said. "Thereby, we avoid having any rate impact to recover the costs."

Sederquist said the tax cut is estimate to save Xcel $1.2 million to $1.3 million annually, on the natural gas side of the business. He said the project will be amortized over several years.

The proposal is part of a settlement agreement between Xcel and the North Dakota Public Service Commission. The PSC has issued a “call for hearing,” in case someone wants a hearing.