Under the terms of the new Xcel Energy electric rate case, the utility will be building natural gas generation in southeast North Dakota within the next 20 years.
Xcel had proposed building two 200-megawatt natural gas turbines near Hankinson. It backed off – because of alternative proposals in Minnesota that were potentially more cost effective.
"A plant built in North Dakota will need to meet the least-cost principles of prudent planning," said Xcel Energy's David Sederquist. "It's not going to be a plant that's simply built because of a commitment. It will mean a demonstrated need for the plant, and there will have to be a cost-effective analysis of that."
But Sederquist says depending on demand, those turbines could be built much sooner than 20 years.