Xcel energy | Prairie Public Broadcasting

Xcel energy

Members of the North Dakota Public Service Commission say a power outage in Fargo Tuesday shows a marked improvement in how Xcel Energy responds to these incidents.

Commissioner Brian Kalk says Xcel estimated 23,000 customers lost power initially, most in downtown Fargo.

“Eighteen thousand of those customers came back on line very very quickly," said Kalk. "Within minutes.”

Wind farm approved for Xcel Energy

Aug 21, 2014

The Public Service Commission has given its final okay for a new 150 megawatt wind farm to be built near the Canadian border.

The wind farm would be near Rolla. It had originally been proposed by a company called Sequoia Energy, back in 2011 – but the company didn’t build it, because it didn’t have a buyer for the power. Sequoia transferred it to Border Winds. Now, Xcel Energy wants to buy the wind farm once it’s built.

The PSC has now issued a certificate of “public convenience and necessity” to Xcel.

Xcel to meet with PSC re: recent power outages

Aug 4, 2014

Xcel Energy will be meeting with the Public Service Commission Friday to talk about a series of power outages in Fargo that were not weather related.

In a recent rate case, Xcel promised to make investments in North Dakota to shore up its reliability.

"We want to make sure that the investment that we've directed the company to do is actually having a positive impact," said Commission chairman Brian Kalk. "There have been outages since this one -- but they were all weather-related, from what I saw. This one, I think, begs the question: Why didn't the system work?"

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.

North Dakota regulators call it “re-stacking.”

It’s part of the settlement in an electric rate case with Xcel Energy. Under the agreement, Xcel will make sure its North Dakota customers do not have to pay for renewable power generation to meet Minnesota mandates – if they don’t benefit from that power.

Xcel Energy says an abundant supply of natural gas from the Bakken makes the idea of building two 215 megawatt gas-fired turbines near Hankinson attractive.

Xcel’s Dave Sederquist says the utility would start construction of the two turbines in 2016 – and could get them into service by 2018. But Sederquist says that is dependent on load growth.

"This is out in the future a little ways," said Sederquist. "We're constantly monitoring load -- and we may decided to go with just one turbine or whatever. It's a very flexible proposal."

Xcel customers to get a 'refund'

May 9, 2013

Xcel Energy electric customers will be getting a credit on their monthly bills.

The Public Service Commission says that’s a result of an agreement with Xcel for a past rate case.

"It turns out they over-collected $201,000," said Commissioner Julie Fedorchak. "The settlement agreement requires Xcel to make a one-time bill refund. That will be a credit on the bills of active customers who made bill payments in 2012."

Fedorchak says the average residential customer will see a $1 credit on their bills. Some large industrial customers will see as much as $1100.

Xcel customers could get $50 -- based on power outages

Dec 13, 2012

As part of an electric rate case settlement, Xcel Energy has to meet some new reliability standards.

Under the plan, approved by the North Dakota Public Service Commission, if Xcel customers experience more than three non-weather related power outages in a year, Xcel must give them $50 credit.  The plan will be in effect for the next three years.

The PSC says the number of outages in the Fargo area has been a concern over the past several years.