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News Release: CUB Announces Regulatory Partnership for Consumer Advocacy in Xcel Energy’s 2019 Integrated Resource Plan

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 27, 2019

Contact:
Annie Levenson-Falk, annielf@cubminnesota.org, 612-568-5707 (cell)

 

Citizens Utility Board Announces Regulatory Partnership for
Consumer Advocacy in Xcel Energy’s 2019 Integrated Resource Plan

Team of legal and technical experts will develop lowest-cost, cleanest energy path
for one million Xcel consumers in Minnesota

 

[SAINT PAUL] The Citizens Utility Board of Minnesota (CUB) announces a partnership to pursue the cleanest, most cost-effective long-term electricity options for the more than one million Minnesota households who receive electricity service from Xcel Energy.

CUB will partner with national law firm Keyes & Fox LLP and technical nonprofit GridLab to present a consumer-focused long-term plan to the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (PUC).

On July 1, Xcel Energy will file a proposed Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) to the state Public Utilities Commission. The plan will map out Xcel’s energy resources for the next 15 years – launching the company’s goal of reaching 100% carbon-free electric generation by 2050. CUB and other parties will review Xcel’s proposal and recommend alternative options, so that the PUC may approve a final plan that it determines to be in the public interest.

CUB is the voice for Minnesotans in energy policy, advocating for affordable, reliable, and clean energy for residents and small businesses. “The 2019 resource plan is an inflection point. There are major decisions that will need to be made to set the stage for Xcel’s goal of 100% clean energy – and they can be made in a way that benefit the public, or that mainly benefit the utility.” said Annie Levenson-Falk, Executive Director of CUB. “Having Keyes & Fox and GridLab on CUB’s team gives us the ability to be sure that consumers’ interest is front and center.”

GridLab is a national leader in modeling and analysis for the carbon-free energy transition. GridLab recently led a team that modeled an alternative IRP for Duke Energy in the Carolinas. The new plan would emit half the carbon and cost $1.5 billion less than Duke’s proposed plan. GridLab’s network of national experts will evaluate Xcel’s plan, determine its benefit for the consumer, and propose more favorable options to the PUC. “GridLab experts will review Xcel’s plan to ensure the utility has considered a range of planning scenarios that will enable its transition to a carbon-free future in the most cost-effective way.” said Ric O’Connell, Executive Director of GridLab. “In order for Xcel to reach its 100% carbon-free goal, the 2019 IRP must accelerate fossil-fuel retirements and leverage a vast buildout of clean energy, including distributed energy resources such as energy efficiency and demand response.”

Keyes & Fox LLP, is a national law firm focused on renewable energy and public utilities law, with considerable experience in resource planning and working in Xcel Energy proceedings. Keyes & Fox Partner, Jacob Schlesinger added, “Keyes & Fox is excited to represent CUB in Xcel’s IRP proceeding to advance low-cost, renewable power for Minnesota customers. Our team’s experience with utility proceedings in over 40 states will assist the Commission and stakeholders in identifying fair, market-based processes to reduce carbon, promote economic development, and benefit consumers.”

The Citizens Utility Board and its team are focused on charting a consumer-centered pathway to decarbonization for Xcel. CUB’s focus will be to:

  • Ensure bills remain affordable;
  • Limit risky long-term capital investments, and minimize risks for consumers;
  • Maximize customer options, including utility programs, energy efficiency, and customer-owned electricity generation; and
  • Champion resources that support an interactive grid that maximizes consumer benefits.

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The Citizens Utility Board of Minnesota (CUB) is a nonprofit advocate for Minnesota’s utility consumers. CUB advocates for affordable and reliable utility service and clean energy for Minnesota residents and small businesses. For more information, see www.cubminnesota.org.

GridLab is an innovative nonprofit that provides technical grid expertise to enhance policy decision-making and to ensure a rapid transition to a reliable, cost effective, and low carbon future. For more information, see www.gridlab.org.

Keyes & Fox is a boutique renewable energy and public utilities law firm that was founded in 2008 by Jason Keyes and Kevin Fox. Keyes & Fox started out representing nonprofit clients that were focusing on eliminating regulatory roadblocks to clean energy market development across the U.S. The firm now advocates on a wide range of legal, policy and project development issues for corporate, governmental, nonprofit and other clients and also has offices in Denver, CO and Burdett, NY. For more information, see www.keyesfox.com.

 

Author: Annie Levenson-Falk

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