CEE Applauds Formation of Clean Energy Partnership Between Minneapolis and Local Utilities

Oct 17, 2014

Today’s action by the leadership of the City of Minneapolis, Xcel Energy and CenterPoint Energy to form a Clean Energy Partnership marks the beginning of a new model for municipal climate action in the United States.  This first in the nation Partnership between the City and the utilities that serve it integrates the assets and functions of a municipality with those of the two investor-owned utilities, with all parties jointly committed to meeting the energy, equity and sustainability goals and objectives of the City’s recently adopted Climate Action Plan.  

“We believe that a network of Cities that have developed local energy plans like Minneapolis’ Climate Action Plan and formed partnerships with their utilities to help implement those plans could be a tremendous force for clean energy and climate action in Minnesota and around the nation.”- Mike Bull, Director of Policy and Communications

The groundwork for this partnership began when Minneapolis contracted with Center for Energy and Environment (CEE) for the Minneapolis Energy Systems Pathways Study to develop a vision for the Minneapolis' future energy system including potential legal, regulatory and program options to achieve its aggressive clean energy goals. CEE continued to advise the City in the negotiations with the utilities on new franchise agreements. This potentially transformational partnership came as the result of nearly 18 months of work by CEE and its partners.

Today’s actions by the City and the two utilities will implement our primary recommendation from the Pathways study, both with regard to new franchise agreements with the utilities and the establishment of the Partnership.  This innovative and pragmatic Clean Energy Partnership will:

  • Increase the amount of renewable energy and energy efficiency in the City, allowing the City to meet its energy and climate goals without increasing energy costs to Minneapolis residents or businesses.

  • Not increase costs to other ratepayers of the utilities, since the Partnership will operate within the current regulatory framework, assisting the utilities to meet their current state clean energy requirements. 

  • Stand as an example for other cities that want to take aggressive local action on clean energy and climate issues, vaulting Minneapolis, Xcel Energy, and CenterPoint Energy to the forefront of a utility business model transformation going on around the country. 

“We applaud the foresight, commitment and leadership of the City and executives from both utilities, and pledge to assist their work in any way that we can.”-Mr. Bull