Press Statement on the Formation of a Clean Energy Partnership in Minneapolis

Oct 2, 2014

Today CEE released the following press statement on the announcement of an agreement to form a Clean Energy Partnership between the City of Minneapolis, Xcel Energy and CenterPoint Energy: 

“The Minneapolis Energy Pathways Project has been a terrific experience for CEE and we are thrilled to see our recommendation for a first in the nation City-Utility Clean Energy Partnership be placed into action,” said CEE Founder and President Sheldon Strom. “Together, this transformative Partnership should be able to achieve much more than any of the three entities acting on their own.”

“We are pleased by the creative and steadfast commitment of the City leadership, the executives of both utilities, the Minneapolis business community and the clean energy and environmental justice advocates in the City – this could not have happened without their combined effort and vision,” said Mike Bull, policy director for CEE and the project manager for the Minneapolis project. “As the African proverb goes, if you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”


Background:
  • In 2013, the City of Minneapolis was finalizing a Climate Action Plan that established aggressive energy efficiency and renewable energy goals for the City. Around that time, it became widely known that the City's franchise agreements with Xcel Energy and CenterPoint were set to expire at the end of 2014. These two elements came together to spark a City-wide conversation about the future of energy services in the City and the City’s relationship with its utilities, including municipalizing energy services. 
  • To assist the City in that discussion, Minneapolis contracted with CEE for the Minneapolis Energy Systems Pathways Study, to develop a vision for the Minneapolis' future energy system and potential legal, regulatory, and program options to achieve its aggressive clean energy goals.  CEE began its existence in 1979 as the Minneapolis Energy Office.
  • The recommendation we developed for the City, to create a formal City-Utility Clean Energy Partnership, is both innovative and pragmatic. Establishing this "first in the nation" Partnership would:
    • Increase the amount of renewable energy and energy efficiency in the City, allowing the City to meet its energy goals without increasing energy costs to Minneapolis residents or businesses.
    • Not increase costs to other ratepayers of the utilities, since the partnership would  operate within the current regulatory framework and assist utilities meet their current state clean energy requirements; and
    • Vault Minneapolis, Xcel, and CenterPoint to the forefront of a utility business model transformation going on around the country, and stand as an example for other cities that want to take aggressive local action on clean energy and climate issues.

About CEE: The Center for Energy and Environment is a community-based non-profit that provides practical, innovative, clean energy solutions for homeowners, businesses, nonprofits and government, advancing the public interest in cleaner energy and a healthier economy. For more information about CEE visit mncee.org 

For more information or to schedule an interview with Sheldon Strom or Mike Bull, please call Mike at 612-968-2047 or email him at mbull@mncee.org.

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