View Case Record, RP-19-368
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Why would the MPUC let Xcel Energy decommission powerhouses that are currently powering the grid to build new gas fired facilities? Seems like the consumers are going to have to pay twice. After all the consumer is the ones paying for these facilities.
Retiring coal plants: YES!!! So pleased about this.
Investing in solar: YES!!! Doubly pleased.
But building a new fracked gas plant? NO NO NO.
This is not the way forward. Natural gas is not sustainable, is not much better than coal, and only slows our much-needed transition to renewable energy sources that don't harm the planet. We can power MN without this new gas plant--please modify Xcel's plan to eliminate it.
Yes, Xcel Energy's IRP vision is a good plan. It will change in 5-10 years due to some of the following visionary grid drivers:
1. Area microgrids will become a part of the larger grid. Natural gas, diesel or fuel cells may be needed for backup generation.
2. The existing grid should still provide most of the power. This will come from wind, large grid and customer solar, nuclear, natural gas and other future G&T. Grid reliability and balance are the most important aspects, especially for cyber security, "locational value" grid planning and "transactive energy" grid design.
3.Coal and other higher cost electricity supply will phase out in 10-20 years.
4.Solar alone, without storage, could maximize out at 10%+ due to the duck curve.
5. Passive designed buildings and communities could lead to net-zero of self-contained islanded energy systems. Geothermal energy will play a part.
6. Storage before and behind the meter should become virtual power plants (VPP's) with bi-directional flow of energy. Both grid and customer solar fed.
7. Software management/control (bi-directional) flow of energy + storage should lead to customer energy purchase on demand through smart meters. (transactive energy).
8. Software + smart meters should help microgrid managers to sell negative power to customers who have available battery storage capacity, (transactive energy).
9. Small Modular Reactors (SMR's) should slowly replace large nuclear plants in increments of about 50MW to replace existing base load plants.
10. All-electric will become the most efficient means of energy transfer away from energy sources, i.e. coal, natural gas, bio-fuels even with AC - DC - AC transfer.
Thank you for the update, very nice site.. Holm Law Group San Diego
The plan should be modified to include more zero-carbon emissions renewable energy. We need to move our economy and energy generation away from carbon emissions sources as quickly as possible, and the current IRP does not seem to be moving quickly enough.
I ask Xcel Energy’s Integrated Resource Plan be required to be modified to EXCLUDE the construction of a new natural gas power plant.
I am an Xcel Energy shareholder. Seventy-two years ago my grandfather was president of Northern States Power Company which is now part of the Xcel Energy system.
Xcel Energy’s corporate charter no doubt requires Xcel to maximize shareholder return. A new natural gas plant might be the best way to do that. However, that is counter to what is needed to respond to the climate crisis, namely stopping use of fossil fuels.
The Public Utilities Commission’s responsibility is to the public. Given our climate situation, the Commission should deny new fossil fuel power plants. In doing this, the Commission would also give Xcel Energy basis for taking what might be a more expensive route, namely new technologies such as for demand pricing and demand-response, energy reduction programs, or whatever.
It is okay if this means reduced dividends and share value for shareholders. The climate crisis requires that everyone pitch in one way or another.
The plan makes great strides towards renewable development, but errs by continuing to develop natural gas generation; we don't need to move to a 'carbon-lite' generation system, we need to break our carbon addiction ASAP. Therefore, Xcel's plan ought to be modified:
Maintaining a base load generation from CH4 is just acknowledging the problem without really trying to solve it. To get us totally off of carbon-based power forever, energy storage is the critical missing technology. Instead of spending all of this capital on building a new base load gas plant in ~5yrs time, imagine that capital going to funding utility-scale energy storage projects. With a panel of engineers and motivated people, it's possible to come up with 5-10 feasible designs that are most promising for utility-scale and economical energy storage; ground could be broken on these prototypes within months and completed within 1-2yrs; this leaves 2-3yrs of data gathering on these designs that could then be used to determine the best candidate for the job, fix any glaring engineering flaws, and begin construction on a full-scale model, all within the originally proposed time frame. A plan like this would not only provide the base load capacity that the proposed natural gas plant is set to make up, but would provide the opportunity for all base load EVERYWHERE to be taken over by carbon-free energy storage of surplus carbon-free generation.
If we want to end our suicidal addiction to fossil fuels, we need to do so. This is one way. Regardless of how we do it, utility-scale energy storage is a requirement of renewable generation that cannot be overlooked; moreover, storage development needs to be made a central focus of the conversation.
Additionally, I posit that energy storage is a phenomenal opportunity for labor Union members! There will be plenty of skilled labor required to build up and maintain storage capacity across the state, and it will not likely require skills all too different from the ones they currently possess. Union laborers have a stellar opportunity to stably secure their future through investment in energy storage tech; such investment in place of additional carbon-based generation is beneficial for all Minnesotans and a critical step to get us off fossil fuels permanently.
Onward and upward!