Minneapolis Energy Municipalization

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mullen
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Minneapolis Energy Municipalization

Postby mullen » July 25th, 2013, 10:43 pm

xcel has no reason to hq in the city if this poorly conceived municipal power initiative goes forward. if this goes to the ballot i could just see this passing. voters in this town have done dumber things. i really can't stand cam gordon...the go-to councilmember for any reporter looking to dump on the city.

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Re: Xcel Energy HQ - (401 Nicollet Mall)

Postby Silophant » July 25th, 2013, 11:38 pm

Yep. I went to an informational meeting about the municipalization debate today, and they mentioned that no major utility has headquarters outside its service area, for obvious reasons. Stupid, stupid, stupid.

MplsSteve
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Re: Xcel Energy HQ - (401 Nicollet Mall)

Postby MplsSteve » July 26th, 2013, 6:46 am

Municipalization seems like an incredibly stupid idea, even without the threat of Xcel moving. Aren't our electric rates comparatively low already? Sometimes I just can't believe how dumb our city council is.

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Re: Xcel Energy HQ - (401 Nicollet Mall)

Postby Gman12 » July 26th, 2013, 8:13 am

Seems like they are just posturing for the cleaner energy goal and didn't foresee Xcels obvious reaction, if not this is moronic...

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Andrew_F
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Re: Xcel Energy HQ - (401 Nicollet Mall)

Postby Andrew_F » July 26th, 2013, 8:16 am

Look at how horribly the city handled all the trees recently. Imagine if they had been responsible for the power grid? Yeah, no thanks.

twincitizen
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Minneapolis Energy Muncipalization

Postby twincitizen » July 26th, 2013, 8:23 am

This whole Minneapolis Energy Options this is posturing, for both cleaner energy goals, and to get the City to sign a shorter renewal contract (currently 20 years).

I don't think it was ever about actual municipalization (except to the true believers). Look at the deal that Minneapolis Energy Options just cut with Centerpoint. No longer pursuing municipalization of the gas utility in exchange for concessions.

Anyone who thinks a municipal utility is a good idea is a few bricks short. Even if you're a die-hard socialist and want public ownership of all utilities, that's fine...but it absolutely should not be at the City level. County-level or Metro (like sewer) is MUCH more realistic.

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Re: Xcel Energy HQ - (401 Nicollet Mall)

Postby lordmoke » July 26th, 2013, 8:48 am

I am a socialist, and I agree 100%. Municipalization at the city level is a profoundly stupid idea. It might be feasible in a city with a much larger tax base AND the resources to generate it's own energy. It's also very challenging to effectively implement socialist policies while working within the framework of an otherwise capitalist society. This is a bad idea, made worse by the fact that Xcel is actually headquartered here.

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Re: Xcel Energy HQ - (401 Nicollet Mall)

Postby nordeast homer » July 26th, 2013, 9:58 am

How can Xcel not take this as a slap in the face? I couldn't blame them for taking this project to St. Paul and flipping Minneapolis the bird. Our city council is run by fools!! As a citizen of Minneapolis I will not vote for any incumbants in any of the upcoming elections!

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Re: Minneapolis Energy Muncipalization

Postby twincitizen » July 26th, 2013, 10:06 am

Well you only get to vote for one...and you should probably ask your current councilperson which way they're leaning on this.

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woofner
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Re: Minneapolis Energy Muncipalization

Postby woofner » July 26th, 2013, 11:35 am

"It might be feasible in a city with a much larger tax base AND the resources to generate it's own energy."

Yeah, metropolises like Kenyon, Mora, Staples, and dozens more:

http://www.mmua.org/about/utilities.htm#bigandsmall

"Anyone who thinks a municipal utility is a good idea is a few bricks short."

Anyone who doesn't think a municipal utility is ever worth considering is a Thatcherian right-winger. The majority of utilities are municipal utilities. They work fine, because utilities basically require a monopoly anyway. The only thing you gain by privatizing is kickbacks from your rich friends, and that obviously only happens for politicians. What you lose is an opportunity to have direct control of energy policy, as well as potentially lower borrowing costs.

Under any municipalization scenario, Minneapolis would be contracting for energy generation for either a long time or forever. By threatening to move Xcel is just souring a relationship with a very large customer. Presumably they are not working with Opus to develop their new office building because Opus is their customer - why would they choose their HQ based on who grants them a monopoly? If the whole metro were going public, it would make sense for them to move closer to their customer base, but since it's not, they have no reason to move to a location that is central to so much of their business except spite.

"Look at how horribly the city handled all the trees recently."

You mean disposing of all debris city-wide for free? I think there are quite a few large suburbs whose residents would love if their city provided such a terrible service.

"i really can't stand cam gordon...the go-to councilmember for any reporter looking to dump on the city. "

What are you talking about?
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Re: Minneapolis Energy Muncipalization

Postby lordmoke » July 26th, 2013, 12:00 pm

As someone who doesn't know all that much about specifics with regard to something like this, but would like to know more, I have a couple of questions.

Would going through with municipalization require the city to purchase Xcel's infrastructure from them? If so, what would the cost be, and how would it be paid for? What would the city's options be for purchasing electricity- would we just end up buying energy produced by Xcel (seeing as how they own most, if not all, production and transmission infrastructure surrounding the city), or is there another option?

I would be very excited to see this happen in a way that is positive for the city, but it would be unfortunate for the city to go ahead with this for the wrong reasons.

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Re: Minneapolis Energy Muncipalization

Postby Silophant » July 26th, 2013, 12:15 pm

I can answer those questions, but not on my phone. I'll edit this post to include them when I get back from work today.

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Re: Xcel Energy HQ - (401 Nicollet Mall)

Postby Silophant » July 26th, 2013, 12:27 pm

Given that Xcel is the largest wind provider in the nation, and just proposed a new wind farm as big as the Monticello nuclear plant, to start construction, I'm curious exactly what strides you want them to make, especially keeping in mind that they have to be able to power the system even when the wind isn't blowing and the sun isn't shining.

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Andrew_F
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Re: Minneapolis Energy Muncipalization

Postby Andrew_F » July 26th, 2013, 12:28 pm

You mean disposing of all debris city-wide for free? I think there are quite a few large suburbs whose residents would love if their city provided such a terrible service.
No, I mean letting city-owned trees block traffic for close to two weeks.

When do you think they'll fix the sidewalks? Probably next summer.

If the city had been Xcel last month, do you think they would have been adept enough to get electrical service back as quickly as Xcel did? I don't.

MNdible
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Re: Xcel Energy HQ - (401 Nicollet Mall)

Postby MNdible » July 26th, 2013, 12:39 pm

I'd like to see them get that cold fusion reactor up and running. Sheesh, they've had, like, 50 years.

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Re: Minneapolis Energy Muncipalization

Postby mulad » July 26th, 2013, 12:50 pm

DaPerpKazoo wrote:Look at how horribly the city handled all the trees recently. Imagine if they had been responsible for the power grid? Yeah, no thanks.
Sigh. Sometimes it takes a long time to get stuff done. When the trees in Como Park got hit by a similar storm a few years back, I swear it took 12-18 months to get it all cleaned up -- and they have people working in the park six days a week.

I'll also add Rochester to redisciple's list of Minnesota cities with municipal power companies: http://rpu.org/

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Re: Xcel Energy HQ - (401 Nicollet Mall)

Postby nordeast homer » July 26th, 2013, 1:38 pm

For those that want to participate, it sounds like the hearing is at city hall next Thursday at 10 am. The Minneapolis Chamber is encouraging people to come and voice their concerns as they, themselves are opposed to this and will be expressing their concerns for (in their own words) this needless issue.

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woofner
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Re: Minneapolis Energy Muncipalization

Postby woofner » July 26th, 2013, 1:48 pm

Silophant wrote:Given that Xcel is the largest wind provider in the nation, and just proposed a new wind farm as big as the Monticello nuclear plant, to start construction, I'm curious exactly what strides you want them to make
How about, for starters, not lobbying against renewable energy requirements:

http://influenceexplorer.com/organizati ... dbaa4481f5
http://www.midwestenergynews.com/2013/0 ... rcentages/

How hard is it to be the nation's largest wind provider when you cover most of the great plains? Still Southern California Edison, having contracted for the two biggest wind farms in the US, has to be close. Do you have a source?
DaPerpKazoo wrote:No, I mean letting city-owned trees block traffic for close to two weeks....
If the city had been Xcel last month, do you think they would have been adept enough to get electrical service back as quickly as Xcel did?
Where was a traffic lane blocked for two weeks? I heard lots of complaints about Xcel after that storm, too.
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Andrew_F
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Re: Minneapolis Energy Muncipalization

Postby Andrew_F » July 26th, 2013, 3:12 pm

Right-hand lane of 26th at 5th Ave, 1st Ave between 24th and 25th. Not sure if it was actually two weeks. It was probably the Wednesday or Thursday of the second week.

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Re: Xcel Energy HQ - (401 Nicollet Mall)

Postby widin007 » July 26th, 2013, 3:32 pm

Does this have any chance of actually happening? Or is this all just posturing? I really can't tell.


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