Minneapolis Energy Municipalization

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woofner
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Re: Minneapolis Energy Muncipalization

Postby woofner » July 29th, 2013, 10:02 am

Silophant wrote: Of course they lobbied against the solar requirement. Utility-scale solar isn't ready for this climate. It's only happening in Germany because of massive, unsustainable subsidies.
Thanks for the info. Maybe I'm not understanding what you mean by the phrase 'utility-scale solar', but my understanding of the intent of that bill was to encourage dispersed solar. I believe it reauthorized the state installation subsidy, as well as the rate that utilities are required to buy the surplus at. Obviously solar is never going to be the largest source of energy for Minnesota, but neither did this bill require that. A 1.5% requirement would seem to be enough to allow it to be an option for individuals where it makes sense, but I doubt it will ever require a utility to develop any solar generation facilities.

And if you check the 2nd link I provided, you'll note that Xcel spent far more on lobbying against Colorado's renewable portfolio mandate than they have on any other single issue. Colorado had a relatively large solar component, but then they have some areas that are well-suited for large scale solar.
Silophant wrote:Xcel hardly covers 'most of the great plains. Even if they did, though, they'd still have to invest in hundreds of million-dollar wind turbines.
This is a petty argument, but Xcel covers a good half of the great plains. Probably Texas has more population than the rest of the great plains states put together. But anyway, I don't know how much credit you can give them for building those hundreds of million-dollar wind turbines when they were forced to do so by legislation that they spent hundreds of thousands of dollars lobbying against.

...

As I wrote when we were discussing this a couple months ago, I'm leaning against municipalization here because of the timing, and the info Silophant provided about the location of the infrastructure is an additional strike against it. But it's always a good idea to explore public operation of natural monopolies so that the benefits can be used for a public purpose.
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FISHMANPET
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Re: Minneapolis Energy Muncipalization

Postby FISHMANPET » July 29th, 2013, 10:12 am

So does anyone know how this got on the ballot in the first place? The first I heard of it was Minneapolis Energy Options wanting to get put on the DFL platform at the city convention.

jet777
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Re: Xcel Energy HQ - (401 Nicollet Mall)

Postby jet777 » July 29th, 2013, 10:53 am

Just look at how well running its own utilities has worked out for Detroit!

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Re: Xcel Energy HQ - (401 Nicollet Mall)

Postby mplsjaromir » July 29th, 2013, 11:18 am

jet777 wrote:Just look at how well running its own utilities has worked out for Detroit!
Red Herring alert! Seattle has a municipal electric utility, its just like Detroit too.

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Re: Minneapolis Energy Muncipalization

Postby MNdible » July 29th, 2013, 3:04 pm

Mark Andrew throws down on Municipalization.

Responding to what has become one of the most contentious issues bearing down on City Hall, mayoral candidate Mark Andrew said Monday that a public vote on municipalization of the city's utility would be "reckless."

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Re: Xcel Energy HQ - (401 Nicollet Mall)

Postby mellwood » July 29th, 2013, 4:47 pm

jet777 wrote:Just look at how well running its own utilities has worked out for Detroit!
Yeah, I'm sure Detroit running its own utilities is what turned Detroit in to what it is today. Not all massive riots that occurred in the 40's and 60's which made people to leave the city. Or the collapse of the auto industry.

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Re: Xcel Energy HQ - (401 Nicollet Mall)

Postby Unity77 » July 30th, 2013, 8:35 am

mplsjaromir wrote:
jet777 wrote:Just look at how well running its own utilities has worked out for Detroit!
Red Herring alert! Seattle has a municipal electric utility, its just like Detroit too.
Yes, Seattle does have a public utility, but it's not like it started last year or 10 years ago. It started over a century ago when Seattle was nowhere near the size it is today. There wasn't the burden on citizens and businesses like there would be today.

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Re: Minneapolis Energy Muncipalization

Postby Gman12 » July 30th, 2013, 9:38 am

lordmoke wrote: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.
That is correct, the city would have to purchase all the infrastructure, which Xcel does pay taxes on. It would be a significant cost to buy the entire cities distribution infrastructure, the Stribe article said it could be 'billions of dollars.' The power would still be generated at one of Xcel's plants or wind farms and routed to Minneapolis via Xcel's high voltage transmission lines to distribution substations. (technically it could go through multiple utilities transmission lines on the grid before getting to Minneapolis) Also the city would need to employ field crews to do the constaint maintenance and inspections required. When storm damage occurs they would need to hire contract field crews just as utilities do, at usually 3 times the cost...very low supply of field crews available at any given time and storm outages need to be fixed ASAP so the price of resolving an outage skyrockets. They would probably also employ commondity analysts to buy and sell wholesale electricity in the markets to try to capture more savings.

As for large scale solar energy, the cost benefit ratio just isn't there yet. There are still too many other cheaper alternatives (coal, nuclear, oil), not to mention Minnesota would have even less efficency due to a higher latitude location and never receiving direct sunlight. Until the technology gets better or there are subsidies we won't see anything significant.

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Re: Minneapolis Energy Muncipalization

Postby mulad » July 30th, 2013, 10:33 am

[This thread title is missing an "i", unless we're talking about turning the city into Muncie...]

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Re: Minneapolis Energy Municipalization

Postby seanrichardryan » July 30th, 2013, 11:41 am

^ That has been driving me nuts.
Q. What, what? A. In da butt.

Tyler
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Re: Minneapolis Energy Municipalization

Postby Tyler » July 30th, 2013, 12:03 pm

Goooooo Eagles!
Towns!

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Nick
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Re: Minneapolis Energy Municipalization

Postby Nick » July 30th, 2013, 3:04 pm

Eeeeee...whoops. Good thing I didn't make the comment that no one who spells it "Excel" should have their vote counted.

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Re: Minneapolis Energy Municipalization

Postby twincitizen » July 30th, 2013, 3:07 pm

The subforum is also misspelled, but missing the other i: "municpal"

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Nick
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Re: Minneapolis Energy Municipalization

Postby Nick » July 30th, 2013, 3:08 pm

HOW HAS NO ONE NOTICED THAT.

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Re: Minneapolis Energy Municipalization

Postby mullen » August 1st, 2013, 10:34 am

so it's a love fest for municipalization at this hearing. really shocked about that. no pun intended. ok not shocked. this is mpls, corporations are bad and our thriving downtown "just happened".

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Re: Minneapolis Energy Municipalization

Postby Silophant » August 1st, 2013, 11:37 am

I just got out of a meeting, and am starting to watch the webcast. Looks like some people tried to sign up to speak twice? Classy.

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Re: Minneapolis Energy Municipalization

Postby Silophant » August 1st, 2013, 11:49 am

The current speaker isn't a building manager, or an Xcel employee, or anything, just a normal citizen, and she still understands that the PUC sets Xcel's rates, not Xcel directly. Encouraging!

Edit: The next guy said he's been keeping track, and it's currently at 28 speakers against municipalization, 14 for it, and 2 of the 14 don't even live in the state, much less the city.

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Re: Minneapolis Energy Muncipalization

Postby Pete » August 4th, 2013, 11:24 am

Silophant wrote: The problem with having it on the ballot for this election is that this is the only chance the public has to vote on it. After that, it's entirely in the hands of the city council. And the election occurs before the feasibility study returns its results. If it goes on the ballot and is approved in November, and the study results are made public in February and shown that it's enormously expensive and nonsensical for the city to municipalize, the OMG-superprogressive-corporations are EVIL! wing of the council can still, potentially, make it happen, without giving the actual electorate another chance to have a say in it.
I believe it has to get on this ballot to be in play for franchise negotiations. Next year's ballot will be too late. I trust the Council not to do it if it is expensive and nonsensical. CM Cam Gordon has already stated it has to make sense and be economically feasible for the City.
Pete in Seward

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Re: Minneapolis Energy Municipalization

Postby Silophant » August 4th, 2013, 2:21 pm

CM Gordon reconsidering the ballot question.

Between the Dinkytown vote on Friday and this, it looks like the City Council is actually ruled by common sense after all.

Or that this whole thing was just a ploy to get Xcel to come to the negotiating table, and it's had its desired effect.

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Re: Minneapolis Energy Municipalization

Postby aeisenberg » August 4th, 2013, 4:07 pm

My understanding is that if ONE Utility is owned, rent is 4x the number on the dice which landed the player on the utility, but if BOTH Utilities are owned, rent is 10x the amount shown on the dice. And the mortgage value would be approximately $75.
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