Ever wonder what happened to the notion last August that the city of Minneapolis would take over its energy utilities? While it may seem like the issue vanished, next Monday the Minneapolis City Council makes a monumental decision on another way forward to a better energy future. On the table is a novel partnership between the city and Xcel Energy and CenterPoint Energy to meet the city’s ambitious equity, energy and environmental goals.
Why should the city opt for an untested utility partnership?
Over the past several years, Minneapolis has developed a comprehensive sustainability plan, including these ambitious targets: generating 10 percent of energy from local renewable energy sources, cutting energy use by 17 percent and reducing greenhouse gas emissions 30 percent by 2025. But there’s a big fly in the sustainability ointment. Two-thirds of the emissions from city residents and businesses come from energy sold by Xcel and CenterPoint.
In other words, the city’s sustainability success hinges on its ability to influence the use of its two largest energy sources: electricity and gas.