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Minneapolis the First Domino in Local Energy Choice in Minnesota?

| Written by John Farrell | 2 Comments | Updated on Jun 17, 2013 The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at

Over the weekend the campaign for a municipal utility option in Minneapolis, MN, got another boost: the endorsement of the city Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party.  The campaign’s goal is to increase clean, affordable, reliable, and local energy deployment in the city through meaningful negotiations with the utilities over their expiring franchise contracts in 2014, or by exercising the city’s right to own an operate its own electric and gas utilities.

If Minneapolis follows in the footsteps of Boulder, Colo., it may be just the first of many cities in Minnesota to consider the municipal option.

11 other cities have expiring franchise agreements with Xcel Energy in the next three years and many of them may be interested in how they can get more affordable and reliable electricity service while also increasing renewable energy and local economic development.  The cities are mostly in the Twin Cities metropolitan area, and include: Hopkins, Mound, Mounds View, Grant, Mankato, North Mankato, Edina, Maplewood, Robbinsdale, South St. Paul, and Stillwater.

Interestingly, Edina is the first city in the state with a PACE program that provides simplified, low-cost financing for commercial energy retrofits.  The city and its residents and businesses should keep an eye on Minneapolis.



Photo credit: JasonLangheine

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About John Farrell

John Farrell directs the Energy Democracy initiative at the Institute for Local Self-Reliance and he develops tools that allow communities to take charge of their energy future, and pursue the maximum economic benefits of the transition to 100% renewable power.


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  • heinbloed

    Good news!

    But Xcel will now be left with 2 renovated atomic reactors and no market ?
    Or would Minnesot still buy the electricity from them?

  • agelbert

    When any mention of “investing” in nuclear power plants comes up, I always ask myself how much of the “investment” capital comes fro WE-THE-PEOPLE so that private profits from a poisonous and dangerous technology can be cornered.

    The figures below are just for 2007. I’m certain the THEFT of the commons is WORSE now. The subsidies for renewable energy should be AT LEAST as much as for fossil nukes. Considering the pollution fossil fuels and nukes produce, they should nor receive ANY subsidy whatsoever.

    “… in 2007, the United States provided $724 million in subsidies for wind power, $174 million for solar and $14 million for geothermal. Yet, in that same year, they also provided $854 million in subsidies to coal production and $1.267 billion to nuclear power [source: Energy Information Administration].”