Messages from the Council Chair

Our commitment to lead on energy

June 2018

In June, we signed an agreement with Xcel Energy to power the work of the Metropolitan Council with clean, renewable energy. It embodies our commitment to bring to life the Thrive MSP 2040 principles of good stewardship and sustainability for the benefit of the region.

Council Chair Alene TchourumoffToday, about a quarter of the electricity to run our wastewater treatment system comes from renewable energy. But in this agreement, we are committing to using 100 percent of our power from renewable sources by 2040.

This 245,000 MW annual commitment is enough to power 25,000 homes. As one of Xcel’s top 10 consumers of electricity, the Council is in a unique position to partner with Xcel on renewables. By committing to purchase a large bloc of power, we offer Xcel the security of knowing that their investment in new technology is sound, because they already have a large customer lined up.

The agreement has an important caveat. The deal for Xcel to sell renewable energy must make sense for their investors. Likewise, the deal needs to either break even or save money for the ratepayers who use our wastewater treatment system.

But the deal also opens great possibilities for the future use of renewables in our region. We will work with Xcel to innovate the use of more electric vehicles, including buses in our transit system. That will lead to discussions about building out the infrastructure to charge electric vehicles. How and where Xcel can add more generating capacity for renewable electricity will also be a focus.

The agreement is just the beginning; it’s the framework we will use for future discussions. But it’s an important first step, and it represents a commitment to by our region to be a national leader on clean energy technology.

Alene Tchourumoff

More information

Met Council, Xcel Energy work to get Council to 100% renewable energy by 2040