Minnesota bill could help utilities plan for maintenance

Published 8:17 am Thursday, March 29, 2018

ST. PAUL — Legislation that would help Xcel Energy plan for the high costs of maintaining old nuclear power plants is heading to the Minnesota Senate, where it could face some tough opposition.

Republican Sen. Andrew Mathews of Milaca is sponsoring the bill, which would give utilities earlier notice about how much money they could recover for costly work, Minnesota Public Radio reported .

Investor-owned utilities must currently submit multi-year plans to the state Public Utilities Commission that detail how much power the utility plans on generating. After the plan is approved, the utility funds repairs and maintenance for power plants.

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Customers then reimburse companies for those investments through rate increases if the utilities commission determines the investments were practical.

Xcel Energy hopes to keep its Monticello and Prairie Island nuclear plants operational for another 12 to 15 years.