In July 2002, Xcel Energy submitted the Metropolitan Emission Reduction Proposal (MERP) to the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission. In this project, Xcel proposes to upgrade three of its power plants in the Twin Cities area.
If this proposal meets certain requirements, Xcel is allowed to recover the costs of these upgrades through rate increases. These requirements are spelled out in Minn. Stat. § 216B.1692.
As part of the process to determine whether this proposal meets these requirements, the MPCA is required to:
- verify that the emission reductions project qualifies under Minn. Stat. § 216B.1692, Subd. 1;
- provide a description of the projected environmental benefits of the proposed project; and
- assess the appropriateness of the proposed project.
The MPCA recently completed its review of the MERP, and found that the project will substantially reduce emissions of sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, mercury and particulate matter from these power plants. The MPCA also concluded that the project meets the requirements allowing for cost recovery.
Learn more about Xcel’s proposal:
On February 21, 2003, the MPCA issued a letter listing corrections to the estimated emission reductions associated with Xcel's proposal.
MPCA's review, issued in April 2003, of the environmental and health benefits of Xcel's alternative proposal:
In May 2003, the MPCA prepared some final comments and clarifications for the Public Utilities Commission. These items are included in the document below:
MPCA's supplemental comments based on questions raised at the PUC's October 2 hearing on Xcel's MERP proposal.