The North Dakota Public Service Commission has denied a request from Xcel Energy for an advance determination of prudence for solar generation projects in Minnesota. 

The decision by the Commission emphasized a conclusion that the power is not cost-effective and would cause increased costs to North Dakota customers without corresponding benefits.  

Xcel Energy had requested the determination from the Commission for 187 MW of solar energy. The projects were proposed to meet mandates passed in 2013 by the State of Minnesota that require the company to serve 1.5 percent of its retail customers with solar energy by the end of 2020 and 10 percent by 2030. 

The advanced determination of prudence would have assured the company in advance they could charge customers for the costs of the solar projects.  

“We need to do all we can to make sure that the state of Minnesota’s scheme to mandate very high-cost electricity is not paid for by North Dakotans who happen to receive service from Minnesota-based utilities,” said Commissioner Randy Christmann.