MN Utility Commission Pushes Xcel Energy to Improve Grid Transparency Tools

As published in UtilityDive

By Yochi Zakai, an associate with Shute, Mihaly & Weinberger, LLP, attorneys for IREC

Over the last three years, IREC has been involved in proceedings before the Minnesota Commission focused on tools to enhance the transparency of Xcel Energy’s distribution grid. Specifically, the docket focused on Xcel’s efforts to conduct a hosting capacity analysis (HCA), which is a tool that can show where on the system the capacity exists to quickly interconnect more distributed energy resources, without additional upgrades or costs.

The Commission’s latest order requires Xcel to improve its hosting capacity analysis, saying that “improved and additional information is necessary in future reports to satisfy” Minnesota law and that “the HCA may not be fulfilling the Commission’s overall objective of providing meaningful assistance to developers.”

Further improvements to Xcel’s hosting capacity analysis are necessary to ensure that Minnesota is poised to unleash the full potential of distributed energy resources.

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