The City of Minneapolis, Xcel Energy and CenterPoint Energy have been partnering for over a century on energy-related initiatives.  However, the Minneapolis Clean Energy Partnership (CEP) is a new approach that partners the City of Minneapolis in a unique way with Xcel Energy and CenterPoint Energy, its electric and gas utilities, to help the City reach its Climate Action Plan and Energy Vision for 2040 goals. The CEP is a collaborative leadership framework through which the City and utilities will study, prioritize, plan, coordinate, implement, market, track, and report progress on clean energy activities in the city.

The Clean Energy Partnership is led by a joint City/Utility Board that reviews and approves work plans focused on helping the City achieve its energy goals. The CEP Board is made up of two senior representatives from each utility, two City Council members, the Mayor, and the City Coordinator. The work plans are designed to leverage statewide policies, city municipal regulatory authority, community relationships, and utility expertise to increase the penetration rate of energy efficiency and renewable energy as well as education and focus on reliability and equity of energy services in Minneapolis.

Board Members

City of Minneapolis: Spencer Cronk (City Coordinator), Council Member Elizabeth Glidden, Mayor Betsy Hodges, Council Member Kevin Reich, Council Member Cam Gordon (alternate)
CenterPoint Energy: Adam Pyles (Director of Regulatory Affairs), Brad Tutunjian (Vice President of Gas Operations)
Xcel Energy: Lee Gabler (Director of Demand-Side Management and Renewable Operations), Laura McCarten (Regional Vice President)

Energy Vision Advisory Committee 

The CEP Board also collects community feedback through the Energy Vision Advisory Committee (EVAC) to aid in their decision making. EVAC members are appointed for two-year terms. For more information about EVAC, and 2017-2018 EVAC member appointments, please follow this link.

History

The Clean Energy Partnership arose following discussions about the renewal of the City’s utility franchise agreements and how those renewals could leverage City resources with utility resources to advance their climate and energy goals. The City completed the Energy Pathways Study in early 2014, which detailed its vision for a sustainable, 21st century energy system and potential options for achieving that system. A key recommendation of the study was that the City leverage franchise agreement discussions to establish Clean Energy Agreements with both utilities that would create a “partnership” in which the three organizations worked collaboratively towards City goals.

In October of 2014, the City signed new franchise agreements with both Xcel Energy and CenterPoint Energy, as well as new Clean Energy Agreements that established the Clean Energy Partnership. While each of the partners has achieved significant results independently, all three believe that greater results can be realized by thoughtfully combining their efforts.

Minneapolis has a long history of climate action, dating back to the 1993 Minneapolis-St. Paul CO2 Reduction Project, which established the City’s first emissions reduction goals and identified strategies to meet those goals. Most recently, the City adopted the Minneapolis Climate Action Plan in 2013, which identifies a roadmap for the city to meet its current greenhouse gas emissions reduction goals of 15 percent by 2015, 30 percent by 2025 and 80 percent or more by 2050.

CenterPoint Energy and Xcel Energy also have longstanding commitments to the environment and impressive track records.  Xcel Energy is the number one wind energy provider in the U.S. for the tenth year in a row and among the top-ten U.S. utilities for the amount of solar power on its systems.  Both utilities operate robust energy efficiency programs to help customers reduce their energy use and save money.  Additionally, both have received national recognition for the innovative approaches and continuous results of these programs.

The image on the front page “Creative Commons Minneapolis Reflection” by Matthew Paulson is licensed under CC BY 2.0