Xcel’s EV charging network plan blows a fuse in Minnesota
HomeHome > News > Xcel’s EV charging network plan blows a fuse in Minnesota

Xcel’s EV charging network plan blows a fuse in Minnesota

May 26, 2023

Enterprise Reporter

Xcel Energy's plans to build high-speed EV charging networks blew a fuse when the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission reduced the branch's requested rate increase far below what the company had requested.

As a result, the Minnesota subsidiary of the company withdrew its entire $330 million Clean Transportation Portfolio proposal and plans to ask the Minnesota PUC for reconsideration.

Xcel Energy Colorado's nearly identical plan for a statewide charger network is pending approval by the Colorado Public Utilities Commission and is projected to cost ratepayers $140 million.

"It is likely too early to consider any move on the 2023 Transportation Electrification Plan, given it was just submitted a few weeks ago," said Michelle Aguayo, spokesperson for the Colorado branch in response to a request for comment from The Denver Gazette.

Minnesota is where Xcel Energy first proposed to install and operate 730 electric vehicle fast chargers throughout the state.

The $192 million proposal, while popular with EV proponents, was heavily criticized during the PUC proceeding by individuals and EV charging companies like EVgo Services and ChargePoint Inc.

A host of other businesses and individuals objected on the record to a regulated monopoly utility being allowed to charge electric ratepayers to build and operate an EV charging network, as well as for offering charging discounts to Xcel customers.

In its petition to intervene in the case, charging network company EVgo, which has fast charging stations in Colorado, said providing a discount to Xcel ratepayers, "will also directly impact EVgo's ability to deploy EV charging infrastructure in Minnesota."

In a press release, the Charge Ahead Partnership, a coalition of businesses, associations and individuals working to expand access to the EV charging marketplace said private businesses including retailers, gas stations and convenience stores "are eager to offer EV charging services because they already have the locations and amenities that customers desire. However, they cannot confidently invest in EV charging if they are forced to compete against a powerful state-sanctioned monopoly."

In withdrawing its proposal, the Minnesota subsidiary said that the decrease from its initial 21%, $677 million rate increase to what the PUC-approved — a 9%, $306 million three-year rate hike — would "limit the Company's ability to continue to lead the clean energy transition for our customers."

In the end, before the withdrawal, the company said its return on investment should be 10.2%.

Enterprise Reporter

You voted: