Northern States Power Co. - Wisconsin Integrated Resource Plan (Filed July 31, 2019, Settlement Approved February 6, 2020) U-20599
Northern States Power Company-Wisconsin serves electric and natural gas customers in the western portion of the Upper Peninsula that borders Wisconsin. It is owned by Xcel Energy, a large publicly-traded company headquartered in Minneapolis.
The integrated resource plan (IRP) is intended to be a document that assesses various options to cost-effectively serve the electricity needs of customers over the next 20 years.
Because NSP is a utility based outside Michigan but whose service territory runs over into part of the state, almost all of the capital investments envisioned by this IRP would take place in states beside Michigan, such as Minnesota.
On February 6, 2020, the Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC) approved a settlement agreement between NSP and the MPSC staff that accepts the IRP as “the most reasonable and prudent means of meeting the electric utility’s energy and capacity needs.” A major change to the IRP as a result of the NSP agrees to increase its annual energy waste reduction goals to the equivalent of 1.5% of the previous year’s electricity sales by 2021. In the IRP as originally filed, NSP had not proposed additional energy efficiency efforts beyond adhering to the minimum state requirement of 1% energy waste reduction.
Highlights of this plan include:
- The utility wants to add about 1,200 megawatts of wind power by 2034
- It would also add 4,000 megawatts of solar power between 2025 and 2034
- NSP proposes extending the license of the Monticello nuclear plant (located in Minnesota between St. Cloud and Minneapolis) so it can operate until at least 2040
- NSP wants to operate the two nuclear reactors at the Prairie Island plant (south of Minneapolis on the border with Wisconsin) until their licenses expire in 2033 and 2034, respectively
- As previously planned, the utility still wants to retire its remaining coal-fired plants in the Midwest by 2030
- NSP would acquire a 760-megawatt natural gas-fired power plant in Minnesota and build, own and operate an 800-megawatt natural gas-fired power plant at the site of its largest coal plant in Sherburne County, Minnesota. The Sherburne County plant has three units. Under the IRP, Unit 1 would retire in 2026, Unit 2 in 2023 (although it could still operate at times on a seasonal basis) and the largest of the three, Unit 3, in 2030