Xcel Energy Wind and Biomass Generation Mandate (Minnesota)

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Last modified on February 12, 2015.

Rules Regulations Policies Program

Place Minnesota

Name Xcel Energy Wind and Biomass Generation Mandate
Incentive Type Renewables Portfolio Standard
Applicable Sector Investor-Owned Utility
Eligible Technologies Biomass, Wind
Active Incentive Yes

Implementing Sector State/Territory
Energy Category Renewable Energy Incentive Programs

Standard 825 MW wind; 110 MW biomass

Technology Minimum 825 MW wind; 110 MW biomass

Date added to DSIRE 2000-01-01
Last DSIRE Review 2013-07-30

References DSIRE[1]


Minnesota law (Minn. Stat. § 216B.2423) requires Xcel Energy to build or contract for 225 megawatts (MW) of installed wind-energy capacity in the state by December 31, 1998, and to build or contract for an additional 200 MW of installed capacity by December 31, 2002. The same statute also directed the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (PUC) to require Xcel Energy to construct and operate, purchase or contract to purchase an additional 400 MW of installed wind-energy capacity by December 31, 2002, subject to resource planning and least-cost planning requirements. The total wind-energy capacity required under Minn. Stat. § 216B.2423 is 825 MW.

A separate law (Minn. Stat. § 216B.2424, also originally enacted in 1994) requires Xcel Energy to build or contract for 110 MW of electricity generated from biomass resources. The original requirement was for 50 MW by December 31, 1998 and an additional 75 MW by December 31, 2002, a total of 125 MW. The mandate was subsequently reduced to 110 MW in 2003. Additional sections of the law allocate the biomass requirement in various ways, imposing limits on the amount which may come from a single project, specific project, or fuel source.

This portion of the mandate is being fulfilled by district energy in St. Paul, a poultry-waste project in Benson, and a third biomass project in Virginia/Hibbing. In May 2008, the mandate was amended to confine the definition of eligible farm-grown, closed-loop biomass to herbaceous crops, trees, agricultural waste, and aquatic plant matter that is used to generate electricity and to specifically exclude mixed municipal solid waste from eligibility. A further amendment (S.F. 550) relating to revisions of one project's power purchase agreement was enacted in May 2009, but it left Xcel's obligations essentially unchanged.

The wind and biomass energy purchased or contracted for under this law is eligible to be folded into the state renewable portfolio standard (RPS), the mandatory portion of which will take effect during 2010 for Xcel Energy. In September 2010 the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (PUC) determined (see PUC Order Docket E-002/M-08-440) that Xcel owns renewable energy credits (RECs) associated with wind and biomass contracts entered into under this mandate in cases where REC ownership is not addressed in the contract and a separate settlement has not been negotiated.

Incentive Contact

Contact Name Energy Information Center
Department Minnesota Department of Commerce
Division Office of Energy Security
Address 85 7th Place East, Suite 500

Place St. Paul, Minnesota
Zip/Postal Code 55101-2198
Phone (800) 657-3710

Email energy.info@state.mn.us
Website http://www.energy.mn.gov/

Authorities (Please contact the if there are any file problems.)

Authority 1: Minn. Stat. § 216B.2423 et seq.
Date Effective 1995-01-01
Date Enacted 05/10/1994 (subsequently amended)
Expiration Date 2010-12-31

  • Incentive and policy data are reviewed and approved by the N.C. Solar Center's DSIRE project staff.[1]


  1. 1.0 1.1  "Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency (DSIRE)"