A new law allows the Public Utilities Commission to extend a power purchase agreement between Xcel Energy and District Energy St. Paul.
Under the agreement, waste wood from ash trees will continue to be used to produce electricity at the District Energy facility, and Xcel Energy can purchase that electricity. The agreement must keep the price of electricity purchased from the facility by Xcel to no more than $98 per megawatt hour. It also must include a proposal to the commission for one or more electrification projects that result in the St. Paul district heating and cooling system being powered by electricity generated from renewable energy technologies. The agreement must also provide a net benefit to the utility’s customers or the state.
The law, effective May 26, 2021, requires the purchase agreement be filed no later than Aug. 1, 2021, and extend no later than Dec. 31, 2024.
Rep. Rick Hansen (DFL-South St. Paul) and Sen. David Senjem (R-Rochester) are the sponsors.