State agencies challenge utility’s plan to purchase gas-fired power plant in Minnesota

first_imgState agencies challenge utility’s plan to purchase gas-fired power plant in Minnesota FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Minneapolis Star Tribune:Xcel Energy’s proposed $650 million purchase of a gas-fired power plant in Mankato has run into strong opposition from two state agencies concerned about its potential impact on ratepayers.Minneapolis-based Xcel in November announced its intent to buy the large power plant from Atlanta-based Southern Power. Xcel currently buys electricity from the Mankato plant on a long-term contract. The company says owning the facility would entail significant savings for ratepayers and would help preserve electric grid reliability.But the Minnesota Department of Commerce concluded that Xcel’s proposed ownership of the Mankato plant “is unlikely to create substantial savings,” according to a recent regulatory filing. “Overall, Xcel has not shown need or any net benefits to ratepayers for Xcel’s proposed (gas plant) purchase.” Meanwhile, the Minnesota Attorney General’s Office slammed the deal in a recent regulatory filing, saying Xcel “structured the proposed acquisition in an opaque backroom deal and in the absence of any competition, transparency or meaningful need for alternative analysis.”The two state offices represent the public before the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (PUC), which is likely to decide next month on the Mankato deal.Xcel, Minnesota’s largest electric utility, rejects criticisms from both agencies, noting in a statement to the Star Tribune that it has followed the “appropriate process” with its acquisition proposal. Xcel said the Mankato deal is vital for system stability as the company adds variable solar and wind energy while closing its coal-fired power plants, a primary source of constant power. “The purchase of the Mankato Energy Center will help pave the way to exit the use of coal in the Upper Midwest a decade earlier than planned,” Xcel said in the statement. The company declined to make an executive available for comment.In a PUC filing, the Commerce Department questioned whether the Mankato purchase is needed to facilitate Xcel’s early exit from coal.More: Regulators rip Xcel’s proposed $650 million deal for Mankato power plantlast_img read more

The top ways millennials are using technology

first_imgIt’s a simple fact: Millennials love their technology. We don’t need a 10 year study to prove what we constantly see – young people with their noses stuck in a smart phone, tablet or laptop. It doesn’t matter the situation; Instagramming their food, snapping selfies on a stick, or reading the latest post on Reddit, even sleeping with their phones next to their heads. It’s hard to get a millennial away from their “lifeline” and it’s become a lucrative way for marketers to reach them. One could argue it’s becoming just about the only way.So how can an advertiser use this to their advantage? What ways are Millennials using technology that would allow a brand to naturally engage them? Below we’ve provided 4 ways that they’re using technology, and how marketing managers can join their conversation.Technology Allows Millennials to Stay Close with Friends and FamilyDuring a recent Nielsen survey, over half of millennials said that new technology helps them be closer to their friends and family. While many others complain about how technology has divided us, Millennials use it to maintain an almost constant state of contact with their loved ones through texts, social media and video calls. Some other numbers paint a pretty vivid picture for exactly how Millennials use technology to stay in touch. Here are some fun facts from the survey: continue reading » 2SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more