Xcel Energy received approval from the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission to offer the state’s first program that could provide microgrids and other resiliency projects for large customers who require higher-than-standard service reliability.
The Empower Resiliency program is now available to Xcel Energy’s commercial and industrial customers in Minnesota. Xcel will install, operate, maintain and have overall ownership of the assets, which can include battery storage, solar arrays, and back-up generators at a customer’s site.
Xcel Energy claims it offers 99.9% power reliability and reminds customers that it invests in power grid upgrades to protect against severe weather and minimize outages. However, the utility adds that it understands that some customers – including water treatment facilities, community centers, hospitals, continuous manufacturing facilities, and schools – require even more certainty as they rely on an uninterruptible supply of electricity. The Empower Resiliency program was created to meet their needs.
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“This program greatly reduces the upfront cost for customers who would benefit from resiliency assets,” said Emmett Romine, vice president, Customer Solutions and Innovation at Xcel.
Xcel Energy will provide a turnkey resiliency solution and upfront capital, allowing customers to pay for the improvements over time. Customers work with Xcel Energy and its vendors to design, construct, and interconnect their system. The program allows customers to choose options that best meet their resiliency needs and sustainability goals, the utility said.
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