Xcel Energy may split subsidiary for Minnesota, North Dakota

MINNEAPOLIS — Xcel Energy has proposed splitting its utility operations in North Dakota and Minnesota, telling regulators that widening policy differences between the two states over clean energy have caused stresses that might best be resolved through a breakup.
But a consultant for the North Dakota Public Service Commission is arguing against the separation, saying there would be “no long-term benefits” for North Dakota, only a “substantial likelihood” of higher costs for customers.
Minneapolis-based Xcel Energy has long had a single subsidiary for its electrical and gas businesses in the two states, Northern States Power Company-Minnesota. Xcel says it’s been a successful arrangement for nearly a century, but the policy priorities of the two states began to diverge almost two decades ago, and the best alternative may be a North Dakota subsidiary that wouldn’t be subject to regulatory decisions by other states.