Breakfast on Xcel

May 14th, 2008

Here’s Dave Sparby telling us about Xcel’s plans — he’s now “acting President and CEO of NSP-Minnesota.” And to think I remember when he was a mere attorney, Xcel’s inhouse counsel.

Today was Xcel’s annual breakfast with “community leaders” in Red Wing, so despite a very late night (where’s the coffee!), I got to the St. James Hotel just in time for to miss the line and have breakfast on Xcel! There was room at a table with the Goodhue County solid waste crew, and I did a good job of hitting the leg of the table and dumping coffee all over, but Alan had a good discussion with them about burning garbage, an appetite stimulating subject, but food for thought.

Mike Wadley was there of course, looking like quite the old fart these days, but that’s what serving a sentence with Micheletti will do for ya. He’s back in the saddle at Prairie Island, and one thing in his spiel that was interesting was that NMC will soon disappear and they’ll all go back to Xcel. I’ve been wondering about that, because the purpose of Nuclear Management Company was to house nuclear when it was spun off in deregulation, which never happened, THANK DOG! They spun off operations of the MN plants and also WI and IA to NMC in 2000, I intervened in that, and they intended to spin off ownership, but deregulation didn’t happen so they didn’t, and now all but the Xcel nuclear plants have disappeared from NMC operation. This will probably require another NRC proceeding, and I guess another intervention… sigh… but he’d bribed me with deck chairs before, and he’s getting the hang of it — today he says, “How ’bout a couch?!?” (proof they’re monitoring the mic and peeking in the windows, Krie’s torn up my 9′ long pink leather “doggie bed,” her station to monitor goings on across the street, it’s in pieces and I’ve got to do something). OK, Mike, I’ll take one rugged couch covered in indoor/outdoor carpeting, but it must be preapproved by Krie and Kenya!

A big deal in this is relicensing of Prairie Island nuclear generating plant, and that application is in, and again, THANK YOU to Mike Wadley, Chris Clark and Jim Alders, whoever it was who did cough up an application for me. It’s making for interesting reading.

They had question answer time, and I asked that, given the new IRP says that “For capacity planning and RES compliance planning purposes, we rare assuming that Red Wing and Wilmarth will be retired at the end of 2012,” whether they’d be closing it or selling it. Oh my, gues who farted in the elevator again. They were backpeddling, oh, NO, it doesn’t say that… uh-huh, right… well, guys, take a look at p. 6-7 and the top of 6-8 and you tell me. They will provide the commission with an update in the next IRP. I look forward to seeing it and hope that this thing is out of my neighborhood. Once more with feeling:

For capacity planning and RES compliance planning purposes, we are assuming that Red Wing and Wilmarth will be retired at the end of 2012.

So, on that happy note, time to move on to lunch — and thanks to Dave Sparby for taking the time to chat about a host of thorny issues that we’ll be duking it out about over the next few years! CapX anyone?

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