It’s out,  and although the court rejected the arguments of Excelsior Energy saying they didn’t get enough out of the PUC, and rejected the arguments of Minnesota Power and Xcel Energy, the bottom line is that the Public Utilities Commission won, their Order stands, and so in a small way, Excelsior Energy has “won.”

There were three issues before the court:

I. Did the commission err in determining that the Mesaba project is an IEP under Minn. Stat. § 216B.1694, subd. 1?

II. Does Minn. Stat. § 216B.1694, subd. 2(a)(7), require the commission to undertake its traditional public-interest evaluation?

III. Was the commission’s application of the IEP statute to Excelsior’s PPA arbitrary and capricious or unsupported by substantial evidence?

Bottom line?

We defer to the commission’s expertise as to the definition of the technical term ―traditional technologies.‖ The commission’s decision that the Mesaba project is an IEP is supported by substantial evidence.
The commission has the statutory authority to consider the public interest in evaluating the terms and conditions of an IEP’s PPA. Its decisions in this regard are supported by substantial record evidence and are not arbitrary and capricious. Accordingly, the commission did not err in concluding that Excelsior’s proposed power-purchase agreement with Xcel is not in the public interest under Minn. Stat. § 216B.1694, subd. 2(a)(7).

Here’s the full decision, issued today at 10:00 a.m.

May 18, 2010 Excelsior Energy-Mesaba Project Appellate Decision

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