After Xcel Energy promised better service, Fargo's lights went out again


In the morning Xcel Energy assured North Dakota regulators it was taking steps to improve service in the Fargo area following five power outages in two weeks.

In the afternoon there was a sixth one.

At a hearing in Bismarck an Xcel manager told the North Dakota Public Service Commission the recent outages had causes ranging from old power lines and cables to trees that need trimming to a lightning strike to a squirrel, the Fargo Forum reports.

According to the Associated Press Mark Nisbet, the North Dakota manager for Xcel, told the commission the company is speeding up its schedule for replacing underground cables near downtown Fargo as part of its response to the issue.

Outages cost Xcel money

Xcel Energy's agreement with North Dakota includes a "reliability performance plan." If a customer has more than three outages in a year that are all at least five minutes long, the utility will credit their account $50.

This month Xcel is spending $284,000 compensating customers for 2015 outages, the Forum says, which is more than 10 times what they spent the year before.

Under the agreement, Xcel would qualify for a bonus if it kept outages below a certain threshold. But the AP says that has not happened since the program was started in 2012.

Thursday outage affected Garth Brooks ticketing

Following Xcel's morning assurances in Bismarck there was an afternoon outage in Fargo – actually a cluster of outages – affecting about 7,000 customers Valley News Live reported.

Thursday's loss of power silenced air conditioners on a day when the temperature reached 90 degrees in Fargo. It also struck the Fargodome just as mobile tickets to the big Garth Brooks concert were being delivered through cyberspace, Valley News reported.

The Dome's general manager told Forum News Service mobile tickets were sent out again after power was restored and fans who received two emails should use the second one as their ticket.

Next Up

police tape, crime scene

Man and woman, aged 55 and 62, found dead in their home

The St. Louis County Sheriff's Office is investigating.

Gov. Tim Walz

Walz: COVID-19 guidance for Christmas likely to be similar to Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving featured a ban on social gatherings with non-household members.


Mall of America is offering a virtual Santa experience this year

People can virtually tour Santa's Candy Cane Institute.

PD Shimmers 4

Annual guide to finding holiday lights displays in MN is released

More than 80 holiday displays are on this year's list.

duluth police department

Duluth police officer charged in September shooting

The officer, who is a five-year veteran, is charged with two felonies.

Screen Shot 2020-11-30 at 1.31.42 PM

Enbridge gets final approval to start construction on Line 3 replacement

The project has attracted criticism from environmental and tribal groups.

Kirk Cousins

Is it a 4-team race for the final NFC playoff spot?

The key for Minnesota likely requires winning on the road against two top NFC teams.


Nov. 30 COVID-19 update: Hospitalizations reach new high mark

There are fewer than 100 staffed ICU beds available in Minnesota.


Xcel Energy sues EPA

The lawsuit aims to help the utility garner more credit for their efforts in atmospheric pollution reduction

Xcel Energy sends crews to East Coast

Minneapolis-based Xcel Energy says about three-dozen crew members from Minnesota and another eight from western Wisconsin are headed to West Virginia to help rebuild electricity distribution systems destroyed by East Coast superstorm, Fox 9 reports. Roughly 6.5 million people from Maine to the Carolinas were still without power as of early Wednesday morning.