PUC looks into cost overruns at Xcel's Monticello nuclear plant


When Xcel Energy began work to upgrade its nuclear reactor in Monticello, it put the cost of the project at $320 million. Five years later, the pricetag for the project to extend the plant’s life and boost its output ended came in at $655 million. The Star Tribune reports that the state's utility regulators want to know why.

Minnesota's Public Utilities Commission on Thursday announced plans to investigate the massive cost overruns. The commission will hire an expert to review whether the expenditures were reasonable. The probe is expected to take up to 6 months.

Xcel’s 1.2 million Minnesota customers will bear only a share of the higher costs; the commission voted to allow only a portion to be tacked onto rates this year. But if the investigation finds the overruns were imprudent, the utility’s investors could share in the costs, which may affect earnings.

Xcel defended the cost increase, citing a number of complications with the project. The costs are likely to become an issue in Xcel’s next rate hike request in 2014. Last week, Xcel CEO Ben Fowke said the company will file a sizable rate hike request later this year.

Next Up

Rep. Maxine Waters

Maxine Waters speaks in Brooklyn Center, draws ire of right-wing media

The congresswoman visited protesters Saturday night.

Justin Fields

5 quarterbacks the Vikings could select in the 2021 NFL Draft

Will the Vikings get a successor for Kirk Cousins?

Chet Holmgren

ESPN to televise Chet Holmgren's college decision on Monday

Holmgren has narrowed his list of suitors to seven schools.

Minneapolis City Hall

Minneapolis to create unarmed traffic enforcement division

It wouldn't be part of the police department.

Kirill Kaprizov

Wild score 5 unanswered goals to sweep Sharks

The Sharks scored first but the Wild stormed back in a 5-2 victory.

Rocco Baldelli

Twins-Angels postponed Saturday and Sunday due to COVID

Outfielder Kyle Garlick and one other player tested positive on Saturday.


Curfew set at 11 p.m. in Brooklyn Center, Champlin Saturday

More protests are expected in Brooklyn Center.

Image from iOS (1)

Victim killed in multi-vehicle crash that closed Hwy. 62 ID'd as woman, 23

The four-vehicle crash closed the eastbound highway for several hours.