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Xcel Energy considers move from Minneapolis if city forms municipal utility

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The city of Minneapolis could lose one of its largest employers if it moves forward with a proposal to take over the distribution of electric services from Xcel Energy, reports the Star Tribune.

Xcel CEO Ben Fowke tells the newspaper that the utility company would likely move its Nicollet Mall headquarters from the city if Minneapolis forms a municipal electric utility. Xcel employs about 2,000 people downtown, according to the Strib.

“There is not a utility in the nation that has their headquarters in a city that has municipalized,” Fowke tells the paper, stressing that this isn't a threat just an inevitable reality.

FOX 9 news reports that some Minneapolis city council members believe the city can provide less costly utility service than Xcel and CenterPoint because its not motivated by profit.

The station also reports that Xcel Energy has sent letters to its 183,000 Minneapolis customers. The letter spells out several reasons why creating a city-owned and operated electric and gas utility is a bad idea, including the fact that residents would spend billions of dollars to acquire the property of Xcel Energy within the city. Fox 9 also reports the value of existing power lines, utility poles, pipes and substations is unclear.

The issue will likely to go to voters in November and will receive a public hearing before the Minneapolis City Council on Aug. 1.

Here's the FOX 9 report:

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