Home  •  How the Transmission System Works  •  Webcast  •  Studies & Reports  •  Projects  •  Contact Us 
Planning Zones

Northwest Zone
Northeast Zone
West Central Zone
Twin Cities Zone
Southwest Zone
Southeast Zone

MN Counties (large map)

Sponsoring Utilities
American Transmission Company
Dairyland Power Cooperative
East River Electric Power Cooperative
Great River Energy
ITC Midwest
L&O Power Cooperative
Minnesota Power
Minnkota Power Cooperative
Missouri River Energy
Otter Tail Power Company
Rochester Public Utilities Commission
Southern Minnesota
Municipal Power Agency
Xcel Energy
Participating Government Agencies
Minnesota Public Utililities Commission
Minnesota Department of Commerce
Environmental Quality Board
Related Links
North American Electric Reliability Council
Midcontinent ISO
National Electric Safety Code
US Department of Energy
CapX2020.com

Studies and Reports > 2021 Biennial Report >Transmission Planning Zones


Transmission Projects Report 2021
Chapter 8: Renewable Energy Standards
   

8.0 Renewable Energy Standards

8.1   Introduction

Minn. Stat. § 216B.2425, subd. 7, states that in the Biennial Report the utilities shall address necessary transmission upgrades to support development of renewable energy resources required to meet upcoming Renewable Energy Standard milestones. In its May 30, 2008, Order approving the 2007 Biennial Report and Renewable Energy Standards Report, the Commission said, “Future biennial transmission projects reports shall incorporate and address transmission issues related to meeting the standards and milestones of the new renewable energy standards enacted at Minn. Laws 2007, ch. 3.” In its 2020 Order approving the 2019 Report, the Commission said that the 2021 Report should include content similar to the 2019 Report, along with new information regarding additional clean energy goals and related transmission needs. The additional information is presented in Chapter 9.

Accordingly, in this Report, as in past years, the utilities are reporting on their best estimates for how much renewable generation will be required in future years and what efforts are underway to ensure that adequate transmission will be available to transmit that energy to the necessary market areas. A Gap Analysis is provided to illustrate the amount of renewable generation that is already available and how much will be required in the future to meet the standard. The narrative in this chapter is similar in many respects to the narrative and explanations provided in the 2019 Report but all figures and charts and tables have been updated since those provided two years ago.

8.2   Reporting Utilities

It should be pointed out, as was done in previous reports, that the utilities that are required to submit the Biennial Transmission Projects Report are not identical to those that are required to meet the Renewable Energy Standards. The information in this chapter reflects the work of all the utilities that are required to meet RES milestones, regardless of whether they own transmission lines and are required to participate in the Biennial Report. A list of those utilities participating in the Biennial Transmission Projects Report can be found in Chapter 2.0. The utilities participating in this part of the 2021 Biennial Report on renewable energy are the following.

Investor-owned Utilities
Minnesota Power
Northern States Power Company
Otter Tail Power Company
Generation and Transmission Cooperative Electric Associations
Basin Electric Power Cooperative
Dairyland Power Cooperative
East River Electric Power Cooperative
Great River Energy
L&O Power Cooperative
Minnkota Power Cooperative
Municipal Power Agencies
Central Minnesota Municipal Power Agency
Minnesota Municipal Power Agency
Southern Minnesota Municipal Power Agency
Western Minnesota Municipal Power Agency/Missouri River Energy Services
Power District
Heartland Consumers Power District

8.3   Compliance Summary

The utilities have continued to make substantial progress with respect to meeting future RES milestones. The RES requirement beginning in 2020 is 20% for MN utilities, except for Xcel Energy which is 30% of retail sales for the respective reporting year All utilities have satisfied their respective compliance requirements and expects to continue to achieve and maintain all compliance requirements into the future. In addition, several new wind and solar projects have achieved commercial operations during 2020 and 2021. The addition of these new projects greatly contributes to the ability to meet RES requirements going forward. In addition, the utilities have provided a Gap Analysis regarding compliance with the upcoming 2022 Solar Energy Standard in Section 8.6 as well.

8.4   Gap Analysis

A Gap Analysis is an estimate of how many more megawatts of renewable generating capacity a utility expects to need beyond what is presently available to obtain the required amount of renewable energy that must come from renewable sources at a particular time in the future. A Gap Analysis is not an exercise intended to verify the validity of forecasted energy sales and associated capacity needs. It is done for transmission planning purposes only. This is the eighth time the utilities have prepared a Gap Analysis; a Gap Analysis was prepared for the 2007, 2009, 2011, 2013, 2015, 2017 and 2019 Biennial Reports also.

8.5   Base Capacity and RES/REO Forecast

The chart below presents a system-wide overview of existing capacity in 2022 (used as a base figure throughout the various milestone periods) and forecasted renewable capacity requirements to meet Minnesota RES as well as non-Minnesota RES/REO needs. Each utility provided its own forecast of Minnesota RES and non-Minnesota RES/REO renewable energy needs, and converted such estimates into capacity based on their own mix of renewable resources (wind, biomass, hydropower, solar) using the most appropriate capacity factors unique to their specific generating resources.

Renewable Energy MW Gap Analysis -- MN RES Utilities
2022 Base and RES Forecast

Renewable Energy MW Gap Analysis -- MN RES Utilities 2022 Base and RES Forecast.png

2022 MTO MW Base: RES capacity acquired, actually installed and operational (“in the ground and running”) regardless of geographic location  Does not include projects under contract but not yet under construction, and it does not include projects under construction but not yet completed. 

Needed MW MN RES: Renewable capacity required to meet the RES energy goals for each utility serving customers in Minnesota.

Needed MW Other Jurisdictions: Gross non-MN renewable capacity required to meet RES requirements or REO goals in states served by the reporting utility other than Minnesota.

Table 1 below shows a more specific breakdown of each utility’s Minnesota RES and non-Minnesota RES/REO needed capacity forecast.

table-1-MN-Non-MN-RES-Forecast-2021


8.5.1   Capacity Acquisitions & Expirations

This chart presents a system-wide overview of additional renewable capacity that will be acquired by individual utilities beginning in 2022 and capacity that will expire between 2022 and 2030. Such losses are attributable primarily to the expiration of various power purchase agreements for renewable energy generation.

Renewable Generation Gap Analysis -- MN RES Utilities
Capacity Additions & Losses (Net) to 2022 RES Base Line


8.5.2   RES Capacity Acquired and Net RES/REO Need

This chart represents the total renewable capacity system-wide that will be acquired and lost between 2022 and 2030, as well as the total Minnesota RES and non-Minnesota RES/REO needs between 2022 and 2030

Renewable Energy MW Gap Analysis -- MN RES Utilities
Acquired Capacity and MW Needed for RES Compliance

Renewable Energy MW Gap Analysis MN RES Utilities Acquired Capacity and MW Needed for RES Compliance

As can be seen, the Minnesota RES utilities have sufficient capacity acquired to meet the Minnesota RES needs through 2030.  When considering the RES needs, including other jurisdictions outside of Minnesota, the Minnesota RES utilities have enough capacity to meet RES needs beyond 2020.  In addition, some utilities with less than sufficient capacity to meet the Minnesota RES need may use renewable energy credits to fulfill their requirement.

Focusing back on just Minnesota RES needs, Table 2 below provides a more specific breakdown of each utility's forecast.

Note that the “Needed MW MN RES” bar in the bar chart in this section represents the total level of RES need in Minnesota. Conversely, the column in Table 2 that is labeled “MN RES Net” represents the additional RES capacity that is presently identified to meet RES need. The shortfall, or “gap,” between MN RES need and the additional RES capacity identified points to the need for some utilities to seek additional renewable capacity and when they need to do so. Alternatively, some utilities may use renewable energy credits to fulfill their RES requirements.

8.6   Solar Energy Standard

In 2013, the Minnesota Legislature established a separate solar standard for public utilities, effective by the end of 2020. Minn. Laws 2013, Ch. 85, § 3, codified at Minn. Stat. § 216B.1691, subd. 2f (Solar Energy Standard or SES). That statute requires public utilities subject to the SES to report to the Commission on July 1, 2014, and each July thereafter, on progress in achieving the standard. In the 2013 Biennial Report, even though the first report was not due until 2014, Northern States Power Company provided a brief analysis of its anticipated needs for solar energy in future years.
The first solar energy reports required under the statute were filed in May or June 2014 and the Commission accepted these filings in an Order dated October 23, 2014. MPUC Docket No. E999/M-14-321. The second reports were filed in summer 2015 and were approved by the Commission on October 28, 2015.  MPUC Docket No. E999/M-15-462. Readers are referred to those dockets for more information about the utilities’ progress in meeting the upcoming SES.

Because this Chapter 8 of the Biennial Report discusses utilities’ compliance with Minnesota Renewable Energy Standards, however, a brief summary regarding the status of compliance with the 2022 Solar Energy Standard (SES) is included below. Utilities file annual reports to demonstrate compliance with the SES on June 1 of each year as required by the statute and directed by the Commission.

Renewable Energy MW Gap Analysis -- MN SES Utilities
Acquired Capacity and MW Needed for SES Compliance

Renewable Energy MW Gap Analysis MN SES Utilities Acquired Capacity and MW Needed for SES Compliance

Table 3 shows a more specific breakdown of each utility's Minnesota SES and non-Minnesota SES needed capacity forecast.

This chart presents a system-wide overview of additional renewable capacity that will be acquired by individual utilities beginning in 2022 and capacity that will expire between 2022 and 2030. Such losses are attributable primarily to the expiration of various power purchase agreements for renewable energy generation.

Renewable Generation Gap Analysis -- MN SES Utilities
Capacity Additions & Losses (Net) to 2022 SES Base Line

Table 4 below provides SES Utilities' planned level of solar capacity additions.