Feb. 3, 2015 (MINNEAPOLIS) The new Clean Energy Partnership Board will hold its first meeting Wednesday. This first-of-its-kind City-utility partnership will have the City of Minneapolis, Xcel Energy and CenterPoint Energy collaborating in new ways to help Minneapolis achieve its clean energy goals, including making energy more affordable and reliable for everyone while increasing energy efficiency, increasing renewable energy and reducing greenhouse gases.
The first board meeting will be 2-4 p.m., Wednesday, Feb. 4, in the board room at the McKnight Foundation. The board members are Mayor Betsy Hodges, City Council Member Elizabeth Glidden, City Council Member Kevin Reich and City Coordinator Spencer Cronk for the City of Minneapolis; Laura McCarten, regional vice president, and Lee Gabler, director of Demand-side Management and Renewable Operations for Xcel Energy; and Joe Vortherms, vice president of Gas Operations, and Jeff Daugherty, director of Regulatory Affairs, for CenterPoint Energy. City Council Member Cam Gordon is an alternate for the City of Minneapolis.
Editor’s note: The following members of the board will be available for media interviews 1:40-2 p.m. McKnight Foundation offices are at 710 S. Second St., Suite 400.
• Mayor Betsy Hodges
• City Council Member Elizabeth Glidden
• City Council Member Kevin Reich
• Xcel Energy’s Regional Vice President Laura McCarten
• CenterPoint Energy’s Vice President of Gas Operations Joe Vortherms
At this first quarterly meeting, along with setting its schedule and adopting bylaws, the board will also establish an Energy Vision Advisory Committee. The board will begin accepting applications from the public for the committee in the weeks following this first board meeting. The Energy Vision Advisory Committee will provide feedback on the board’s work plan and performance reports, and provide expertise or represent their Minneapolis communities.
The City of Minneapolis, Xcel Energy and CenterPoint Energy approved agreements in October to launch the Clean Energy Partnership. The board’s work plan will be shaped by Minneapolis’ adopted Climate Action Plan and may include ideas such as:
• Giving customers additional choices about the way their energy is generated.
• Increasing residential and business use of new and existing energy-efficiency and renewable-energy programs to help consumers control energy costs and reduce greenhouse gases.
• Supporting the development of renewable energy in the city and in Minnesota.
• Exploring and implementing ways for the City to reduce its own energy use and increase its use of clean and renewable energy.
The Clean Energy Partnership came about following discussions over renewing the City’s franchise agreements with the two utilities. Many communities in Minnesota negotiate franchise agreements with utility companies to identify the conditions under which the companies are allowed to use public streets and right of way to provide service to local residents and businesses. In October the City approved franchise agreements with Xcel Energy and CenterPoint Energy that began Jan. 1.
More information about the Clean Energy Partnership is available at