Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (MPUC) rebuffed Excelsior Energy Limited’s (Excelsior Energy) appeal to review a planned power purchase agreement (PPA) with Xcel Energy Inc. The move jeopardizes Excelsior Energy’s proposal to construct a gasified coal power station on the Iron Range. In August 2007, the MPUC rebuffed that PPA. Tom Osteraas, Excelsior Energy’s senior vice president and general counsel stated that the decision was not surprising for those in the loop about the docket.

A rate analyst for the MPUC, Marc Fournier, asserted that the case is now regarded as closed. However, Excelsior Energy may still dispute MPUC’s judgment by presenting its case before the Minnesota Court of Appeals.

MPUC’s verdict puts at risk the future of the company’s proposal to build 600 megawatts (MW) to 1,200 MW power station close to Taconite town.

However Osteraas asserts that the power project is not dead. He stated that while determining a purchaser for its power is an important part, it is just one of several vital measures to make the company’s project proceed further. Other tasks include holding an environmental evaluation, attaining required permits for the project, finishing engineering work and arranging funds.

He added “Our project continues to be important to meeting national and state energy security goals. It also represents a way to replace the existing fleet of coal plants with a cleaner technology.”