UNITED STATES
SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION

Washington, D.C. 20549

FORM 10-K

(Mark One)

x                               ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934

For the Fiscal Year Ended Dec. 31, 2006

Or

o                                  TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934

Commission File Number 1-3034

Xcel Energy Inc.

(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)

Minnesota

 

41-0448030

(State or Other Jurisdiction of
Incorporation or Organization)

 

(I.R.S. Employer
Identification No.)

414 Nicollet Mall,
Minneapolis, Minnesota

 

55401

(Address of Principal Executive Offices)

 

(Zip Code)

 

Registrant’s Telephone Number, including Area Code (612) 330-5500

Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:

Registrant

 

 

 

Title of Each Class

 

Name of Each Exchange on which Registered

Xcel Energy Inc.

 

Common Stock, $2.50 par value per share

 

New York

Xcel Energy Inc.

 

Rights to Purchase Common Stock, $2.50 par value per share Cumulative Preferred Stock, $100 par value:

 

New York

Xcel Energy Inc.

 

Preferred Stock $3.60 Cumulative

 

New York

Xcel Energy Inc.

 

Preferred Stock $4.08 Cumulative

 

New York

Xcel Energy Inc.

 

Preferred Stock $4.10 Cumulative

 

New York

Xcel Energy Inc.

 

Preferred Stock $4.11 Cumulative

 

New York

Xcel Energy Inc.

 

Preferred Stock $4.16 Cumulative

 

New York

Xcel Energy Inc.

 

Preferred Stock $4.56 Cumulative

 

New York

 

Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(g) of Act:   None

Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined by Rule 405 of the Securities Act. x Yes or No o

Indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or Section 15(d) of the Exchange Act. o Yes or No x

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days. x Yes or No o

Indicate by check mark if disclosure of delinquent filers pursuant to Item 405 of Regulation S-K is not contained herein, and will not be contained, to the best of registrants’ knowledge, in definitive proxy or information statements incorporated by reference in Part III of this Form 10-K or any amendment to this Form 10-K. o

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, or a non-accelerated filer (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act). x Large accelerated filer  o Accelerated filer  o Non-accelerated filer

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Act). o Yes or No x

As of June 30, 2006, the aggregate market value of the voting common stock held by non-affiliates of the Registrant was $7,843,601,587 and there were 405,560,301 shares of common stock outstanding.

As of February 20, 2007, there were 407,751,743 shares of common stock outstanding, $2.50 par value.

DOCUMENTS INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE

The Registrant’s Definitive Proxy Statement for its 2007 Annual Meeting of Shareholders is incorporated by reference into Part III of this Form 10-K.

 




TABLE OF CONTENTS

Index

Glossary of Terms

 

 

 

PART I

 

Item 1 —

Business

 

3

 

 

 

 

COMPANY OVERVIEW

 

6

 

 

 

 

ELECTRIC UTILITY OPERATIONS

 

8

 

 

 

 

Electric Utility Trends

 

8

 

 

 

 

NSP-Minnesota

 

9

 

 

 

 

NSP-Wisconsin

 

15

 

 

 

 

PSCo

 

15

 

 

 

 

SPS

 

19

 

 

 

 

Electric Operating Statistics

 

21

 

 

 

 

NATURAL GAS UTILITY OPERATIONS

 

21

 

 

 

 

Natural Gas Utility Trends

 

21

 

 

 

 

NSP-Minnesota

 

21

 

 

 

 

NSP-Wisconsin

 

23

 

 

 

 

PSCo

 

24

 

 

 

 

Natural Gas Operating Statistics

 

25

 

 

 

 

ENVIRONMENTAL MATTERS

 

25

 

 

 

 

CAPITAL SPENDING AND FINANCING

 

26

 

 

 

 

EMPLOYEES

 

26

 

 

 

 

EXECUTIVE OFFICERS

 

26

 

 

 

Item 1A —

Risk Factors

 

27

 

 

 

Item 1B —

Unresolved Staff Comments

 

32

 

 

 

Item 2 —

Properties

 

32

 

 

 

Item 3 —

Legal Proceedings

 

35

 

 

 

Item 4 —

Submission of Matters to a Vote of Security Holders

 

38

 

PART II

 

Item 5 —

Market for Registrant’s Common Equity, Related Stockholder Matters and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities

 

39

 

 

 

Item 6 —

Selected Financial Data

 

40

 

 

 

Item 7 —

Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations

 

41

 

 

 

Item 7A —

Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures about Market Risk

 

66

 

 

 

Item 8 —

Financial Statements and Supplementary Data

 

66

 

 

 

Item 9 —

Changes in and Disagreements with Accountants on Accounting and Financial Disclosure

 

F-57

 

 

 

Item 9A —

Controls and Procedures

 

F-57

 

 

 

Item 9B —

Other Information

 

F-58

 

PART III

 

Item 10 —

Directors, Executive Officers, and Corporate Governance

 

F-58

 

 

 

Item 11 —

Executive Compensation

 

F-58

 

 

 

Item 12 —

Security Ownership of Certain Beneficial Owners and Management and Related Stockholder Matters

 

F-58

 

 

 

Item 13 —

Certain Relationships, Related Transactions, and Director Independence

 

F-58

 

 

 

Item 14 —

Principal Accounting Fees and Services

 

F-58

 

PART IV

 

Item 15 —

Exhibits, Financial Statement Schedules

 

F-59

 

SIGNATURES

 

F-70

 

 

2




PART I

Item 1 — Business

DEFINITION OF ABBREVIATIONS AND INDUSTRY TERMS

Xcel Energy Subsidiaries and Affiliates (current and former)

 

 

Cheyenne

 

Cheyenne Light, Fuel and Power Company, a Wyoming corporation

Eloigne

 

Eloigne Co., invests in rental housing projects that qualify for low-income housing tax credits

NRG

 

NRG Energy, Inc., a Delaware corporation and independent power producer

NMC

 

Nuclear Management Co., a company formed by NSP-Minnesota, Wisconsin Electric Power Co., Wisconsin Public Service Corporation and Alliant Energy Corp.

NSP-Minnesota

 

Northern States Power Co., a Minnesota corporation

NSP-Wisconsin

 

Northern States Power Co., a Wisconsin corporation

Planergy

 

Planergy International, Inc., an energy management solutions company

PSCo

 

Public Service Company of Colorado, a Colorado corporation

PSRI

 

PSR Investments, Inc., a manager of permanent life insurance policies

SPS

 

Southwestern Public Service Co., a New Mexico corporation

UE

 

Utility Engineering Corporation, an engineering, construction and design company

Utility Subsidiaries

 

NSP-Minnesota, NSP-Wisconsin, PSCo, SPS

WGI

 

WestGas Interstate, Inc., a Colorado corporation operating an interstate natural gas pipeline

Xcel Energy

 

Xcel Energy Inc., a Minnesota corporation

Federal and State Regulatory Agencies

 

 

CPUC

 

Colorado Public Utilities Commission. The state agency that regulates the retail rates, services and other aspects of PSCo’s operations in Colorado. The CPUC also has jurisdiction over the capital structure and issuance of securities by PSCo.

DOE

 

United States Department of Energy

DOL

 

United States Department of Labor

EPA

 

United States Environmental Protection Agency

FERC

 

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. The U.S. agency that regulates the rates and services for transportation of electricity and natural gas; the sale of wholesale electricity, in interstate commerce, including the sale of electricity at market-based rates; and accounting requirements for utility holding companies, service companies, and public utilities.

IRS

 

Internal Revenue Service

MPSC

 

Michigan Public Service Commission. The state agency that regulates the retail rates, services and other aspects of NSP-Wisconsin’s operations in Michigan.

MPUC

 

Minnesota Public Utilities Commission. The state agency that regulates the retail rates, services and other aspects of NSP-Minnesota’s operations in Minnesota. The MPUC also has jurisdiction over the capital structure and issuance of securities by NSP-Minnesota.

NMPRC

 

New Mexico Public Regulation Commission. The state agency that regulates the retail rates and services and other aspects of SPS’ operations in New Mexico. The NMPRC also has jurisdiction over the issuance of securities by SPS.

NDPSC

 

North Dakota Public Service Commission. The state agency that regulates the retail rates, services and other aspects of NSP-Minnesota’s operations in North Dakota.

NRC

 

Nuclear Regulatory Commission. The federal agency that regulates the operation of nuclear power plants.

OCC

 

Colorado Office of Consumer Counsel.

PSCW

 

Public Service Commission of Wisconsin. The state agency that regulates the retail rates, services, securities issuances and other aspects of NSP-Wisconsin’s operations in Wisconsin.

PUCT

 

Public Utility Commission of Texas. The state agency that regulates the retail rates, services and other aspects of SPS’ operations in Texas.

SDPUC

 

South Dakota Public Utilities Commission. The state agency that regulates the retail rates, services and other aspects of NSP-Minnesota’s operations in South Dakota.

WDNR

 

Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources

SEC

 

Securities and Exchange Commission

Fuel, Purchased Gas and Resource Adjustment Clauses

 

 

AQIR

 

Air-quality improvement rider. Recovers, over a 15-year period, the incremental cost (including fuel and purchased energy) incurred by PSCo as a result of a voluntary plan to reduce emissions and improve air quality in the Denver metro area.

DSM

 

Demand-side management. Energy conservation, weatherization and other programs to conserve or manage energy use by customers.

3




 

DSMCA

 

Demand-side management cost adjustment. A clause permitting PSCo to recover demand-side management costs over five years while non-labor incremental expenses and carrying costs associated with deferred DSM costs are recovered on an annual basis. Costs for the low-income energy assistance program are recovered through the DSMCA.

ECA

 

Retail electric commodity adjustment. The ECA, effective Jan. 1, 2004, is an incentive adjustment mechanism that compares actual fuel and purchased energy expense in a calendar year to a benchmark formula. The ECA also provides for an $11.25 million cap on any cost sharing over or under an allowed ECA formula rate. The current ECA mechanism expired Dec. 31, 2006. Effective Jan. 1, 2007 the ECA has been modified to include an incentive adjustment to encourage efficient operation of base load coal plants and encourage cost reductions through purchases of economical short-term energy. The total incentive payment to PSCo in any calendar year will not exceed $11.25 million. The ECA mechanism will be revised quarterly and interest will accrue monthly on the average deferred balance. The ECA will expire at the earlier of rates taking effect after Comanche 3 is placed in service or Dec. 31, 2010.

FCA

 

Fuel clause adjustment. A clause included in electric rate schedules that provides for monthly rate adjustments to reflect the actual cost of electric fuel and purchased energy compared to a prior forecast. The difference between the electric costs collected through the FCA rates and the actual costs incurred in a month are collected or refunded in a subsequent period.

FCA (Wholesale)

 

Wholesale fuel clause adjustment. A fuel cost recovery mechanism in the NSP-Wisconsin, PSCo and SPS wholesale electric tariff that provides for monthly adjustments to reflect the actual cost of electric fuel and purchased energy compared to a prior forecast for certain customers. The difference between the electric costs collected through the wholesale FCA tariff and the actual costs incurred in a month are collected or refunded in a subsequent period.

GCA

 

Gas cost adjustment. Allows PSCo to recover its actual costs of purchased natural gas and natural gas transportation. The GCA is revised monthly to coincide with changes in purchased gas costs.

PCCA

 

Purchased capacity cost adjustment. Allows PSCo to recover from customers purchased capacity payments to power suppliers under specifically identified power purchase agreements not included in the determination of PSCo’s base electric rates or other recovery mechanisms. This clause expired in 2006. A new PCCA clause became effective Jan. 1, 2007, which permits recovery from retail customers for all purchased capacity payments to power suppliers. Capacity charges are not included in PSCo’s base electric rates or other recovery mechanisms.

PGA

 

Purchased gas adjustment. A clause included in NSP-Minnesota’s and NSP-Wisconsin’s retail natural gas rate schedules that provides for prospective monthly rate adjustments to reflect the forecasted cost of purchased natural gas and natural gas transportation. The annual difference between the natural gas costs collected through PGA rates and the actual natural gas costs is collected or refunded over the subsequent period.

QSP

 

Quality of service plan. Provides for bill credits to retail customers if the utility does not achieve certain operational performance targets and/or specific capital investments for reliability. The current QSP for PSCo and SPS electric utility expired in 2006. A new QSP for the PSCo electric utility provides for bill credit to customers based upon operational performance standards through December 31, 2010. The QSP for the PSCo natural gas utility expires December 2007.

RCR

 

Renewable cost recovery adjustment. Allows NSP-Minnesota to recover the cost of transmission facilities and other costs incurred to facilitate the purchase of renewable energy (including wind energy) in retail electric rates in Minnesota. The RCR is revised annually. The RCR will be replaced by the TCR adjustment effective in 2007.

SCA

 

Steam cost adjustment. Allows PSCo to recover the difference between its actual cost of fuel and the amount of these costs recovered under its base steam service rates. The SCA is revised annually to coincide with changes in fuel costs.

TCR

 

Transmission cost recovery adjustment. Allows NSP-Minnesota to recover the cost of transmission facilities not included in the determination of NSP-Minnesota’s base electric rates in retail electric rates in Minnesota. The TCR was approved by the MPUC in 2006 to be effective in 2007, and will be revised annually as new transmission investments and costs are incurred.

Other Terms and Abbreviations

 

 

AFDC

 

Allowance for funds used during construction. Defined in regulatory accounts as a non-cash accounting convention that represents the estimated composite interest costs of debt and a return on equity funds used to finance construction. The allowance is capitalized in property accounts and included in income.

ALJ

 

Administrative law judge. A judge presiding over regulatory proceedings.

ARO

 

Asset Retirement Obligation

BART

 

Best Available Retrofit Technology

C20

 

Derivatives Implementation Group of FASB Implementation Issue No. C20. Clarified the terms clearly and closely related to normal purchases and sales contracts, as included in SFAS No. 133.

CAIR

 

Clean Air Interstate Rule

4




 

CAMR

 

Clean Air Mercury Rule

CAPCD

 

Colorado Air Pollution Control Division

COLI

 

Corporate-owned life insurance

decommissioning

 

The process of closing down a nuclear facility and reducing the residual radioactivity to a level that permits the release of the property and termination of license. Nuclear power plants are required by the NRC to set aside funds for their decommissioning costs during operation.

deferred energy costs

 

The amount of fuel costs applicable to service rendered in one accounting period that will not be reflected in billings to customers until a subsequent accounting period.

derivative instrument

 

A financial instrument or other contract with all three of the following characteristics:

 

 

·     An underlying and a notional amount or payment provision or both,

 

 

·     Requires no initial investment or an initial net investment that is smaller than would be required for other types of contracts that would be expected to have a similar response to changes in market factors, and

 

 

·     Terms require or permit a net settlement, can be readily settled net by means outside the contract or provides for delivery of an asset that puts the recipient in a position not substantially different from net settlement

distribution

 

The system of lines, transformers, switches and mains that connect electric and natural gas transmission systems to customers.

EPS

 

Earnings per share of common stock outstanding

ERISA

 

Employee Retirement Income Security Act

FASB

 

Financial Accounting Standards Board

FTRs

 

Financial Transmission Rights

GAAP

 

Generally accepted accounting principles

generation

 

The process of transforming other forms of energy, such as nuclear or fossil fuels, into electricity. Also, the amount of electric energy produced, expressed in megawatts (capacity) or megawatt hours (energy).

JOA

 

Joint operating agreement among the utility subsidiaries

LIBOR

 

London Interbank Offered Rate

LNG

 

Liquefied natural gas. Natural gas that has been converted to a liquid.

mark-to-market

 

The process whereby an asset or liability is recognized at fair value.

MERP

 

Metropolitan Emissions Reduction Project

MGP

 

Manufactured gas plant

MISO

 

Midwest Independent Transmission System Operator, Inc.

Moody’s

 

Moody’s Investor Services Inc.

MPCA

 

Minnesota Pollution Control Agency

native load

 

The customer demand of retail and wholesale customers whereby a utility has an obligation to serve: e.g., an obligation to provide electric or natural gas service created by statute or long-term contract.

natural gas

 

A naturally occurring mixture of gases found in porous geological formations beneath the earth’s surface, often in association with petroleum. The principal constituent is methane.

nonutility

 

All items of revenue, expense and investment not associated, either by direct assignment or by allocation, with providing service to the utility customer.

PBRP

 

Performance-based regulatory plan. An annual electric earnings test, an electric quality of service plan and a natural gas quality of service plan established by the CPUC.

PFS

 

Private Fuel Storage, LLC. A consortium of private parties (including NSP-Minnesota) working to establish a private facility for interim storage of spent nuclear fuel.

PJM

 

PJM Interconnection, LLC

PUHCA

 

Public Utility Holding Company Act of 1935. Enacted to regulate the corporate structure and financial operations of utility holding companies.

PUHCA 2005

 

Public Utility Holding Company Act of 2005. Successor to the Public Utility Holding Company Act of 1935. Eliminates most federal regulation of utility holding companies. Transfers other regulatory authority from the SEC to the FERC.

QF

 

Qualifying facility. As defined under the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act of 1978, a QF sells power to a regulated utility at a price equal to that which it would otherwise pay if it were to build its own power plant or buy power from another source.

rate base

 

The investor-owned plant facilities for generation, transmission and distribution and other assets used in supplying utility service to the consumer.

ROE

 

Return on equity

RTO

 

Regional Transmission Organization. An independent entity, which is established to have “functional control” over a utility’s electric transmission systems, in order to provide non-discriminatory access to transmission of electricity.

SFAS

 

Statement of Financial Accounting Standards

SO2

 

Sulfur dioxide

SPP

 

Southwest Power Pool, Inc.

Standard & Poor’s

 

Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services

TEMT

 

Transmission and Energy Markets Tariff

TCEQ

 

Texas Commission of Environmental Quality

5




 

unbilled revenues

 

Amount of service rendered but not billed at the end of an accounting period. Cycle meter-reading practices result in unbilled consumption between the date of last meter reading and the end of the period.

underlying

 

A specified interest rate, security price, commodity price, foreign exchange rate, index of prices or rates, or other variable, including the occurrence or nonoccurrence of a specified event such as a scheduled payment under a contract.

VaR

 

Value-at-risk

WDNR

 

Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources

wheeling or transmission

 

An electric service wherein high-voltage transmission facilities of one utility system are used to transmit power generated within or purchased from another system.

working capital

 

Funds necessary to meet operating expenses.

Measurements

 

 

Btu

 

British thermal unit. A standard unit for measuring thermal energy or heat commonly used as a gauge for the energy content of natural gas and other fuels.

Bcf

 

Billion cubic feet

Dth

 

Dekatherm (one Dth is equal to one MMBtu)

KV

 

Kilovolts

KW

 

Kilowatts (one KW equals one thousand watts)

Kwh

 

Kilowatt hours

Mcf

 

Thousand cubic feet

MMBtu

 

One million Btus

MW

 

Megawatts (one MW equals one thousand KW)

Mwh

 

Megawatt hour (one Mwh equals one thousand Kwh)

Watt

 

A measure of power production or usage.

Volt

 

The unit of measurement of electromotive force. Equivalent to the force required to produce a current of one ampere through a resistance of one ohm. The unit of measure for electrical potential. Generally measured in kilovolts or KV.

 

COMPANY OVERVIEW

Xcel Energy is a holding company, with subsidiaries engaged primarily in the utility business. In 2006, Xcel Energy’s continuing operations included the activity of four wholly-owned utility subsidiaries that serve electric and natural gas customers in 8 states. These utility subsidiaries are NSP-Minnesota, NSP-Wisconsin, PSCo and SPS. These utilities serve customers in portions of Colorado, Michigan, Minnesota, New Mexico, North Dakota, South Dakota, Texas and Wisconsin. Along with WGI, an interstate natural gas pipeline company, these companies comprise the continuing regulated utility operations.

Xcel Energy was incorporated under the laws of Minnesota in 1909. Xcel Energy’s executive offices are located at 414 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis, Minn. 55401. Its Web site address is www.xcelenergy.com. Xcel Energy makes available, free of charge through its Web site, its annual report on Form 10-K, quarterly reports on Form 10-Q, current reports on Form 8-K as soon as reasonably practicable after such material is electronically filed with or furnished to the SEC. In addition, the Xcel Energy Guidelines on Corporate Governance and Code of Conduct also are available on its Web site.

NSP-Minnesota

NSP-Minnesota was incorporated in 2000 under the laws of Minnesota. NSP-Minnesota is an operating utility engaged in the generation, purchase, transmission, distribution and sale of electricity in Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota. The wholesale customers served by NSP-Minnesota comprised approximately 13 percent of the total sales in 2006. NSP-Minnesota also purchases, transports, distributes and sells natural gas to retail customers and transports customer-owned natural gas in Minnesota and North Dakota. NSP-Minnesota provides electric utility service to approximately 1.4 million customers and natural gas utility service to approximately 0.5 million customers. Approximately 90 percent of NSP-Minnesota’s retail electric operating revenues was derived from operations in Minnesota during 2006.

The electric production and transmission system of NSP-Minnesota is managed as an integrated system with that of NSP-Wisconsin, jointly referred to as the NSP System. The electric production and transmission costs of the entire NSP System are shared by NSP-Minnesota and NSP-Wisconsin. A FERC-approved agreement between the two companies, called the Interchange Agreement, provides for the sharing of all costs of generation and transmission facilities of the NSP System, including capital costs.

6




NSP-Minnesota owns the following direct subsidiaries: United Power and Land Co., which holds real estate; and NSP Nuclear Corp., which holds NSP-Minnesota’s interest in the NMC.

NSP-Wisconsin

NSP-Wisconsin was incorporated in 1901 under the laws of Wisconsin. NSP-Wisconsin is an operating utility engaged in the generation, transmission and distribution of electricity to approximately 245,000 customers in portions of northwestern Wisconsin and in the western portion of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. The wholesale customers served by NSP-Wisconsin comprised approximately 8 percent of NSP-Wisconsin’s total sales in 2006. NSP-Wisconsin also purchases, transports, distributes and sells natural gas to retail customers and transports customer-owned natural gas in the same service territory to approximately 100,000 customers. See the discussion of the integrated management of the electric production and transmission system of NSP-Wisconsin under NSP-Minnesota, discussed previously. Approximately 97 percent of NSP-Wisconsin’s retail electric operating revenues was derived from operations in Wisconsin during 2006.

NSP-Wisconsin owns the following direct subsidiaries: Chippewa and Flambeau Improvement Co., which operates hydro reservoirs; Clearwater Investments Inc., which owns interests in affordable housing; and NSP Lands, Inc., which holds real estate.

PSCo

PSCo was incorporated in 1924 under the laws of Colorado. PSCo is an operating utility engaged primarily in the generation, purchase, transmission, distribution and sale of electricity. PSCo also purchases, transports, distributes and sells natural gas to retail customers and transports customer-owned natural gas. PSCo serves approximately 1.3 million electric customers and approximately 1.3 million natural gas customers in Colorado. The wholesale customers served by PSCo comprised approximately 22 percent of PSCo’s total Kwh sales in 2006. All of PSCo’s retail electric operating revenues were derived from operations in Colorado during 2006.

PSCo owns the following direct subsidiaries: 1480 Welton, Inc., which owns certain real estate interests for PSCo; PSRI, which owns and manages permanent life insurance policies on certain current and former employees; and Green and Clear Lakes Company, which owns water rights. PSCo also holds a controlling interest in several other relatively small ditch and water companies.

SPS

SPS was incorporated in 1921 under the laws of New Mexico. SPS is an operating utility engaged primarily in the generation, purchase, transmission, distribution and sale of electricity. SPS serves approximately 386,000 electric customers in portions of Texas and New Mexico. The wholesale customers served by SPS comprised approximately 37 percent of SPS’ total Kwh sales in 2006. Approximately 77 percent of SPS’ retail electric operating revenues was derived from operations in Texas during 2006.

In October 2005, SPS reached a definitive agreement to sell its delivery system operations in Oklahoma, Kansas and a small portion of Texas to Tri-County Electric Cooperative. Effective July 31, 2006, SPS completed the sale to Tri-County Electric Cooperative for $24.5 million, and a gain of $6.1 million was recognized. SPS now provides wholesale service to Tri-County Electric Cooperative.

Other Subsidiaries

WGI was incorporated in 1990 under the laws of Colorado. WGI is a small interstate natural gas pipeline company engaged in transporting natural gas from the PSCo system near Chalk Bluffs, Colo., to the Cheyenne system near Cheyenne, Wyo.

In 1999, WYCO Development LLC (WYCO) was jointly formed with a subsidiary of El Paso Corporation to develop and lease new natural gas pipeline and compression facilities. Xcel Energy plans to invest approximately $145 million in WYCO between 2007 and 2009. The WYCO pipeline project is expected to begin operations in 2008 and the WYCO storage project is expected to begin operations in 2009. The new pipeline and storage projects will be leased to Colorado Interstate Gas Company, a subsidiary of El Paso Corporation. The terms of the lease agreement of the new pipeline and storage projects will be based on FERC regulation and it is anticipated that they will be approved by the FERC as a component of the certificate filing to be made by the Colorado Interstate Gas Company.

Xcel Energy’s nonregulated subsidiary in continuing operations is Eloigne.

See financial information regarding the segments of Xcel Energy’s business at Note 17 to the Consolidated Financial Statements.

7




In the past, Xcel Energy had several other subsidiaries that were sold or divested. For more information regarding Xcel Energy’s discontinued operations, see Note 2 to the Consolidated Financial Statements.

ELECTRIC UTILITY OPERATIONS

Electric Utility Trends

Overview

Utility Industry Growth — Xcel Energy intends to focus on growing through investments in electric and natural gas rate base to meet growing customer demands and to maintain or increase reliability and quality of service to customers. Xcel Energy has and plans to continue to file rate cases with state and federal regulators to earn a return on its investments and recover costs of operations. For more information regarding Xcel Energy’s capital expenditures, see Note 14 to the Consolidated Financial Statements.

Utility Restructuring and Retail Competition — The structure of the utility industry has been subject to change. Merger and acquisition activity was significant as utilities combined to capture economies of scale or establish a strategic niche in preparing for the future. The FERC has implemented wholesale electric utility competition, and the wholesale customers of Xcel Energy’s utility subsidiaries can purchase from competing wholesale suppliers and use the transmission systems of the utility subsidiaries on a comparable basis to the utility subsidiaries’ use to serve their native load.

Xcel Energy recognizes that local market conditions and political realities must be considered in developing its transition to competition plan and a planned competition date for the Texas Panhandle. Given the current situation, Xcel Energy has been unable to develop a plan for the Texas Panhandle to move toward retail competition that would be in the best interests of its customers. Xcel Energy currently does not plan to propose to implement retail customer choice in the Texas Panhandle until required.

Xcel Energy does support the continued development of wholesale competition and non-discriminatory wholesale open access transmission services. Xcel Energy will continue to work with the SPP on RTO development for the Panhandle region and the incorporation of independent transmission operations to insure non-discriminatory open access. Xcel Energy is also still pursuing strengthening its transmission system internally to alleviate north and south congestion within the Texas Panhandle and other lines to increase the transfer capability between the Texas Panhandle and other electric systems.

Some states have implemented some form of retail electric utility competition. Much of Texas has implemented retail competition, but it is presently limited to utilities within the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), which does not include SPS. Under current law, SPS can file a plan to implement competition, subject to regulatory approval, in Texas. Xcel Energy does not plan to implement competition until it is required. In 2002, NSP-Wisconsin began providing its Michigan electric customers with the opportunity to select an alternative electric energy provider. To date, no NSP-Wisconsin customers have selected an alternative electric energy provider.

The retail electric business does face some competition as industrial and large commercial customers have some ability to own or operate facilities to generate their own electricity. In addition, customers may have the option of substituting other fuels, such as natural gas or steam/chilled water for heating, cooling and manufacturing purposes, or the option of relocating their facilities to a lower cost region. While each of Xcel Energy’s utility subsidiaries face these challenges, these subsidiaries believe their rates are competitive with currently available alternatives.

Summary of Recent Federal Regulatory Developments

The FERC has jurisdiction over rates for electric transmission service in interstate commerce and electricity sold at wholesale, hydro facility licensing, natural gas transportation, accounting practices and certain other activities of Xcel Energy’s utility subsidiaries. State and local agencies have jurisdiction over many of Xcel Energy’s utility activities, including regulation of retail rates and environmental matters. In addition to the matters discussed below, see Note 13 to the Consolidated Financial Statements for a discussion of other regulatory matters.

FERC Rules Implementing Energy Policy Act of 2005 (Energy Act) —  The Energy Act repealed PUHCA effective Feb. 8, 2006. In addition, the Energy Act required the FERC to conduct several rulemakings to adopt new regulations to implement various aspects of the Energy Act. Since Aug. 2005, the FERC has completed or initiated the proceedings to modify its regulations on a number of subjects, including:

·       Adopting new regulations by establishing rules for accounting procedures for holding company systems, including cost allocation rules for transactions between companies within a holding company system;

8




·       Adopting new regulations to implement changes to the FERC’s merger and asset transfer authority;

·       Adopting new “market manipulation regulations” prohibiting any “manipulative or deceptive device or contrivance” in wholesale natural gas and electricity commodity and transportation or transmission markets and interpreting this standard in a manner consistent with Rule 10b-5 of the SEC; violations are subject to potential civil penalties of up to $1 million per day;

·       Adopting regulations to establish a national Electric Reliability Organization (ERO) to replace the voluntary North American Electric Reliability Council (NERC) structure, and requiring the ERO to establish mandatory reliability standards and imposition of financial or other penalties for violations of adopted standards. The FERC has issued proposed rules to make 83 ERO reliability standards mandatory and subject to potential financial penalties for non-compliance to be effective June 1, 2007;

·       Adopting rules to implement changes to the Public Utility Regulatory Policy Act to allow utility ownership of QFs and strengthening the thermal energy requirements for entities seeking to be QFs;

·       Proposing rules that would allow a utility to seek to eliminate its mandatory QF power purchase obligation for utilities in organized wholesale energy markets such as MISO; and

·       Adopting rules to establish incentives for investment in new electric transmission infrastructure.

While Xcel Energy cannot predict the ultimate impact the new regulations will have on its operations or financial results, Xcel Energy is taking appropriate actions that are intended to comply with and implement these new rules and regulations as they become effective.

Electric Transmission Rate Regulation — The FERC also regulates the rates charged and terms and conditions for electric transmission services. FERC policy encourages utilities to turn over the functional control over their electric transmission assets and the related responsibility for the sale of electric transmission services to an RTO. NSP-Minnesota and NSP-Wisconsin are members of the MISO. SPS is a member of the SPP. Each RTO separately files regional transmission tariff rates for approval by FERC. All members within that RTO are then subjected to those rates. PSCo is currently participating with other utilities in the development of WestConnect, which would provide certain regionalized transmission and wholesale energy market functions but would not be an RTO.

Centralized Regional Wholesale Markets — FERC rules require RTO’s to operate centralized regional wholesale energy markets. The FERC required the MISO to begin operation of a “Day 2” wholesale energy market on April 1, 2005. MISO uses security constrained regional economic dispatch and congestion management using locational marginal pricing (LMP) and FTRs. The Day 2 market is intended to provide more efficient generation dispatch over the 15 state MISO region, including the NSP-Minnesota and NSP-Wisconsin systems. SPP received FERC approval to initiate an Energy Imbalance Service (EIS) market, which will provide a more limited wholesale energy market that will affect the SPS system. The SPP EIS market commenced on Feb. 1, 2007.

NSP-Minnesota

Ratemaking Principles

Summary of Regulatory Agencies and Areas of Jurisdiction — Retail rates, services and other aspects of NSP-Minnesota’s operations are regulated by the MPUC, the NDPSC and the SDPUC within their respective states. The MPUC has regulatory authority over aspects of NSP-Minnesota’s financial activities, including security issuances, property transfers, mergers and transactions between NSP-Minnesota and its affiliates. In addition, the MPUC reviews and approves NSP-Minnesota’s electric resource plans for meeting customers’ future energy needs. The MPUC also certifies the need for generating plants greater than 50 MW and transmission lines greater than 100 KV.

The MPUC is also empowered to select and designate sites for new power plants with a capacity of 50 MW or more and wind energy conversion plants with a capacity of five MW or more. It also designates routes for electric transmission lines with a capacity of 100 KV or more. No large power plant or transmission line may be constructed in Minnesota except on a site or route designated by the MPUC. The NDPSC and SDPUC have regulatory authority over the need for certain generating and transmission facilities, and the siting and routing of certain new generation and transmission facilities in North Dakota and South Dakota, respectively.

NSP-Minnesota is subject to the jurisdiction of the FERC with respect to its wholesale electric operations, accounting practices, wholesale sales for resale and the transmission of electricity in interstate commerce. NSP-Minnesota has received

9




authorization from the FERC to make wholesale electric sales at market-based prices (see market-based rate authority discussion) and is a transmission-owner member of the MISO.

Fuel, Purchased Energy and Conservation Cost Recovery Mechanisms — NSP-Minnesota’s retail electric rate schedules in Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota include a FCA that provides for monthly adjustments to billings and revenues for changes in prudently incurred cost of fuel, fuel related items and purchased energy. NSP-Minnesota is permitted to recover these costs through FCA mechanisms individually approved by the regulators in each jurisdiction. The FCA mechanisms allow NSP-Minnesota to bill customers for the cost of fuel and fuel related costs used to generate electricity at its plants and energy purchased from other suppliers. With NSP-Minnesota’s participation in the MISO Day 2 market, questions were raised regarding the inclusion of certain MISO charges in the FCA. However, in December 2006, the MPUC authorized FCA recovery of all MISO Day 2 charges, except certain administrative charges, which NSP-Minnesota is partially recovering in base rates and partially deferring for future recovery. In general, capacity costs are not recovered through the FCA. NSP-Minnesota’s electric wholesale customers also have a FCA provision in their contracts.

NSP-Minnesota is required by Minnesota law to spend a minimum of 2 percent of Minnesota electric revenue on conservation improvement programs. These costs are recovered through an annual cost recovery mechanism for electric conservation and energy management program expenditures. NSP-Minnesota is required to request a new cost recovery level annually.

MERP Rider Regulation — In December 2003, the MPUC approved NSP-Minnesota’s MERP proposal to convert two coal-fueled electric generating plants to natural gas, and to install advanced pollution control equipment at a third coal-fired plant. These improvements are expected to significantly reduce air emissions from these facilities, while increasing the capacity at system peak by 300 MW. The projects are expected to come on line between 2007 and 2009, at a cumulative investment of approximately $1 billion. The MPUC approved a rate rider to recover prudent costs of the projects from Minnesota customers beginning Jan. 1, 2006, including a rate of return on the construction work in progress. The MPUC approval has a sliding ROE scale based on actual construction cost compared with a target level of construction costs (based on an equity ratio of 48.5 percent and debt of 51.5 percent) to incentivize NSP-Minnesota to control construction costs. At Dec. 31, 2006, the estimated ROE was 10.74 percent, based on construction progress to date.

Actual Costs as a Percent of Target Costs

 

 

 

ROE

 

Less than or equal to 75%

 

 

11.47

%

Over 75% and up through 85%

 

 

11.22

%

Over 85% and up through 95%

 

 

11.00

%

Over 95% and up through 105%

 

 

10.86

%

Over 105% and up through 115%

 

 

10.55

%

Over 115% and up through 125%

 

 

10.22

%

Over 125%

 

 

9.97

%

 

Capacity and Demand

Uninterrupted system peak demand for the NSP System’s electric utility for each of the last three years and the forecast for 2007, assuming normal weather, are listed below.

 

 

System Peak Demand (in MW)

 

 

 

2004

 

2005

 

2006

 

2007 Forecast

 

NSP System

 

 

8,665

 

 

9,212

 

 

9,787

 

 

9,623

 

 

The peak demand for the NSP System typically occurs in the summer. The 2006 system peak demand for the NSP System occurred on July 31, 2006.

Energy Sources and Related Initiatives

NSP-Minnesota expects to use existing electric generating stations, purchases from other utilities, independent power producers and power marketers, demand-side management options, new generation facilities and phased expansion of existing generation at select power plants to meet its system capacity requirements.

Purchased Power — NSP-Minnesota has contractual arrangements to purchase power from other utilities and nonregulated energy suppliers. Capacity is the measure of the rate at which a particular generating source produces electricity. Energy is a measure of the amount of electricity produced from a particular generating source over a period of time. Long-term purchase power contracts typically require a periodic payment to secure the capacity from a particular generating source and a charge for the associated energy actually purchased from such generating source.

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NSP-Minnesota also makes short-term purchases to replace generation from company-owned units that are unavailable due to maintenance and unplanned outages, to comply with minimum availability requirements, to obtain energy at a lower cost than that which could be produced by other resource options, including company-owned generation and/or long-term purchase power contracts, and for various other operating requirements.

Excelsior Energy Inc. (Excelsior) —  In December 2005, Excelsior, an independent energy developer, filed a power purchase agreement with the MPUC seeking a declaration by the MPUC that NSP-Minnesota be compelled to enter into a power purchase agreement and purchase the output from each of two integrated gas combined cycle (IGCC) plants to be located in northern Minnesota. Excelsior filed this petition making claims pursuant to Minnesota statutes, relating to Innovative Energy Project and Clean Energy Technology.

The MPUC referred this matter to a contested case hearing to develop the facts and issues that must be resolved to act on Excelsior’s petition, including development of price information. The contested case proceeding considered a 603 MW unit in phase I and a second 603 MW unit in phase II of Excelsior project.

In 2006, NSP-Minnesota and other parties filed testimony in phase I of this proceeding. The parties filed briefs in January 2007. The ALJ is expected  to make a recommendation to the MPUC on phase I later in the first quarter of 2007 and make a recommendation on phase II in August 2007.

NSP-Minnesota’s position in the proceeding is that the proposal (i) is inconsistent with our resource need, (ii) is not likely to be least-cost and is not in the public interest, (iii) shifts substantial risks to NSP-Minnesota and our ratepayers, (iv) presents a power purchase agreement that is inconsistent with industry standards in its allocation of risks and costs, (v) the proposal fails to satisfy the elements of the statutes under which it is proposed, and (vi) the proposal could result in significant adverse financial consequences. NSP-Minnesota intends to request that all costs associated with the proposed power purchase agreement, if approved, will be recoverable in customer rates.

NSP System Resource Plan — On Nov. 1, 2004, NSP-Minnesota filed its proposed resource plan for the period 2005 through 2019. The proposed plan identified needed resources and proposed processes for acquiring resources to meet those needs. On July 28, 2006, the MPUC issued an order that, among other things:

·       Approved NSP-Minnesota’s proposal to proceed with a request for proposal for 136 MW of peaking resources with an intended in service date of 2011;

·       Identified a base load resource need of 375 MW beginning in 2015 and required NSP-Minnesota to file a certificate of need application for a proposed base load resource to begin the acquisition process by Nov. 1, 2006;

·       Approved acquisition of 1,680 MW of wind generation resource over the planning period;

·       Accepted the proposed increases in demand-side management and energy-savings goals; and

·       Accepted the submittal of Xcel’s plan for uprating the Monticello and Prairie Island nuclear plants along with a comprehensive environmental and upgrade plan for the Sherco plant.

On Oct. 18, 2006, the MPUC issued an order after reconsideration clarifying the Nov. 1, 2006, filing requirements and extending the filing requirement for the nuclear upgrades until Sept. 1, 2007, to accommodate scheduling and legislative review of the MPUC’s decision in the Monticello certificate of need proceeding.

NSP-Minnesota expects to file its next resource plan with the MPUC on July 1, 2007.

NSP-Minnesota Base Load Acquisition Proceeding — On Nov. 1, 2006, NSP-Minnesota filed a proposal with the MPUC for a purchase of 375 MW of capacity and energy from Manitoba Hydro for the period 2015-2025 and the purchase of 380 MW of wind energy to fulfill the base load need identified in the 2004 resource plan. The proposal included a signed term sheet with Manitoba Hydro and a process to acquire the wind energy through competitive bidding. Alternative suppliers were entitled to submit competing proposals to the MPUC by Dec. 18, 2006. An alternate supplier proposed a 375 MW share of a mine mouth lignite circulating fluidized bed plant located in North Dakota and 380 MW of wind energy generation, with an option for Xcel Energy ownership in both components. The MPUC found both NSP-Minnesota’s proposal and the alternate proposal to be substantially complete and referred the matter to a contested case proceeding.

NSP-Minnesota Transmission Certificates of Need — In December 2001, NSP-Minnesota proposed construction of various transmission system upgrades to provide transmission outlet capacity for up to 825 MW of renewable energy generation (wind and biomass) being constructed in southwest and western Minnesota. In March 2003, the MPUC granted four certificates of need to NSP-Minnesota, thereby approving construction, subject to certain conditions. The initial projected cost of the transmission upgrades was approximately $160 million. The MPUC granted a routing permit for the

11




first major transmission facilities in the development program in 2004. The remaining route permit proceedings were completed in 2005. In 2003, the MPUC also approved an RCR automatic adjustment mechanism that allows NSP-Minnesota to recover the revenue requirements associated with certain transmission investments for delivery of renewable energy resources.

In late 2006, NSP-Minnesota filed two applications for certificates of need with the MPUC for four additional transmission lines in southwestern Minnesota and Chisago County. NSP-Minnesota along with ten other transmission providers, have announced plans to file certificate of need applications by mid 2007 for three transmission lines serving Minnesota and parts of surrounding states.

See Note 13 in the Consolidated Financial Statements for further discussion.

Purchased Transmission Services — NSP-Minnesota and NSP-Wisconsin have contractual arrangements with MISO to deliver power and energy to the NSP System for native load customers.

Nuclear Power Operations and Waste Disposal —  NSP-Minnesota owns two nuclear generating plants: the Monticello plant and the Prairie Island plant. See additional discussion regarding the nuclear generating plants at Note 15 to the Consolidated Financial Statements.

Nuclear power plant operation produces gaseous, liquid and solid radioactive wastes. The discharge and handling of such wastes are controlled by federal regulation. High-level radioactive wastes primarily include used nuclear fuel. Low-level radioactive waste consists primarily of demineralizer resins, paper, protective clothing, rags, tools and equipment that have become contaminated through use in the plant.

Low-Level Radioactive Waste Disposal — Federal law places responsibility on each state for disposal of its low-level radioactive waste generated within its borders. Low-level radioactive waste from NSP-Minnesota’s Monticello and Prairie Island nuclear plants is currently disposed at the Barnwell facility located in South Carolina (all classes of low-level waste) and at the Clive facility located in Utah (class A low-level substance only). NSP-Minnesota has an annual contract with Barnwell, but is also able to utilize the Clive facility through various low-level waste processors. NSP-Minnesota has low-level storage capacity available on-site at Prairie Island and Monticello that would allow both plants to continue to operate until the end of their current licensed lives, if off-site low-level disposal facilities were not available to NSP-Minnesota.

High-Level Radioactive Waste Disposal — The federal government has the responsibility to dispose of, or permanently store, domestic spent nuclear fuel and other high-level radioactive wastes. The Nuclear Waste Policy Act requires the DOE to implement a program for nuclear high level waste management. This includes the siting, licensing, construction and operation of a repository for domestically produced spent nuclear fuel from civilian nuclear power reactors and other high-level radioactive wastes at a permanent Federal storage or disposal facility. To date, the DOE has not accepted any of NSP-Minnesota’s spent nuclear fuel. See Item 3 — Legal Proceedings and Note 15 to the Consolidated Financial Statements for further discussion of this matter.

NSP-Minnesota has on-site storage for spent nuclear fuel at its Monticello and Prairie Island nuclear plants. In 1993, the Prairie Island plant was licensed by the federal NRC to store up to 48 casks of spent fuel at the plant. In 1994, the Minnesota Legislature adopted a limit on dry cask storage of 17 casks for the entire state. In 2003, the Minnesota Legislature enacted revised legislation that will allow NSP-Minnesota to continue to operate the facility and store spent fuel there until its current licenses with the NRC expire in 2013 and 2014. The legislation transfers the primary authority concerning future spent-fuel storage issues from the state Legislature to the MPUC. It also allows for additional storage without the requirement of an affirmative vote from the state Legislature, if the NRC extends the licenses of the Prairie Island and Monticello plants and the MPUC grants a certificate of need for such additional storage. It is estimated that operation through the end of the current license will require 12 additional storage casks to be stored at Prairie Island, for a total of 29 casks. In October 2006, the MPUC authorized an on-site storage facility and 30 casks at Monticello, which will allow the plant to operate to 2030. There decision becomes effective June 1, 2007, unless the legislature takes action. As of Dec. 31, 2006, there were 22 casks loaded and stored at the Prairie Island plant. See Note 15 in the Consolidated Financial Statements for further discussion of the matter.

PFS — NSP-Minnesota is part of a consortium of private parties working to establish a private facility for interim storage of spent nuclear fuel. In 1997, PFS filed a license application with the NRC for a temporary storage site for spent nuclear fuel on the Skull Valley Indian Reservation in Utah. On Feb. 28, 2006, the NRC commissioners issued the license for PFS, ending the 8-year effort to gain a license for the site. The license is contingent on the condition that PFS must demonstrate that it has adequate funding before construction may begin. In December 2005, the U.S. Supreme Court denied Utah’s petition for a writ of certiorari to hear an appeal of a lower court’s ruling on a series of state statutes aimed at blocking the

12




storage and transportation of spent fuel to PFS. Also in December 2005, NSP-Minnesota indicated that it would hold in abeyance future investments in the construction of PFS as long as there is apparent and continuing progress in federally sponsored initiatives for storage, reuse, and/or disposal for the nation’s spent nuclear fuel. In September 2006, the Department of the Interior issued two findings: (1) that it would not grant the leases for rail or intermodal sites and (2) that it was revoking its previous Conditional Approval of the site lease between PFS and the Skull Valley Indian tribe even though the conditions had been met. The stated reasons were principally lack of progress at Yucca Mountain and lack of Bureau of Indian Affairs staff to monitor this activity. Both findings are expected to be appealed.

Prairie Island Steam Generator Replacement — Prairie Island Unit 2 steam generators received required inspections during a scheduled 2005 outage. Based on current rates of degradation and available repair processes, NSP-Minnesota plans to replace these steam generators in the 2013 regular refueling outage. Due to the potential shortages in the world markets for materials and shop capabilities, NSP-Minnesota received Xcel Energy board approval in August 2006 to begin the process for long-lead time materials.

NSP-Minnesota Nuclear Plant Re-licensing — Monticello’s current 40-year license expires in 2010, and Prairie Island’s licenses for its two units expire in 2013 and 2014. Monticello’s license renewal was approved by the NRC in November 2006, and the MPUC issued its approval in October 2006 allowing additional spent fuel storage. Minnesota statutes provide that the MPUC decision becomes effective June 1, 2007, which allows the legislature the opportunity to review the MPUC action if considered appropriate. Prairie Island has initiated the necessary plant assessments and aging analysis to support submittal of similar applications to the NRC and the MPUC, currently planned for submittal in early 2008.

Nuclear Plant Power Uprates — At the direction of the MPUC, NSP-Minnesota is pursuing capacity increases of all three units that will total approximately 250 MW, to be implemented, if approved, between 2009 and 2015. The life extension and a capacity increase for Prairie Island Unit 2 is contingent on replacement of Unit 2’s original steam generators, currently planned for replacement during the refueling outage in 2013. Total capital investment for these activities is estimated to be approximately $1 billion between 2006 and 2015. NSP-Minnesota plans to seek approval for an alternative recovery mechanism from customers of its nuclear costs. NSP-Minnesota plans to submit the certificate of need for the Monticello uprate in the second quarter of 2007 and the certificate of need for the Prairie Island uprate in the third quarter of 2007.

NMC — As of Dec. 31, 2006, all members of the NMC, other than Xcel Energy, have chosen to sell their units and exit the NMC. Regarding the remaining members of the NMC, the sales transaction of the CMS Energy Corp. Palisades Nuclear Power Plant is targeted to close in the first quarter of 2007. In December 2006, Wisconsin Electric Power Co., announced its intent to sell its Point Beach Nuclear Plant to FPL Energy, with the sale expected to close in the third or fourth quarter of 2007.

Following consummation of these sale transactions, NSP-Minnesota will be the sole remaining member of the NMC. NSP-Minnesota is evaluating the situation and is considering various alternatives, including transitioning the NMC to a wholly owned subsidiary of Xcel Energy. To facilitate implementation of this option, Xcel Energy plans are progressing to restructure the NMC to support a two-site organization, as well as reabsorb the administrative functions within Xcel Energy by the end of 2007.

For further discussion of nuclear obligations, see Note 15 to the Consolidated Financial Statements.

Fuel Supply and Costs

The following table shows the delivered cost per MMBtu of each significant category of fuel consumed for electric generation, the percentage of total fuel requirements represented by each category of fuel and the total weighted average cost of all fuels.

NSP System

 

Coal*

 

Nuclear

 

Natural Gas

 

Average Fuel

 

Generating Plants

 

 

 

Cost

 

Percent

 

Cost

 

Percent

 

Cost

 

Percent

 

Cost

 

2006

 

 

$

1.12

 

 

59

%

 

$

0.46

 

 

38

%

 

$

7.28

 

 

3

%

 

$

1.08

 

2005

 

 

$

1.04

 

 

60

%

 

$

0.46

 

 

36

%

 

$

8.32

 

 

3

%

 

$

1.11

 

2004

 

 

$

0.99

 

 

61

%

 

$

0.44

 

 

37

%

 

$

6.48

 

 

2

%

 

$

0.92

 


*                       Includes refuse-derived fuel and wood

13




See additional discussion of fuel supply and costs under Factors Affecting Results of Continuing Operations in Management’s Discussion and Analysis under Item 7.

Fuel Sources — Coal inventory levels may vary widely among plants. However, the NSP System normally maintains approximately 30 days of coal inventory at each plant site. Coal supply inventories at Dec. 31, 2006 were approximately 30 days usage, based on the maximum burn rate for all of NSP-Minnesota’s coal-fired plants. Estimated coal requirements at NSP-Minnesota and NSP-Wisconsin’s major coal-fired generating plants are approximately 12.4 million tons per year.

NSP-Minnesota and NSP-Wisconsin have a number of coal transportation contracts that provide for delivery of approximately 99 percent of 2007 coal requirements, 99 percent of 2008 coal requirements and 99 percent of 2009 coal requirements. Coal delivery may be subject to short-term interruptions or reductions due to transportation problems, weather, and availability of equipment.

To operate NSP-Minnesota’s nuclear generating plants, NSP-Minnesota secures contracts for uranium concentrates, uranium conversion, uranium enrichment and fuel fabrication. The contract strategy involves a portfolio of spot purchases and medium- and long-term contracts for uranium, conversion and enrichment with multiple producers and countries to alleviate the current supply/demand imbalance. Due to less availability in the world supply market for uranium, conversion and enrichment, NSP-Minnesota is working toward maintaining a strategic inventory level to decrease its exposure to supply limitations.

·       Current nuclear fuel supply contracts cover 100 percent of uranium concentrates requirements through 2008, approximately 90 percent of the requirements for 2009 and approximately 32 percent of the requirements for 2010 through 2012 with no coverage of requirements for 2013 and beyond. Contracts with additional uranium concentrate suppliers are currently in various stages of negotiations that are expected to provide a portion of the requirements through 2016.

·       Current contracts for conversion services cover 100 percent of the requirements through 2009 and approximately 67 percent of the requirements from 2010 through 2012, with no coverage for 2013 and beyond.

·       Current enrichment services contracts cover 100 percent of 2007 and 2008, and approximately 96 percent of the 2009 requirements. Approximately 50 percent of the 2010 through 2013 enrichment services requirements are currently covered with no coverage of requirements for 2014 and beyond. These current contracts expire at varying times between 2009 and 2013. Contracts with additional enrichment services suppliers are being investigated for coverage from 2010 and beyond.

·       Fuel fabrication for Monticello is covered through 2010. Under a new contract executed in 2006 for fuel fabrication services, Prairie Island’s fuel fabrication is 100 percent committed for six reloads with an option to extend for three additional reloads. The six reloads provide for fabrication services through at least 2013, while adding the optional reloads would provide for fabrication services to at least 2015.

NSP-Minnesota expects sufficient uranium, conversion and enrichment to be available for the total fuel requirements of its nuclear generating plants. Contracts for additional uranium are currently being negotiated that would provide additional supply requirements through 2016. Some exposure to price volatility will remain, due to index-based pricing structures on the contracts.

The NSP System uses both firm and interruptible natural gas and standby oil in combustion turbines and certain boilers. Natural gas supplies for power plants are procured under short-, intermediate- and long-term contracts at liquid trading hubs that expire in various years from 2007 through 2027 in order to provide an adequate supply of fuel. Certain natural gas supply and transportation agreements include obligations for the purchase and/or delivery of specified volumes of natural gas or to make payments in lieu of delivery. At Dec. 31, 2006, NSP-Minnesota’s commitments related to these contracts were approximately $128 million. The NSP System has limited on-site fuel oil storage facilities and relies on the spot market for incremental supplies, if needed.

14




Commodity Marketing Operations

NSP-Minnesota conducts various wholesale marketing operations, including the purchase and sale of electric capacity, energy and energy related products. NSP-Minnesota uses physical and financial instruments to minimize commodity price and credit risk and hedge supplies and purchases. See additional discussion under Item 7A — Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk.

NSP-Wisconsin

Ratemaking Principles

Summary of Regulatory Agencies and Areas of Jurisdiction — Retail rates, services and other aspects of NSP-Wisconsin’s operations are regulated by the PSCW and the MPSC, within their respective states. In addition, each of the state commissions certifies the need for new generating plants and electric transmission lines before the facilities may be sited and built. NSP-Wisconsin is subject to the jurisdiction of the FERC with respect to its wholesale electric operations, accounting practices, wholesale sales for resale and the transmission of electricity in interstate commerce. NSP-Wisconsin has received authorization from the FERC to make wholesale electric sales at market-based prices (see market-based rate authority discussion).

The PSCW has a biennial base-rate filing requirement. By June of each odd-numbered year, NSP-Wisconsin must submit a rate filing for the test year beginning the following January.

Fuel and Purchased Energy Cost Recovery Mechanisms — NSP-Wisconsin does not have an automatic electric fuel adjustment clause for Wisconsin retail customers. Instead, it has a procedure that compares actual monthly and anticipated annual fuel costs with those costs that were included in the latest retail electric rates. If the comparison results in a difference of 2 percent above or below base rates, the PSCW may hold hearings limited to fuel costs and revise rates upward or downward. In 2006 only, the bandwidth was 2 percent above and 0.5 percent below base rates. Any revised rates would remain in effect until the next rate change. The adjustment approved is calculated on an annual basis, but applied prospectively. NSP-Wisconsin’s wholesale electric rate schedules provide for adjustments to billings and revenues for changes in the cost of fuel and purchased energy.

NSP-Wisconsin’s retail electric rate schedules for Michigan customers include power supply cost recovery factors, which are based on 12-month projections. After each 12-month period, a reconciliation is submitted whereby over-collections are refunded and any under-collections are collected from the customers over the subsequent 12-month period.

Capacity and Demand

NSP-Wisconsin operates an integrated system with NSP-Minnesota. See discussion of the system capacity and demand under NSP-Minnesota Capacity and Demand discussed previously.

Energy Sources and Related Initiatives

NSP-Wisconsin operates an integrated system with NSP-Minnesota. See a discussion of the system energy sources under NSP-Minnesota Energy Sources and Related Initiatives discussed previously.

Fuel Supply and Costs

NSP-Wisconsin operates an integrated system with NSP-Minnesota. See a discussion of the system energy sources under NSP-Minnesota Fuel Supply and Costs discussed previously.

PSCo

Ratemaking Principles

Summary of Regulatory Agencies and Areas of Jurisdiction — PSCo is regulated by the CPUC with respect to its facilities, rates, accounts, services and issuance of securities. PSCo is regulated by the FERC with respect to its wholesale electric operations, accounting practices, wholesale sales for resale and the transmission of electricity in interstate commerce.

15




Fuel, Purchased Energy and Conservation Cost Recovery Mechanisms — PSCo has several retail adjustment clauses that recover fuel, purchased energy and other resource costs:

·       ECA — The ECA, effective Jan. 1, 2004, is an incentive adjustment mechanism that compares actual fuel and purchased energy expense in a calendar year to a benchmark formula. The ECA also provides for an $11.25 million cap on any cost sharing over or under an allowed ECA formula rate. The current ECA mechanism expired Dec. 31, 2006. Effective Jan. 1, 2007 the ECA has been modified to include an incentive adjustment to encourage efficient operation of base load coal plants and encourage cost reductions through purchases of economical short-term energy. The total incentive payment to PSCo in any calendar year will not exceed $11.25 million. The ECA mechanism will be revised quarterly and interest will accrue monthly on the average deferred balance. The ECA will expire at the earlier of rates taking effect after Comanche 3 is placed in service or Dec. 31, 2010.

·       PCCA — The PCCA, which became effective June 1, 2004, allows for recovery of purchased capacity payments to certain power suppliers under specifically identified power purchase agreements that are not included in the determination of PSCo’s base electric rates or other recovery mechanisms. Effective Jan. 1, 2007, all prudently incurred purchased capacity costs will be recovered through the PCCA. The PCCA will expire at the earlier of rates taking effect after Comanche 3 is placed in service or Dec. 31, 2010.

·       SCA — The SCA allows PSCo to recover the difference between its actual cost of fuel and the amount of these costs recovered under its base steam service rates. The SCA rate is revised annually on Jan. 1, as well as on an interim basis to coincide with changes in fuel costs.

·       AQIR — The AQIR recovers, over a 15-year period, the incremental cost (including fuel and purchased energy) incurred by PSCo as a result of a voluntary plan, effective Jan. 1, 2003, to reduce emissions and improve air quality in the Denver metro area.

·       DSMCA — The DSMCA clause permits PSCo to recover DSM costs beginning Jan. 1, 2006 over eight years while non-labor incremental expenses and carrying costs associated with deferred DSM costs are recovered on an annual basis. DSM costs incurred prior to Jan. 1, 2006 are recovered over 5 years. PSCo also has a low-income energy assistance program. The costs of this energy conservation and weatherization program for low-income customers are recovered through the DSMCA.

·       Renewable Energy Service Adjustment (RESA)  The RESA recovers costs associated with complying with the provisions of a citizen referred ballot initiative passed in 2004 that establishes a renewable portfolio standard for PSCo’s electric customers. Currently, the RESA recovers the incremental costs of compliance with the renewable energy standard and is set at a level of 0.6 percent of the net costs.

·       Wind Energy Service Adjustment (WESA The WESA provides for the recovery of certain costs associated with the provision of wind energy resources from those customers subscribed as WindSource renewable energy customers.

PSCo recovers fuel and purchased energy costs from its wholesale electric customers through a fuel cost adjustment clause accepted for filing by the FERC.

Performance-Based Regulation and Quality of Service Requirements — PSCo currently operates under an electric and natural gas PBRP. The major components of this regulatory plan include:

·       an electric QSP that provides for bill credits to customers if PSCo does not achieve certain performance targets relating to electric reliability and customer service through 2010; and

·       a natural gas QSP that provides for bill credits to customers if PSCo does not achieve certain performance targets relating to natural gas leak repair time and customer service through 2010.

PSCo regularly monitors and records as necessary an estimated customer refund obligation under the PBRP. In April of each year following the measurement period, PSCo files its proposed rate adjustment under the PBRP. The CPUC conducts proceedings to review and approve these rate adjustments annually.

16




Capacity and Demand

Uninterrupted system peak demand for PSCo’s electric utility for each of the last three years and the forecast for 2007, assuming normal weather, are listed below.

 

 

System Peak Demand (in MW)

 

 

 

2004

 

2005

 

2006

 

2007 Forecast

 

PSCo

 

 

6,483

 

 

6,975

 

 

6,757

 

 

6,751

 

 

The peak demand for PSCo’s system typically occurs in the summer. The 2006 system peak demand for PSCo occurred on July 19, 2006.

Energy Sources and Related Transmission Initiatives

PSCo expects to meet its system capacity requirements through existing electric generating stations, purchases from other utilities, independent power producers and power marketers, new generation facilities, demand-side management options and phased expansion of existing generation at select power plants.

Purchased Power — PSCo has contractual arrangements to purchase power from other utilities and nonregulated energy suppliers. Capacity is the measure of the rate at which a particular generating source produces electricity. Energy is a measure of the amount of electricity produced from a particular generating source over a period of time. Long-term purchase power contracts typically require a periodic payment to secure the capacity from a particular generating source and a charge for the associated energy actually purchased from such generating source.

PSCo also makes short-term purchases to replace generation from company-owned units that are unavailable due to maintenance and unplanned outages, to comply with minimum availability requirements, to obtain energy at a lower cost than that which could be produced by other resource options, including company-owned generation and/or long-term purchase power contracts, and for various other operating requirements.

PSCo Resource Plan — PSCo estimates it will purchase approximately 39 percent of its total electric system energy needs for 2007 and generate the remainder with PSCo-owned resources. Additional capacity has been secured under contract making additional energy available for purchase, if required. PSCo currently has under contract or through owned generation, the resources necessary to meet its anticipated 2007 load obligation.

In 2004, PSCo filed a least-cost resource plan (LCP) with the CPUC. PSCo proposed to meet future resource needs through a combination of utility built generation, DSM, and power purchases. The CPUC approved PSCo’s plan to construct a 750 MW pulverized coal-fired unit at the existing Comanche power station located near Pueblo, Colo. and install additional emission control equipment on the two existing Comanche station units. The CPUC also called for PSCo to acquire the remaining resource needs through an all-source competitive bidding process.

PSCo began construction of the facility in the fall of 2005, which is planned for completion in the fall of 2009. Based on CPUC approval, construction costs are limited for the Comanche 3 project (i.e., the new unit and the emission controls on existing units 1 and 2). The CPUC also approved a regulatory plan that authorizes PSCo to increase the equity component of its capital structure up to 60 percent to offset the debt equivalent value of PSCo’s existing power purchase contracts and to otherwise improve PSCo’s financial strength. Depending upon PSCo’s senior unsecured debt rating during the time of PSCo general rate cases, the approved settlement permits PSCo to include various amounts of construction work in progress that are associated with the Comanche 3 project in rate base without an offset for allowance for funds used during construction.

PSCo has signed agreements with Intermountain Rural Electric Association (IREA) that define the respective rights and obligations of PSCo and IREA in the transfer of capacity ownership in the Comanche 3 unit. PSCo and Holy Cross have agreed to terms for Holy Cross ownership of a share of Comanche 3 and Holy Cross has been making its agreed-upon contributions toward construction of the plant.

For the remaining resource needs, PSCo selected bids for approximately 30 MW of DSM resources, approximately 1,300 MW of gas-fired generation resources and approximately 775 MW of wind generation resources. These bids, together with Comanche 3, and the additional DSM agreed to in the LCP settlement agreement, are expected to meet PSCo’s resource needs through 2012.

Renewable Energy Portfolio Standards — In November 2004, an amendment to the Colorado statutes was passed by referendum requiring implementation of a renewable energy portfolio standard (RES) for electric service. The law requires

17




PSCo to generate, or cause to be generated, a certain level of electricity from eligible renewable resources. During 2006, the CPUC determined that compliance with the RES should be measured through the acquisition of renewable energy credits either with or without the accompanying renewable energy; that the utility purchaser owns the renewable energy credits associated with existing contracts where the power purchase agreement is silent on the issue; that Colorado utilities should be required to file implementation plans and the methods utilities should use for determining the budget available for renewable resources. In April 2006, the CPUC issued rules that establish the process utilities are to follow in implementing the RES. PSCo filed its first annual compliance plan under these rules on Aug. 31, 2006. The plan demonstrates that PSCo is expected to meet the RES beginning in 2007 as required.

On Aug. 31, 2006, PSCo filed with the CPUC an application for approval of its 2007 compliance plan for the RES rules. As a part of its plan, PSCo requested approval to continue its existing 0.60 percent RES adjustment rider. Through its existing resources and contracts entered into in 2006, PSCo anticipates having sufficient non-solar renewable energy resources to meet the standard through at least 2016. In June 2006, PSCo issued a request for proposal to provide solar renewable energy credits and expects to enter into contracts to meet its obligation for on-site solar resources. On Sept. 1, 2006, PSCo executed a twenty-year solar power purchase agreement, which are expected to provide about 16,000 MW hours per year and accompanying solar renewable energy credits beginning in 2008.

RESA — On Dec. 1, 2005, PSCo filed with the CPUC to implement a new one percent rider that would apply to each customer’s total electric bill, providing approximately $22 million in annual revenue. The revenues collected under the RESA will be used to acquire sufficient solar resources to meet the on-site solar system requirements in the Colorado statutes. On Feb. 14, 2006, PSCo and the other parties to the case filed a stipulation agreeing to reduce the RESA rider to 0.60 percent and to provide monthly reports. The RESA rider was approved by the CPUC effective March 1, 2006.

Purchased Transmission Services — PSCo has contractual arrangements with regional transmission service providers to deliver power and energy to PSCo’s native load customers, which are retail and wholesale load obligations with terms of more than one year.

Fuel Supply and Costs

The following table shows the delivered cost per MMBtu of each significant category of fuel consumed for electric generation, the percentage of total fuel requirements represented by each category of fuel and the total weighted average cost of all fuels.

 

 

Coal

 

Natural Gas

 

Average Fuel

 

 

 

Cost

 

Percent

 

Cost

 

Percent

 

Cost

 

2006

 

 

$

1.24

 

 

85

%

 

$

6.52

 

 

15

%

 

$

2.01

 

2005

 

 

$

1.01

 

 

85

%

 

$

7.56

 

 

15

%

 

$

2.00

 

2004

 

 

$

0.89

 

 

87

%

 

$

5.61

 

 

13

%

 

$

1.52

 

 

See additional discussion of fuel supply and costs under Factors Affecting Results of Continuing Operations in Management’s Discussion and Analysis under Item 7.

Fuel Sources — Coal inventory levels may vary widely among plants. However, PSCo normally maintains approximately 30 days of coal inventory at each plant site. Coal supply inventories at Dec. 31, 2006, were approximately 30 days usage, based on the maximum burn rate for all of PSCo’s coal-fired plants. PSCo’s generation stations use low-sulfur western coal purchased primarily under long-term contracts with suppliers operating in Colorado and Wyoming. During 2006, PSCo’s coal requirements for existing plants were approximately 10 million tons.

PSCo has contracted for coal suppliers to supply approximately 98 percent of its coal requirements in 2007, 70 percent of its coal requirements in 2008 and 60 percent of its coal requirements in 2009. Any remaining requirements will be purchased on the spot market.

PSCo has coal transportation contracts that provide for delivery for approximately 100 percent of 2007 coal requirements, 100 percent of 2008 coal requirements and 40 percent of 2009 coal requirements. Coal delivery may be subject to short-term interruptions or reductions due to transportation problems, weather, and availability of equipment.

PSCo uses both firm and interruptible natural gas and standby oil in combustion turbines and certain boilers. Natural gas supplies for PSCo’s power plants are procured under short- and intermediate- term contracts. This natural gas is transported to the plants on various interstate pipeline systems with contracts that expire in various years from 2007 through 2025. Certain natural gas supply and transportation agreements include obligations for the purchase and/or delivery of specified

18




volumes of natural gas or to make payments in lieu of delivery. At Dec. 31, 2006, PSCo’s commitments related to these contracts were approximately $328 million.

Commodity Marketing Operations

PSCo conducts various wholesale marketing operations, including the purchase and sale of electric capacity, energy and energy related products. PSCo uses physical and financial instruments to minimize commodity price and credit risk and hedge supplies and purchases. See additional discussion under Item 7A — Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk.

SPS

Ratemaking Principles

Summary of Regulatory Agencies and Areas of Jurisdiction — The PUCT and NMPRC regulate SPS’ retail operations as an electric utility and have jurisdiction over its retail rates and services and the construction of transmission or generation in their respective states. The municipalities in which SPS operates in Texas have jurisdiction over SPS’ rates in those communities. The NMPRC also has jurisdiction over the issuance of securities. SPS is subject to the jurisdiction of the FERC with respect to its wholesale electric operations, accounting practices, wholesale sales for resale and the transmission of electricity in interstate commerce. SPS has received authorization from the FERC to make wholesale electricity sales at market-based prices, however, as discussed previously, SPS withdrew its market-based rate authority with respect to sales in its own and affiliated operating company control areas.

Fuel, Purchased Energy and Conservation Cost Recovery Mechanisms — Fuel and purchased energy costs are recovered in Texas through a fixed fuel and purchased energy recovery factor, which is part of SPS’ retail electric rates. The Texas retail fuel factors change each November and May based on the projected cost of natural gas.

If it appears that SPS will materially over-recover or under-recover these costs, the factor may be revised upon application by SPS or action by the PUCT. The regulations require refunding or surcharging over- or under-recovery amounts, including interest, when they exceed 4 percent of the utility’s annual fuel and purchased energy costs, if this condition is expected to continue.

PUCT regulations require periodic examination of SPS fuel and purchased energy costs, the efficiency of the use of fuel and purchased energy, fuel acquisition and management policies and purchased energy commitments. SPS is required to file an application for the PUCT to retrospectively review at least every three years the operations of SPS’ electric generation and fuel management activities as it relates to fuel and purchased energy costs.

The NMPRC regulations provide for a fuel and purchased power cost adjustment clause for SPS’ New Mexico retail jurisdiction. SPS files monthly and annual reports of its fuel and purchased power costs with the NMPRC. The NMPRC authorized SPS to implement a monthly adjustment factor.

SPS recovers fuel and purchased energy costs from its wholesale customers through a wholesale fuel and purchased economic energy cost adjustment clause (FCAC) accepted for filing by the FERC.

Capacity and Demand

Uninterrupted system peak demand for SPS for each of the last three years and the forecast for 2007, assuming normal weather, are listed below.

 

 

System Peak Demand (in MW)

 

 

 

2004

 

2005

 

2006

 

2007 Forecast (a)

 

SPS

 

 

4,679

 

 

4,667

 

 

4,711

 

 

4,722

 

 

The peak demand for the SPS system typically occurs in the summer. The 2006 system peak demand for SPS occurred on July 20, 2006.

Energy Sources and Related Transmission Initiatives

SPS expects to use existing electric generating stations, purchases from other utilities, independent power producers and power marketers, and demand-side management options to meet its net dependable system capacity requirements.

19




Purchased Power — SPS has contractual arrangements to purchase power from other utilities and nonregulated energy suppliers. Capacity is the measure of the rate at which a particular generating source produces electricity. Energy is a measure of the amount of electricity produced from a particular generating source over a period of time. Long-term purchase power contracts typically require a periodic payment to secure the capacity from a particular generating source and a charge for the associated energy actually purchased from such generating source.

SPS also makes short-term purchases to replace generation from company-owned units that are unavailable due to maintenance and unplanned outages, to comply with minimum availability requirements, to obtain energy at a lower cost than that which could be produced by other resource options, including company-owned generation and/or long-term purchase power contracts, and for various other operating requirements.

SPS Resource Planning — In June 2006, NMPRC initiated a series of workshops for the purpose of drafting rules for integrated resource planning. In August 2006, workshop participants completed a consensus rule that was forwarded by the Hearing Examiner on Oct. 3, 2006, to the NMPRC for consideration. The proposed rules would apply to jurisdictional electric and gas utilities, such as SPS, that operate within the state. A final rule is expected to be adopted in early 2007.

Purchased Transmission Services — SPS has contractual arrangements with regional transmission service providers to deliver power and energy to the subsidiaries’ native load customers, which are retail and wholesale load obligations with terms of more than one year.

All of the transmission arrangements for the SPS system are through FERC approved Open Access Transmission Tariffs (OATT). SPS also has several transmission arrangements through the SPP OATT. The SPP is a RTO that, among other things, administers an OATT for all its members. SPS’ entire service territory is within the SPP footprint, and SPS is a member of the SPP. The SPP owns no transmission facilities. Rather, the SPP is responsible for ensuring that transmission service across facilities owned by others, including SPS, is made available and used on a reliable and non-discriminatory basis. These OATTs contain policies and procedures for reliable use of the transmission systems for transmission, generation and load variations.

Fuel Supply and Costs

The following table shows the delivered cost per MMBtu of each significant category of fuel consumed for electric generation, the percentage of total fuel requirements represented by each category of fuel and the total weighted average cost of all fuels.

SPS Generating

 

Coal

 

Natural Gas

 

Average Fuel

 

Plants

 

 

 

Cost

 

Percent

 

Cost

 

Percent

 

Cost

 

2006

 

 

$

1.89

 

 

66

%

 

$

6.30

 

 

34

%

 

$

3.38

 

2005

 

 

$

1.32

 

 

68

%

 

$

7.77

 

 

32

%

 

$

3.38

 

2004

 

 

$

1.20

 

 

69

%

 

$

5.74

 

 

31

%

 

$

2.60

 

 

See additional discussion of fuel supply and costs under Factors Affecting Results of Continuing Operations in Management’s Discussion and Analysis under Item 7.

Fuel Sources — SPS purchases all of its coal requirements for its two coal facilities, Harrington and Tolk electric generating stations, from TUCO, Inc. in the form of crushed, ready-to-burn coal delivered to the plant bunkers. TUCO arranges for the purchase, receiving, transporting, unloading, handling, crushing, weighing, and delivery of coal to the plant bunkers to meet SPS’ requirements. TUCO is responsible for negotiating and administering contracts with coal suppliers, transporters, and handlers. For the Harrington station, the coal supply contract with TUCO expires in 2016. For the Tolk station, the coal supply contract with TUCO expires in 2017. At Dec. 31, 2006, coal supplies at the Harrington and Tolk sites were approximately 37 and 37 days supply, respectively. TUCO has coal agreements to supply 100 percent of SPS’ coal requirements in 2007, 2008 and 2009 for the Harrington and Tolk stations. TUCO has long-term contracts for supply of coal in sufficient quantities to meet the primary needs of the Harrington and Tolk stations.

SPS uses both firm and interruptible natural gas and standby oil in combustion turbines and certain boilers. Natural gas suppliers for SPS’ power plants are procured under short- and intermediate-term contracts to provide an adequate supply of fuel. These contracts expire in various years from 2007 through 2011. Certain natural gas supply and transportation agreements include obligations for the purchase and/or delivery of specified volumes of natural gas or to make payments in lieu of delivery. At Dec. 31, 2006, SPS’ commitments related to these contracts were approximately $30 million.

20




Commodity Marketing Operations

SPS conducts various wholesale marketing operations, including the purchase and sale of electric capacity, energy and energy related products. SPS uses physical and financial instruments to minimize commodity price and credit risk and hedge supplies and purchases. See additional discussion under Item 7A — Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk.

Xcel Energy Electric Operating Statistics

 

 

Year Ended Dec. 31,

 

 

 

2006

 

2005

 

2004

 

Electric Sales (Millions of Kwh)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Residential

 

 

24,153

 

 

23,930

 

 

22,828

 

Commercial and Industrial

 

 

61,314

 

 

60,049

 

 

58,192

 

Public Authorities and Other

 

 

1,118

 

 

1,091

 

 

1,133

 

Total Retail

 

 

86,585

 

 

85,070

 

 

82,153

 

Sales for Resale

 

 

23,960

 

 

22,194

 

 

22,521

 

Total Energy Sold

 

 

110,545

 

 

107,264

 

 

104,674

 

Number of Customers at End of Period

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Residential

 

 

2,831,704

 

 

2,791,859

 

 

2,800,338

 

Commercial and Industrial

 

 

403,678

 

 

400,035

 

 

401,744

 

Public Authorities and Other

 

 

73,279

 

 

75,937

 

 

79,777

 

Total Retail

 

 

3,308,661

 

 

3,267,831

 

 

3,281,859

 

Wholesale

 

 

138

 

 

128

 

 

206

 

Total Customers

 

 

3,308,799

 

 

3,267,959

 

 

3,282,065

 

Electric Revenues (Thousands of Dollars)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Residential

 

 

$

2,149,978

 

 

$

2,048,100

 

 

$

1,791,606

 

Commercial and Industrial

 

 

4,014,809

 

 

3,733,648

 

 

3,203,629

 

Public Authorities and Other

 

 

118,660

 

 

110,895

 

 

106,657

 

Total Retail

 

 

6,283,447

 

 

5,892,643

 

 

5,101,892

 

Wholesale

 

 

1,141,248

 

 

1,193,762

 

 

1,011,210

 

Other Electric Revenues

 

 

183,323

 

 

157,232

 

 

112,143

 

Total Electric Revenues

 

 

$

7,608,018

 

 

$

7,243,637

 

 

$

6,225,245

 

Kwh Sales per Retail Customer

 

 

26,169

 

 

26,033

 

 

25,032

 

Revenue per Retail Customer

 

 

$

1,899.09

 

 

$

1,803.23

 

 

$

1,554.57

 

Residential Revenue per Kwh

 

 

8.90

¢

 

8.56

¢

 

7.85

¢

Commercial and Industrial Revenue per Kwh

 

 

6.55

¢

 

6.22

¢

 

5.51

¢

Wholesale Revenue per Kwh

 

 

4.76

¢

 

5.38

¢

 

4.49

¢

 

NATURAL GAS UTILITY OPERATIONS

Natural Gas Utility Trends

The most significant recent developments in the natural gas operations of the utility subsidiaries were the continued volatility in wholesale natural gas market prices and the continued trend toward declining use per customer by residential customers as a result of improved building construction technologies and higher appliance efficiencies. From 1996 to 2006, average annual sales to the typical residential customer declined from 103 MMBtu per year to 82 MMBtu per year on a weather-normalized basis. Although recent wholesale price increases do not directly affect earnings because of natural gas cost recovery mechanisms, the high prices are expected to encourage further efficiency efforts by customers.

NSP-Minnesota

Ratemaking Principles

Summary of Regulatory Agencies and Areas of Jurisdiction — Retail rates, services and other aspects of NSP-Minnesota’s operations are regulated by the MPUC and the NDPSC within their respective states. The MPUC has regulatory authority over aspects of NSP-Minnesota’s financial activities, including security issuances, certain property transfers, mergers with other utilities and transactions between NSP-Minnesota and its affiliates. In addition, the MPUC reviews and approves NSP-Minnesota’s natural gas supply plans for meeting customers’ future energy needs.

21




Purchased Gas and Conservation Cost Recovery Mechanisms — NSP-Minnesota’s retail natural gas rates for Minnesota and North Dakota include a PGA clause that provides for prospective monthly rate adjustments to reflect the forecasted cost of purchased natural gas. The annual difference between the natural gas costs collected through PGA rates and the actual natural gas costs are collected or refunded over the subsequent 12-month period. The MPUC and NDPSC have the authority to disallow recovery of certain costs if they find the utility was not prudent in its procurement activities.

NSP-Minnesota is required by Minnesota law to spend a minimum of 0.5 percent of Minnesota natural gas revenue on conservation improvement programs. These costs are recovered through an annual cost recovery mechanism for natural gas conservation and energy management program expenditures. NSP-Minnesota is required to request a new cost recovery level annually.

Capability and Demand

Natural gas supply requirements are categorized as firm or interruptible (customers with an alternate energy supply). The maximum daily send-out (firm and interruptible) for NSP-Minnesota was 601,336 MMBtu for 2006, which occurred on Feb. 17, 2006.

NSP-Minnesota purchases natural gas from independent suppliers. These purchases are generally priced based on market indices that reflect current prices. The natural gas is delivered under natural gas transportation agreements with interstate pipelines. These agreements provide for firm deliverable pipeline capacity of 526,013 MMBtu/day. In addition, NSP-Minnesota has contracted with providers of underground natural gas storage services. These storage agreements provide storage for approximately 30 percent of winter natural gas requirements and 37 percent of peak day, firm requirements of NSP-Minnesota.

NSP-Minnesota also owns and operates one LNG plant with a storage capacity of 2.13 Bcf equivalent and three propane-air plants with a storage capacity of 1.4 Bcf equivalent to help meet its peak requirements. These peak-shaving facilities have production capacity equivalent to 250,300 MMBtu of natural gas per day, or approximately 34 percent of peak day firm requirements. LNG and propane-air plants provide a cost-effective alternative to annual fixed pipeline transportation charges to meet the peaks caused by firm space heating demand on extremely cold winter days.

NSP-Minnesota is required to file for a change in natural gas supply contract levels to meet peak demand, to redistribute demand costs among classes, or to exchange one form of demand for another. The 2006-2007 entitlement levels are pending MPUC action.

Natural Gas Supply and Costs

NSP-Minnesota actively seeks natural gas supply, transportation and storage alternatives to yield a diversified portfolio that provides increased flexibility, decreased interruption and financial risk, and economical rates. In addition, NSP-Minnesota conducts natural gas price hedging activity that has been approved by the MPUC. This diversification involves numerous domestic and Canadian supply sources with varied contract lengths.

The following table summarizes the average delivered cost per MMBtu of natural gas purchased for resale by NSP-Minnesota’s regulated retail natural gas distribution business:

2006

 

$

8.32

 

2005

 

$

8.90

 

2004

 

$

6.88

 

 

The cost of natural gas supply, transportation service and storage service is recovered through the PGA cost recovery mechanism.

NSP-Minnesota has firm natural gas transportation contracts with several pipelines, which expire in various years from 2007 through 2027.

NSP-Minnesota has certain natural gas supply, transportation and storage agreements that include obligations for the purchase and/or delivery of specified volumes of natural gas or to make payments in lieu of delivery. At Dec. 31, 2006, NSP-Minnesota was committed to approximately $722 million in such obligations under these contracts.

NSP-Minnesota purchases firm natural gas supply utilizing long-term and short-term agreements from approximately 25 domestic and Canadian suppliers. This diversity of suppliers and contract lengths allows NSP-Minnesota to maintain competition from suppliers and minimize supply costs.

22




See additional discussion of natural gas costs under Factors Affecting Results of Continuing Operations in Management’s Discussion and Analysis under Item 7.

NSP-Wisconsin

Ratemaking Principles

Summary of Regulatory Agencies and Areas of Jurisdiction — NSP-Wisconsin is regulated by the PSCW and the MPSC.

The PSCW has a biennial base-rate filing requirement. By June of each odd-numbered year, NSP-Wisconsin must submit a rate filing for the test year period beginning the following January. The filing procedure and review generally allow the PSCW sufficient time to issue an order and implement new base rates effective with the start of the test year.

Natural Gas Cost Recovery Mechanisms — NSP-Wisconsin has a retail PGA natural gas cost recovery mechanism for Wisconsin operations to recover changes in the actual cost of natural gas and transportation and storage services. The PSCW has the authority to disallow certain costs if it finds the utility was not prudent in its procurement activities.

NSP-Wisconsin’s natural gas rate schedules for Michigan customers include a natural gas cost recovery factor, which is based on 12-month projections. After each 12-month period, a reconciliation is submitted whereby over-collections are refunded and any under-collections are collected from the customers over the subsequent 12-month period.

Capability and Demand

Natural gas supply requirements are categorized as firm or interruptible (customers with an alternate energy supply). The maximum daily send-out (firm and interruptible) for NSP-Wisconsin was 135,362 MMBtu for 2006, which occurred on Feb. 17, 2006.

NSP-Wisconsin purchases natural gas from independent suppliers. These purchases are generally priced based on market indices that reflect current prices. The natural gas is delivered under natural gas transportation agreements with interstate pipelines. These agreements provide for firm deliverable pipeline capacity of approximately 130,887 MMBtu/day. In addition, NSP-Wisconsin has contracted with providers of underground natural gas storage services. These storage agreements provide storage for approximately 27 percent of winter natural gas requirements and 27 percent of peak day, firm requirements of NSP-Wisconsin.

NSP-Wisconsin also owns and operates one LNG plant with a storage capacity of 270,000 Mcf equivalent and one propane-air plant with a storage capacity of 2,700 Mcf equivalent to help meet its peak requirements. These peak-shaving facilities have production capacity equivalent to 18,408 MMBtu of natural gas per day, or approximately 14 percent of peak day firm requirements. LNG and propane-air plants provide a cost-effective alternative to annual fixed pipeline transportation charges to meet the peaks caused by firm space heating demand on extremely cold winter days.

NSP-Wisconsin is required to file a natural gas supply plan with the PSCW annually to change natural gas supply contract levels to meet peak demand. NSP-Wisconsin’s winter 2006-2007 supply plan was approved by the PSCW in October 2006.

Natural Gas Supply and Costs

NSP-Wisconsin actively seeks natural gas supply, transportation and storage alternatives to yield a diversified portfolio that provides increased flexibility, decreased interruption and financial risk, and economical rates. In addition, NSP-Wisconsin conducts natural gas price hedging activity that has been approved by the PSCW. This diversification involves numerous domestic and Canadian supply sources with varied contract lengths.

The following table summarizes the average delivered cost per MMBtu of natural gas purchased for resale by NSP-Wisconsin’s regulated retail natural gas distribution business:

2006

 

$

8.42

 

2005

 

$

8.64

 

2004

 

$

7.00

 

 

The cost of natural gas supply, transportation service and storage service is recovered through various cost recovery adjustment mechanisms.

NSP-Wisconsin has firm natural gas transportation contracts with several pipelines, which expire in various years from 2007 through 2027.

23




NSP-Wisconsin has certain natural gas supply, transportation and storage agreements that include obligations for the purchase and/or delivery of specified volumes of natural gas or to make payments in lieu of delivery. At Dec. 31, 2006, NSP-Wisconsin was committed to approximately $127 million in such obligations under these contracts.

NSP-Wisconsin purchased firm natural gas supply utilizing short-term agreements from approximately 25 domestic and Canadian suppliers. This diversity of suppliers and contract lengths allows NSP-Wisconsin to maintain competition from suppliers and minimize supply costs.

See additional discussion of natural gas costs under Factors Affecting Results of Continuing Operations in Management’s Discussion and Analysis under Item 7.

PSCo

Ratemaking Principles

Summary of Regulatory Agencies and Areas of Jurisdiction — PSCo is regulated by the CPUC with respect to its facilities, rates, accounts, services and issuance of securities. PSCo holds a FERC certificate that allows it to transport natural gas in interstate commerce without PSCo becoming subject to full FERC jurisdiction under the federal Natural Gas Act.

Purchased Gas and Conservation Cost Recovery Mechanisms — PSCo has two retail adjustment clauses that recover purchased gas and other resource costs:

·       GCA — The GCA mechanism allows PSCo to recover its actual costs of purchased gas, including costs for upstream pipeline services PSCo incurs to meet the requirements of its local distribution system customers. The GCA is revised monthly to allow for changes in gas rates.

·       DSMCA — PSCo has a low-income energy assistance program. The costs of this energy conservation and weatherization program for low-income customers are recovered through the gas DSMCA.

Performance-Based Regulation and Quality of Service Requirements  The CPUC established a combined electric and natural gas quality of service plan. See further discussion under Item 1, Electric Utility Operations.

Capability and Demand

PSCo projects peak day natural gas supply requirements for firm sales and backup transportation, which include transportation customers contracting for firm supply backup, to be 1,816,362 MMBtu. In addition, firm transportation customers hold 534,761 MMBtu of capacity for PSCo without supply backup. Total firm delivery obligation for PSCo is 2,351,123 MMBtu per day. The maximum daily deliveries for PSCo in 2006 for firm and interruptible services were 1,872,640 MMBtu on Feb. 17, 2006.

PSCo purchases natural gas from independent suppliers. These purchases are generally priced based on market indices that reflect current prices. The natural gas is delivered under natural gas transportation agreements with interstate pipelines. These agreements provide for firm deliverable pipeline capacity of approximately 1,618,864 MMBtu/day, which includes 831,866 MMBtu of supplies held under third-party underground storage agreements. In addition, PSCo operates three company-owned underground storage facilities, which provide about 40,000 MMBtu of natural gas supplies on a peak day. The balance of the quantities required to meet firm peak day sales obligations are primarily purchased at PSCo’s city gate meter stations and a small amount is received directly from wellhead sources.

PSCo has closed the Leyden Storage Field and is in the monitoring phase of the abandonment process, which is expected to continue until December 2007. See further discussion under Item 1, Environmental Matters.

PSCo is required by CPUC regulations to file a natural gas purchase plan by June of each year projecting and describing the quantities of natural gas supplies, upstream services and the costs of those supplies and services for the period beginning July 1 through June 30 of the following year. PSCo is also required to file a natural gas purchase report by October of each year reporting actual quantities and costs incurred for natural gas supplies and upstream services for the 12-month period ending the previous June 30.

Natural Gas Supply and Costs

PSCo actively seeks natural gas supply, transportation and storage alternatives to yield a diversified portfolio that provides increased flexibility, decreased interruption and financial risk, and economical rates. In addition, PSCo conducts natural gas

24




price hedging activities that have been approved by the CPUC. This diversification involves numerous supply sources with varied contract lengths.

The following table summarizes the average delivered cost per MMBtu of natural gas purchased for resale by PSCo’s regulated retail natural gas distribution business:

2006

 

$

7.09

 

2005

 

$

8.01

 

2004

 

$

6.30

 

 

PSCo has certain natural gas supply, transportation and storage agreements that include obligations for the purchase and/or delivery of specified volumes of natural gas or to make payments in lieu of delivery. At Dec. 31, 2006, PSCo was committed to approximately $1.2 billion in such obligations under these contracts, which expire in various years from 2007 through 2025.

PSCo purchases natural gas by optimizing a balance of long-term and short-term natural gas purchases, firm transportation and natural gas storage contracts. During 2006, PSCo purchased natural gas from approximately 37 suppliers.

See additional discussion of natural gas costs under Factors Affecting Results of Continuing Operations in Management’s Discussion and Analysis under Item 7.

Xcel Energy Gas Operating Statistics

 

 

Year Ended Dec. 31,

 

 

 

2006

 

2005

 

2004

 

Gas Deliveries (Thousands of MMBtu)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Residential

 

126,846

 

135,794

 

134,512

 

Commercial and Industrial

 

81,107

 

83,667

 

86,053

 

Total Retail

 

207,953

 

219,461

 

220,565

 

Transportation and Other

 

135,708

 

134,061

 

116,593

 

Total Deliveries

 

343,661

 

353,522

 

337,158

 

Number of Customers at End of Period

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Residential

 

1,669,747

 

1,636,652

 

1,612,047

 

Commercial and Industrial

 

147,614

 

145,067

 

145,153

 

Total Retail

 

1,817,361

 

1,781,719

 

1,757,200

 

Transportation and Other

 

3,981

 

3,764

 

3,544

 

Total Customers

 

1,821,342

 

1,785,483

 

1,760,744

 

Gas Revenues (Thousands of Dollars)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Residential

 

$

1,330,025

 

$

1,450,316

 

$

1,180,120

 

Commercial and Industrial

 

755,204

 

794,230

 

660,227

 

Total Retail

 

2,085,229

 

2,244,546

 

1,840,347

 

Transportation and Other

 

70,770

 

62,839

 

75,167

 

Total Gas Revenues

 

$

2,155,999

 

$

2,307,385

 

$

1,915,514

 

MMBtu Sales per Retail Customer

 

114.43

 

123.17

 

125.52

 

Revenue per Retail Customer

 

$

1,147.39

 

$

1,259.76

 

$

1,047.32

 

Residential Revenue per MMBtu

 

$

10.49

 

$

10.68

 

$

8.77

 

Commercial and Industrial Revenue per MMBtu

 

$

9.31

 

$

9.49

 

$

7.67

 

Transportation and Other Revenue per MMBtu

 

$

0.52

 

$

0.47

 

$

0.63

 

 

ENVIRONMENTAL MATTERS

Certain of Xcel Energy’s subsidiary facilities are regulated by federal and state environmental agencies. These agencies have jurisdiction over air emissions, water quality, wastewater discharges, solid wastes and hazardous substances. Various company activities require registrations, permits, licenses, inspections and approvals from these agencies. Xcel Energy has received all necessary authorizations for the construction and continued operation of its generation, transmission and distribution systems. Company facilities have been designed and constructed to operate in compliance with applicable environmental standards.

Xcel Energy and its subsidiaries strive to comply with all environmental regulations applicable to its operations. However, it is not possible to determine when or to what extent additional facilities or modifications of existing or planned facilities will

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be required as a result of changes to environmental regulations, interpretations or enforcement policies or, what effect future laws or regulations may have upon Xcel Energy’s operations. For more information on environmental contingencies, see Notes 14 and 15 to the Consolidated Financial Statements, environmental matters in Management’s Discussion and Analysis under Item 7 and the matters discussed below.

Leyden Gas Storage Facility — In February 2001, the CPUC approved PSCo’s plan to abandon the Leyden natural gas storage facility (Leyden) after 40 years of operation. In July 2001, the CPUC decided that the recovery of all Leyden costs would be addressed in a future rate proceeding when all costs were known. In 2003, PSCo began flooding the facility with water, as part of an overall plan to convert Leyden into a municipal water storage facility owned and operated by the city of Arvada, Colo. In August 2003, the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (COGCC) approved the closure plan, the last formal regulatory approval necessary before conversion. On Dec. 31, 2005, PSCo’s leases of the Leyden properties were terminated and the city of Arvada took custody of the facility. PSCo is obligated to monitor the site for two years after closure. As of Dec. 31, 2005, PSCo has incurred approximately $5.7 million of costs associated with engineering buffer studies, damage claims paid to landowners and other initial closure costs. PSCo has accrued an additional $0.2 million of costs expected to be incurred through 2006 to complete the decommissioning and closure of the facility. PSCo has deferred these costs as a regulatory asset. In May 2005, PSCo filed a natural gas rate case with the CPUC requesting recovery of the Leyden costs totaling $4.8 million to be amortized over four years. Xcel Energy has reached a settlement agreement with the parties in the case. The CPUC approved the settlement agreement on Jan. 19, 2006, and the final order became effective on Feb. 3, 2006. In November 2006, PSCo filed a natural gas rate case with the CPUC requesting recovery of additional Leyden costs, plus unrecovered amounts previously authorized from the last rate case, which amounted to $5.9 million to be amortized over four years. The total amount PSCo is requesting be recovered from customers is $7.7 million.

CAPITAL SPENDING AND FINANCING

For a discussion of expected capital expenditures and funding sources, see Management’s Discussion and Analysis under Item 7.

EMPLOYEES

The number of full-time Xcel Energy employees in continuing operations at Dec. 31, 2006, is presented in the table below. Of the full-time employees listed below, 5,411 or 56 percent, are covered under collective bargaining agreements.

NSP-Minnesota*

 

2,595

 

NSP-Wisconsin

 

527

 

PSCo

 

2,589

 

SPS

 

1,072

 

Xcel Energy Services Inc.

 

2,949

 

Other subsidiaries

 

3

 

Total

 

9,735

 

 


*                       NSP-Minnesota full-time employees include 420 employees loaned to the NMC. In addition, the NMC has 651 full-time employees of its own.

EXECUTIVE OFFICERS

Richard C. Kelly, 60, Chairman of the Board, Xcel Energy Inc., December 2005 to present; Chief Executive Officer, Xcel Energy Inc., July 2005 to present; President, Xcel Energy Inc., October 2003 to present. Previously, Chief Operating Officer, Xcel Energy Inc., October 2003 to June 2005, Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, Xcel Energy Inc., August 2002 to October 2003 and President — Enterprises Business Unit, Xcel Energy, August 2000 to August 2002.

Paul J. Bonavia, 55, President — Utilities Group, Xcel Energy Inc., November 2005 to present; Vice President, Xcel Energy Services Inc., September 2000 to present. Previously, President — Commercial Enterprises Business Unit, Xcel Energy, December 2003 to October 2005 and President — Energy Markets Business Unit, Xcel Energy, August 2000 to December 2003.

Benjamin G.S. Fowke III, 48, Chief Financial Officer, Xcel Energy Inc., October 2003 to present; Vice President, Xcel Energy Inc., November 2002 to present. Previously, Treasurer, Xcel Energy Inc., November 2002 to May 2004 and Vice President and Chief Financial Officer — Energy Markets Business Unit, Xcel Energy, August 2000 to November 2002.

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David L. Eves 46, President and Director, SPS, December 2006 to present; Chief Executive Officer, SPS, August 2006 to present. Previously, Vice President of Resource Planning and Acquisition, Xcel Energy, November 2002 to July 2006 and Managing Director, Resource Planning and Acquisition, Xcel Energy, August 2000 to November 2002.

Raymond E. Gogel, 56, Vice President, Xcel Energy Services Inc., April 2002 to present; Vice President Customer and Enterprise Solutions Group, Chief Human Resource Officer and Chief Administrative Officer, November 2005 to present. Previously, Chief Information Officer, Xcel Energy Services Inc., April 2002 to February 2006; Vice President and Senior Client Services Principal, IBM Global Services, April 2001 to April 2002 and Senior Project Executive, IBM Global Services, April 1999 to April 2001.

Cathy J. Hart, 57, Vice President and Corporate Secretary, Xcel Energy Inc., August 2000 to present; Vice President, Corporate Services Group, November 2005 to present.

Gary R. Johnson, 60, Vice President and General Counsel, Xcel Energy Inc., August 2000 to present.

Cynthia L. Lesher, 58, President of the Minnesota host committee for the Republican National Convention as a loaned executive to the convention organization, January 2007 to present. President and Chief Executive Officer, NSP-Minnesota, October 2005 to present. Previously, Chief Administrative Officer, Xcel Energy, August 2000 to October 2005 and Chief Human Resources Officer, Xcel Energy, July 2001 to October 2005.

Teresa S. Madden, 50, Vice President and Controller, Xcel Energy Inc., January 2004 to present. Previously, Vice President of Finance — Customer and Field Operations Business Unit, Xcel Energy, August 2003 to January 2004, Interim CFO, Rogue Wave Software, Inc., February 2003 to July 2003 and Corporate Controller, Rogue Wave Software, Inc., October 2000 to February 2003.

Michael L. Swenson, 56, President and Chief Executive Officer, NSP-Wisconsin, February 2002 to present. Previously, State Vice President for North Dakota and South Dakota, August 2000 to February 2002.

George E. Tyson II, 41, Vice President and Treasurer, Xcel Energy Inc., May 2004 to present. Previously, Managing Director and Assistant Treasurer, Xcel Energy, July 2003 to May 2004; Director of Origination — Energy Markets Business Unit, Xcel Energy, May 2002 to July 2003; Associate and Vice President, Deutsche Bank Securities, December 1996 to April 2002.

Patricia K. Vincent, 48, President and Chief Executive Officer, PSCo, October 2005 to present. Previously, President — Customer and Field Operations Business Unit, Xcel Energy, July 2003 to October 2005, President — Retail Business Unit, Xcel Energy, March 2001 to July 2003 and Vice President of Marketing and Sales, Xcel Energy Services Inc., August 2000 to March 2001.

David M. Wilks, 60, Vice President, Xcel Energy Services Inc., September 2000 to present; President — Energy Supply Group, Xcel Energy Inc., August 2000 to present.

David M. Sparby, 52, Executive Vice President and Director, Acting President and Chief Executive Officer, NSP-Minnesota, January 2007 to present; Previously, Vice President, Government and Regulatory Affairs, Xcel Energy Services Inc., September 2000 to January 2007.

No family relationships exist between any of the executive officers or directors.

Item 1A — Risk Factors

Risks Associated with Our Business

Our profitability depends in part on the ability of our utility subsidiaries to recover their costs from their customers and there may be changes in circumstances or in the regulatory environment that impair the ability of our utility subsidiaries to recover costs from their customers.

We are subject to comprehensive regulation by several federal and state utility regulatory agencies. The utility commissions in the states where our utility subsidiaries operate regulate many aspects of our utility operations, including siting and construction of facilities, customer service and the rates that we can charge customers.  The FERC has jurisdiction, among other things, over wholesale rates for electric transmission service and the sale of electric energy in interstate commerce.

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The profitability of our utility operations is dependent on our ability to recover costs related to providing energy and utility services to our customers.  Our utility subsidiaries currently provide service at rates approved by one or more regulatory commissions.  These rates are generally regulated based on an analysis of the utility’s expenses incurred in a test year.  Thus, the rates a utility is allowed to charge may or may not match its expenses at any given time.  While rate regulation is premised on providing a reasonable opportunity to earn a reasonable rate of return on invested capital, there can be no assurance that the applicable regulatory commission will judge all the costs of our utility subsidiaries to have been prudently incurred or that the regulatory process in which rates are determined will always result in rates that will produce full recovery of such costs.   Rising fuel costs could increase the risk that our utility subsidiaries will not be able to fully recover their under-recovered fuel costs from their customers.  Furthermore, there could be changes in the regulatory environment that would impair the ability of our utility subsidiaries to recover costs historically collected from their customers.  If all of the costs of our utility subsidiaries are not recovered through customer rates, they could incur financial operating losses, which, over the long term, could jeopardize their ability to pay us dividends and our ability to meet our financial obligations.

We are unable to predict the impact on our operating results from the future regulatory activities of any of these agencies. Changes in regulations or the imposition of additional regulations could have an adverse impact on our results of operations and hence could materially and adversely affect our ability to meet our financial obligations, including paying dividends on our common stock.

Any reductions in our credit ratings could increase our financing costs and the cost of maintaining certain contractual relationships.

We cannot be assured that any of our current ratings or our subsidiaries’ ratings will remain in effect for any given period of time or that a rating will not be lowered or withdrawn entirely by a rating agency if, in its judgment, circumstances in the future so warrant.  In addition, our credit ratings may change as a result of the differing methodologies or change in the methodologies used by the various rating agencies.  For example, Standard and Poor’s calculates an imputed debt associated with capacity payments from purchased power contracts.   An increase in the overall level of capacity payments would increase the amount of imputed debt, based on Standard and Poor’s methodology.  Therefore, Xcel Energy and its subsidiaries credit ratings could be adversely affected based on the level of capacity payments associated with purchased power contracts or changes in how imputed debt is determined.  Any downgrade could lead to higher borrowing costs.

We are subject to commodity risks and other risks associated with energy markets.

We engage in wholesale sales and purchases of electric capacity, energy and energy-related products and are subject to market supply and commodity price risk.  Commodity price changes can affect the value of our commodity trading derivatives.  We mark certain derivatives to estimated fair market value on a daily basis (mark-to-market accounting), which may cause earnings variability. We utilize quoted market prices to the maximum extent possible in determining the value of these derivative commodity instruments.  For positions for which market prices are not available, we utilize models based on forward price curves. These models incorporate estimates and assumptions as to a variety of factors such as pricing relationships between various energy commodities and geographic locations. Actual experience can vary significantly from these estimates and assumptions and significant changes from our assumptions could cause significant earnings variability.

If we encounter market supply shortages, we may be unable to fulfill contractual obligations to our retail, wholesale and other customers at previously authorized or anticipated costs.  Any such supply shortages could cause us to seek alternative supply services at potentially higher costs or suffer increased liability for unfulfilled contractual obligations.  Any significantly higher energy or fuel costs relative to corresponding sales commitments would have a negative impact on our cash flows and could potentially result in economic losses.

We are subject to interest rate risk.

If interest rates increase, we may incur increased interest expense on variable interest debt or short-term borrowings, which could have an adverse impact on our operating results.

We are subject to credit risks.

Credit risk includes the risk that counterparties that owe us money or product will breach their obligations. Should the counterparties to these arrangements fail to perform, we may be forced to enter into alternative arrangements. In that event, our financial results could be adversely affected and we could incur losses.

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Our subsidiary, PSCo, has received a notice from the IRS proposing to disallow certain interest expense deductions that PSCo claimed under a COLI policy. Should the IRS ultimately prevail on this issue, our liquidity position and financial results could be materially adversely affected.

PSCo’s wholly owned subsidiary PSR Investments, Inc. (PSRI) owns and manages permanent life insurance policies on some of PSCo’s employees, known as COLI. At various times, borrowings have been made against the cash values of these COLI policies and deductions taken on the interest expense on these borrowings. The IRS has challenged the deductibility of such interest expense deductions and has disallowed the deductions taken in tax years 1993 through 2003.

In April 2004, Xcel Energy filed a lawsuit against the U.S. government in the U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota to establish its right to deduct the interest expense that had accrued during tax years 1993 and 1994 on policy loans related to the COLI policies.

After Xcel Energy filed this suit, the IRS sent two statutory notices of deficiency of tax, penalty and interest for 1995 through 1999. Xcel Energy has filed U.S. Tax Court petitions challenging those notices. Xcel Energy anticipates the dispute relating to its interest expense deductions will be resolved in the refund suit that is pending in the Minnesota Federal District Court and the Tax Court petitions will be held in abeyance pending the outcome of the refund litigation. In the third quarter of 2006, Xcel Energy also received a statutory notice of deficiency from the IRS for tax years 2000 through 2002 and timely filed a Tax Court petition challenging the denial of the COLI interest expense deductions for those years.

On Oct. 12, 2005, the district court denied Xcel Energy’s motion for summary judgment on the grounds that there were disputed issues of material fact that required a trial for resolution. At the same time, the district court denied the government’s motion for summary judgment that was based on its contention that PSCo had lacked an insurable interest in the lives of the employees insured under the COLI policies. However, the district court granted Xcel Energy’s motion for partial summary judgment on the grounds that PSCo did have the requisite insurable interest.

On May 5, 2006, Xcel Energy filed a second motion for summary judgment. On Aug. 18, 2006, the U.S. government filed a second motion for summary judgment.  On Feb. 14, 2007, the Magistrate Judge issued his Report and Recommendation (R&R) to the Judge concerning both motions. In his R&R the Magistrate Judge recommends both motions be denied due to fact issues in dispute. Both parties will have an opportunity to file objections by March 5, 2007 to the Magistrate Judge’s recommendations. The Judge will then have broad authority to, among other things, accept or reject the recommendations in whole or in part.  If both sides’ motions are ultimately denied, a trial is set to begin on July 24, 2007.

Xcel Energy believes that the tax deduction for interest expense on the COLI policy loans is in full compliance with the tax law. Accordingly, PSRI has not recorded any provision for income tax or related interest or penalties, and has continued to take deductions for interest expense on policy loans on its income tax returns for subsequent years. The litigation could require several years to reach final resolution. Defense of Xcel Energy’s position may require significant cash outlays, which may or may not be recoverable in a court proceeding. The ultimate resolution of this matter is uncertain and could have a material adverse effect on Xcel Energy’s financial position, results of operations and cash flows.

Should the IRS ultimately prevail on this issue, tax and interest payable through Dec. 31, 2006, would reduce earnings by an estimated $421 million. Xcel Energy has received formal notification that the IRS will seek penalties. If penalties (plus associated interest) also are included, the total exposure through Dec. 31, 2006, is approximately $499 million. In addition, Xcel Energy’s annual earnings for 2007 would be reduced by approximately $49 million, after tax, or 11 cents per share, if COLI interest expense deductions were no longer available.

We are subject to environmental laws and regulations, compliance with which could be difficult and costly.

We are subject to a number of environmental laws and regulations that affect many aspects of our past, present and future operations, including air emissions, water quality, wastewater discharges and the management of wastes and hazardous substances.  These laws and regulations generally require us to obtain and comply with a wide variety of environmental registrations, licenses, permits, inspections and other approvals.  Environmental laws and regulations can also require us to restrict or limit the output of certain facilities or the use of certain fuels, to install pollution control equipment at our facilities, clean up spills and correct environmental hazards and other contamination.  Both public officials and private individuals may seek to enforce the applicable environmental laws and regulations against us.  We must pay all or a portion of the cost to remediate (i.e. clean-up) sites where our past activities, or the activities of certain other parties, caused environmental contamination.  At Dec. 31, 2006, these sites included:

·       the sites of former manufactured gas plants operated by our subsidiaries or predecessors; and

29




·       third party sites, such as landfills, to which we are alleged to be a potentially responsible party that sent hazardous materials and wastes.

In addition, existing environmental laws or regulations may be revised, new laws or regulations seeking to protect the environment may be adopted or become applicable to us and we may incur additional unanticipated obligations or liabilities under existing environmental laws and regulations.  Revised or additional laws or regulations which result in increased compliance costs or additional operating restrictions, or currently unanticipated costs or restrictions under existing laws or regulations, particularly if those costs are not fully recoverable from our customers, could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations.

For further discussion see Note 14 to the Consolidated Financial Statements.

Our subsidiary, NSP-Minnesota, is subject to the risks of nuclear generation.

NSP-Minnesota’s two nuclear stations, Prairie Island and Monticello, subject it to the risks of nuclear generation, which include:

·       the risks associated with storage, handling and disposal of radioactive materials and the current lack of a long-term disposal solution for radioactive materials;

·       limitations on the amounts and types of insurance commercially available to cover losses that might arise in connection with nuclear operations; and

·       uncertainties with respect to the technological and financial aspects of decommissioning nuclear plants at the end of their licensed lives.

The NRC has authority to impose licensing and safety-related requirements for the operation of nuclear generation facilities. In the event of non-compliance, the NRC has the authority to impose fines or shut down a unit, or both, depending upon its assessment of the severity of the situation, until compliance is achieved. Revised safety requirements promulgated by the NRC could necessitate substantial capital expenditures at NSP-Minnesota’s nuclear plants.

If an incident did occur, it could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations or financial condition. Furthermore, the non-compliance of other nuclear facilities operators with applicable regulations or the occurrence of a serious nuclear incident at other facilities could result in increased regulation of the industry as a whole, which could then increase NSP-Minnesota’s compliance costs and impact the results of operations of its facilities.

Economic conditions could negatively impact our business.

Our operations are affected by local and national economic conditions.  The consequences of a prolonged recession may include a lower level of economic activity and uncertainty regarding energy prices and the capital and commodity markets.  A lower level of economic activity might result in a decline in energy consumption, which may adversely affect our revenues and future growth.  Instability in the financial markets, as a result of recession or otherwise, also may affect the cost of capital and our ability to raise capital.

Our operations could be impacted by war, acts of terrorism or threats of terrorism.

The conflict in Iraq and any other military strikes or sustained military campaign may affect our operations in unpredictable ways and may cause disruptions of fuel supplies and markets, particularly with respect to natural gas and purchased energy.  War and the possibility of further war may have an adverse impact on the economy in general.

Our generation plants, fuel storage facilities, transmission and distribution facilities and information systems may be targets of terrorist activities that could disrupt our ability to produce or distribute some portion of our energy products. Any such disruption could result in a significant decrease in revenues and significant additional costs to repair and insure our assets, which could have a material adverse impact on our financial condition and results of operations.  The potential for terrorism has subjected our operations to increased risks and could have a material adverse effect on our business.  While we have already incurred increased costs for security and capital expenditures in response to these risks, we may experience additional capital and operating costs to implement security for our plants, including our nuclear power plants under the NRC’s design basis threat requirements, such as additional physical plant security and additional security personnel.

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The insurance industry has also been affected by these events and the availability of insurance covering risks we and our competitors typically insure against may decrease.  In addition, the insurance we are able to obtain may have higher deductibles, higher premiums and more restrictive policy terms.

A disruption or black-out of the regional electric transmission grid could negatively impact our business.

Because our generation and transmission systems are part of an interconnected regional grid, we face the risk of possible loss of business due to a disruption or black-out caused by an event (severe storm, generator or transmission facility outage) on a neighboring system or the actions of a neighboring utility, similar to the Aug. 14, 2003 black-out in portions of the eastern U.S. and Canada.  Any such disruption could result in a significant decrease in revenues and significant additional costs to repair assets, which could have a material adverse impact on our financial condition and results of operations.

Reduced coal availability could negatively impact our business.

Our coal generation portfolio is heavily dependent on coal supplies located in the Powder River Basin of Wyoming.  Approximately 85 percent of our annual coal requirement comes from this area. Coal generation comprises approximately 60 percent to 85 percent of our annual generation for the operating utilities.  We have recently experienced disruptions in the delivery of Powder River Basin coal to our facilities and such disruptions could occur again in the future.  Coal delivery may be subject to short-term interruptions or reductions due to various factors, including transportation problems, weather and availability of equipment.  Failure or delay by our suppliers of coal deliveries could disrupt our ability to deliver electricity and require us to incur additional expenses to meet the needs of our customers.  In addition, as agreements expire with our suppliers, we may not be able to enter into new agreements for coal delivery on equivalent terms.

Rising energy prices could negatively impact our business.

Higher fuel costs could significantly impact our results of operations, if requests for recovery are unsuccessful.  In addition, the higher fuel costs could reduce customer demand or increase bad debt expense, which could also have a material impact on our results of operations.  Delays in the timing of the collection of fuel cost recoveries as compared with expenditures for fuel purchases could have an impact on our cash flows.  We are unable to predict the future prices or the ultimate impact of such prices on our results of operations or cash flows.

Our operating results may fluctuate on a seasonal and quarterly basis and can be adversely affected by milder weather.

Our electric and natural gas utility businesses are seasonal businesses and weather patterns can have a material impact on our operating performance. Demand for electricity is often greater in the summer and winter months associated with cooling and heating. Because natural gas is heavily used for residential and commercial heating, the demand for this product depends heavily upon weather patterns throughout our service territory, and a significant amount of natural gas revenues are recognized in the first and fourth quarters related to the heating season. Accordingly, our operations have historically generated less revenues and income when weather conditions are milder in the winter and cooler in the summer. Unusually mild winters and summers could have an adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations.

Our natural gas distribution activities involve numerous risks that may result in accidents and other operating risks and costs.

There are inherent in our natural gas distribution activities a variety of hazards and operating risks, such as leaks, explosions and mechanical problems that could cause substantial financial losses.  In addition, these risks could result in loss of human life, significant damage to property, environmental pollution, impairment of our operations and substantial losses to us.  In accordance with customary industry practice, we maintain insurance against some, but not all, of these risks and losses.

The occurrence of any of these events not fully covered by insurance could have a material adverse effect on our financial position and results of operations.  For our distribution lines located near populated areas, including residential areas, commercial business centers, industrial sites and other public gathering areas, the level of damages resulting from these risks is greater.

Increase risks of regulatory penalties

The Energy Act increased FERC’s civil penalty authority for violation of FERC statutes, rules and orders.  FERC can now impose penalties of $1 million per violation per day.  Effective June 1, 2007, approximately 80 electric reliability standards that were historically subject to voluntary compliance will become mandatory and subject to potential civil penalties for

31




violations.  If a serious reliability incident did occur, it could have a material adverse effect on our operations or financial results.

Increasing costs associated with our defined benefit retirement plans and other employee-related benefits may adversely affect our results of operations, financial position, or liquidity.

We have defined benefit and postretirement plans that cover substantially all of our employees.  Assumptions related to future costs, return on investments, interest rates and other actuarial assumptions have a significant impact on our funding requirements related to these plans.  These estimates and assumptions may change based on actual stock market performance, changes in interest rates and any changes in governmental regulations.  In addition, the Pension Protection Act of 2006 changed the minimum funding requirements for defined benefit pension plans beginning in 2008.  Therefore, our funding requirements may change and our contributions could be required in the future.

Increasing costs associated with health care plans may adversely affect our results of operations, financial position or liquidity.

The costs of providing health care benefits to our employees and retirees have increased substantially in recent years.  We believe that our employee benefit costs, including costs related to health care plans for our employees and former employees, will continue to rise.  The increasing costs and funding requirements associated with our health care plans may adversely affect our results of operations, financial position, or liquidity. 

Risks Associated with Our Holding Company Structure

We must rely on cash from our subsidiaries to make dividend payments.

We are a holding company and thus our investments in our subsidiaries are our primary assets. Substantially all of our operations are conducted by our subsidiaries. Consequently, our operating cash flow and our ability to service our indebtedness and pay dividends, depends upon the operating cash flow of our subsidiaries and the payment of funds by them to us in the form of dividends. Our subsidiaries are separate legal entities that have no obligation to pay any amounts due pursuant to our obligations or to make any funds available for that purpose or for dividends on our common stock, whether by dividends or otherwise. In addition, each subsidiary’s ability to pay dividends to us depends on any statutory and/or contractual restrictions that may be applicable to such subsidiary, which may include requirements to maintain minimum levels of equity ratios, working capital or other assets.  Our utility subsidiaries are regulated by various state utility commissions, which generally possess broad powers to ensure that the needs of the utility customers are being met.

If our utility subsidiaries were to cease making dividend payments, it could adversely affect our ability to pay dividends on our common stock and preferred stock or otherwise meet our financial obligations.

Certain provisions of law, as well as provisions in our bylaws and shareholder rights plan, may make it more difficult for others to obtain control of us, even though some shareholders might consider this favorable.

We are a Minnesota corporation and certain anti-takeover provisions of Minnesota law apply to us and create various impediments to the acquisition of control of us or to the consummation of certain business combinations with us.  In addition, our shareholder rights plan contains provisions, which may make it more difficult to effect certain business combinations with us without the approval of our board of directors.  Finally, certain federal and state utility regulatory statutes may also make it difficult for another party to acquire a controlling interest in us.  These provisions of law and of our corporate documents, individually or in the aggregate, could discourage a future takeover attempt which individual shareholders might deem to be in their best interests or in which shareholders would receive a premium for their shares over current prices.

Item 1B — Unresolved SEC Staff Comments

None.

Item 2 — Properties

Virtually all of the utility plant of NSP-Minnesota and NSP-Wisconsin is subject to the lien of their first mortgage bond indentures. Virtually all of the electric utility plant of PSCo is subject to the lien of its first mortgage bond indenture.

Electric utility generating stations:

32




NSP-Minnesota

Station, City and Unit

 

 

 

Fuel

 

Installed

 

Summer 2006 Net
Dependable
Capability (MW)

 

Steam:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sherburne-Becker, MN

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Unit 1

 

Coal

 

 

1976

 

 

697

 

Unit 2

 

Coal

 

 

1977

 

 

682

 

Unit 3

 

Coal

 

 

1987

 

 

504

(a)

Prairie Island-Welch, MN

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Unit 1

 

Nuclear

 

 

1973

 

 

551

 

Unit 2

 

Nuclear

 

 

1974

 

 

545

 

Monticello-Monticello, MN

 

Nuclear

 

 

1971

 

 

572

 

King-Bayport, MN

 

Coal

 

 

1968

 

 

528

 

Black Dog-Burnsville, MN

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2 Units

 

Coal/Natural Gas

 

 

1955-1960

 

 

282

 

2 Units

 

Natural Gas

 

 

2002

 

 

298

 

High Bridge-St. Paul, MN

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2 Units

 

Coal

 

 

1956-1959

 

 

271

 

Riverside-Minneapolis, MN

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2 Units

 

Coal

 

 

1964-1987

 

 

381

 

Combustion Turbine:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Angus Anson-Sioux Falls, SD

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3 Units

 

Natural Gas

 

 

1994-2005

 

 

384

 

Inver Hills-Inver Grove Heights, MN

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

6 Units

 

Natural Gas

 

 

1972

 

 

350

 

Blue Lake-Shakopee, MN

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

6 Units

 

Natural Gas

 

 

1974-2005

 

 

490

 

Other

 

Various

 

 

Various

 

 

169

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total

 

 

6,704

 

 

(a)                     Based on NSP-Minnesota’s ownership interest of 59 percent.

33




NSP-Wisconsin

Station, City and Unit

 

 

 

Fuel

 

Installed

 

Summer 2006 Net
Dependable
Capability (MW)

 

Combustion Turbine:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Flambeau Station-Park Falls, WI - 1 Unit

 

Natural Gas/Oil

 

 

1969

 

 

13

 

Wheaton-Eau Claire, WI - 6 Units

 

Natural Gas/Oil

 

 

1973

 

 

353

 

French Island-La Crosse, WI - 2 Units

 

Oil

 

 

1974

 

 

147

 

Steam:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bay Front-Ashland, WI - 3 Units

 

Coal/Wood/Natural Gas

 

 

1945-1960

 

 

73

 

French Island-La Crosse, WI - 2 Units

 

Wood/RDF(a)

 

 

1940-1948

 

 

29

 

Hydro:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

19 Plants

 

 

 

 

Various

 

 

254

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total

 

 

869

 

 

(a)                     RDF is refuse-derived fuel, made from municipal solid waste.

PSCo

Station, City and Unit

 

 

 

Fuel

 

Installed

 

Summer 2006 Net
Dependable
Capability (MW)

 

Steam:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Arapahoe-Denver, CO 2 Units

 

 

Coal

 

 

1950-1955

 

 

156

 

Cameo-Grand Junction, CO 2 Units

 

 

Coal

 

 

1957-1960

 

 

73

 

Cherokee-Denver, CO 4 Units

 

 

Coal

 

 

1957-1968

 

 

717

 

Comanche-Pueblo, CO 2 Units

 

 

Coal

 

 

1973-1975

 

 

660

 

Craig-Craig, CO 2 Units

 

 

Coal

 

 

1979-1980

 

 

83

(a)

Hayden-Hayden, CO 2 Units

 

 

Coal

 

 

1965-1976

 

 

237

(b)

Pawnee-Brush, CO

 

 

Coal

 

 

1981

 

 

505

 

Valmont-Boulder, CO

 

 

Coal

 

 

1964

 

 

186

 

Zuni-Denver, CO 2 Units

 

 

Natural Gas/Oil

 

 

1948-1954

 

 

107

 

Combustion Turbines:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fort St. Vrain-Platteville, CO 4 Units

 

 

Natural Gas

 

 

1972-2001

 

 

690

 

Various Locations 6 Units

 

 

Natural Gas

 

 

Various

 

 

174

 

Hydro:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Various Locations 12 Units

 

 

 

 

 

Various

 

 

32

 

Cabin Creek-Georgetown, CO Pumped Storage

 

 

 

 

 

1967

 

 

210

 

Wind:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ponnequin-Weld County, CO

 

 

 

 

 

1999-2001

 

 

 

Diesel Generators:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cherokee-Denver, CO 2 Units

 

 

 

 

 

1967

 

 

6

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total

 

 

3,836

 

 

(a)                     Based on PSCo’s ownership interest of 9.7 percent.

(b)                    Based on PSCo’s ownership interest of 75.5 percent of unit 1 and 37.4 percent of unit 2.

34




SPS

Station, City and Unit

 

 

 

Fuel

 

Installed

 

Summer 2006 Net
Dependable
Capability (MW)

 

Steam:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Harrington-Amarillo, TX 3 Units

 

 

Coal

 

 

1976-1980

 

 

1,044

 

Tolk-Muleshoe, TX 2 Units

 

 

Coal

 

 

1982-1985

 

 

1,080

 

Jones-Lubbock, TX 2 Units

 

 

Natural Gas

 

 

1971-1974

 

 

486

 

Plant X-Earth, TX 4 Units

 

 

Natural Gas

 

 

1952-1964

 

 

442

 

Nichols-Amarillo, TX 3 Units

 

 

Natural Gas

 

 

1960-1968

 

 

457

 

Cunningham-Hobbs, NM 2 Units

 

 

Natural Gas

 

 

1957-1965

 

 

267

 

Maddox-Hobbs, NM

 

 

Natural Gas

 

 

1967

 

 

118

 

CZ-2-Pampa, TX

 

 

Purchased Steam

 

 

1979

 

 

26

 

Moore County-Amarillo, TX

 

 

Natural Gas

 

 

1954

 

 

48

 

Gas Turbine:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Carlsbad-Carlsbad, NM

 

 

Natural Gas

 

 

1968

 

 

11

 

CZ-1-Pampa, TX

 

 

Hot Nitrogen

 

 

1965

 

 

13

 

Maddox-Hobbs, NM

 

 

Natural Gas

 

 

1976

 

 

60

 

Riverview-Electric City, TX

 

 

Natural Gas

 

 

1973

 

 

23

 

Cunningham-Hobbs, NM 2 Units

 

 

Natural Gas

 

 

1998

 

 

218

 

Diesel:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tucumcari-NM 6 Units

 

 

 

 

 

1941-1979

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total

 

 

4,293

 

 

Electric utility overhead and underground transmission and distribution lines (measured in conductor miles) at Dec. 31, 2006:

Conductor Miles

 

 

 

NSP-Minnesota

 

NSP-Wisconsin

 

PSCo

 

SPS

 

500 KV

 

 

2,917

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

345 KV

 

 

5,648

 

 

1,312

 

 

957

 

 

5,139

 

230 KV

 

 

1,827

 

 

 

 

10,787

 

 

9,420

 

161 KV

 

 

295

 

 

1,494

 

 

 

 

 

138 KV

 

 

 

 

 

 

92

 

 

 

115 KV

 

 

6,484

 

 

1,529

 

 

4,851

 

 

10,835

 

Less than 115 KV

 

 

81,274

 

 

31,698

 

 

71,174

 

 

22,429

 

 

Electric utility transmission and distribution substations at Dec. 31, 2006:

 

 

NSP-Minnesota

 

NSP-Wisconsin

 

PSCo

 

SPS

 

Quantity

 

 

364

 

 

203

 

 

209

 

 

441

 

 

Gas utility mains at Dec. 31, 2006:

Miles

 

 

 

NSP-Minnesota

 

NSP-Wisconsin

 

PSCo

 

WGI

 

Transmission

 

 

120

 

 

 

 

2,303

 

 

12

 

Distribution

 

 

9,321

 

 

2,147

 

 

20,599

 

 

 

 

Item 3 — Legal Proceedings

In the normal course of business, various lawsuits and claims have arisen against Xcel Energy. Management, after consultation with legal counsel, has recorded an estimate of the probable cost of settlement or other disposition for such matters.

Nuclear Waste Disposal Litigation — The federal government has the responsibility to dispose of domestic spent nuclear fuel and other high-level radioactive substances. The Nuclear Waste Policy Act (the Act) requires the DOE to implement this disposal program. This includes the siting, licensing, construction and operation of a permanent repository for domestically produced spent nuclear fuel from civilian nuclear power reactors and other high-level radioactive substances. The Act and contracts between the DOE and domestic utilities obligated the DOE to begin to dispose of these materials by Jan. 31, 1998. The federal government has designated the site as Yucca Mountain in Nevada. The nuclear waste disposal program has resulted in extensive litigation.

35




On June 8, 1998, NSP-Minnesota filed a complaint in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims against the United States requesting breach of contract damages, past and as projected into the future, in excess of $1 billion for the DOE’s failure to meet the 1998 deadline. NSP-Minnesota has demanded damages consisting of the added costs of storage of spent nuclear fuel at the Prairie Island and Monticello nuclear generating plants, costs related to the Private Fuel Storage, LLC and certain costs relating to the 1994 and 2003 state legislation relating to the storage of spent nuclear fuel at Prairie Island. On July 31, 2001, the Court granted NSP-Minnesota’s motion for partial summary judgment on liability. A subsequent court decision determined that the utilities were precluded from making a claim for future damages, a utility could claim damages up to some point prior to the trial, and separate claims would have to be made in the future as damages accumulated. In response to this decision, NSP-Minnesota filed an amended complaint seeking damages through Dec. 31, 2004.

NSP-Minnesota currently claims total damages in excess of $100 million through Dec. 31, 2004 (damages after 2004 will be claimed in subsequent proceedings). A trial on the damages issue commenced on Oct. 24, 2006, and concluded on Dec. 11, 2006. NSP-Minnesota’s initial post-trial brief was filed pursuant to the court’s scheduling order on Feb. 9, 2007 and additional briefs and reply briefs are expected to be filed by April 30, 2007. Closing arguments are set for May 31, 2007.

On July 9, 2004, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit issued a decision in consolidated cases challenging regulations and decisions on the federal nuclear waste program. The Court of Appeals rejected challenges by the state of Nevada and other intervenors with respect to most of the NRC’s challenged repository licensing regulations, the congressional resolution approving Yucca Mountain as the site of the permanent repository, and the DOE and presidential actions leading to the approval of the Yucca Mountain site. The Court of Appeals vacated the 10,000 year compliance period adopted by EPA regulations governing spent nuclear fuel disposal at Yucca Mountain and incorporated in the NRC regulations. Xcel Energy has not ascertained the impact of the decision on its nuclear operations and storage of spent nuclear fuel; however, the decision may result in additional delay and uncertainty around disposal of spent nuclear fuel. In July 2006 the Office of Civilian Radioactive Waste Management indicated that under the “best achievable repository construction schedule”, Yucca Mountain would be able to begin accepting spent nuclear fuel in March 2017.

Lamb County Electric Cooperative — On July 24, 1995, LCEC petitioned the PUCT for a cease and desist order against SPS alleging that SPS was unlawfully providing service to oil field customers in LCEC’s certificated area. On May 23, 2003, the PUCT issued an order denying LCEC’s petition based on its determination that SPS was granted a certificate in 1976 to serve the disputed customers. LCEC appealed the decision to the District Court in Travis County, Texas and on Aug. 12, 2004, the District Court affirmed the decision of the PUCT. On Sept. 9, 2004, LCEC appealed the District Court’s decision to the Court of Appeals for the Third Supreme Judicial District of the state of Texas, which appeal is currently pending. Oral arguments in the case were heard March 23, 2005. SPS is awaiting the Court of Appeals decision.

On Oct. 18, 1996, LCEC filed a suit for damages against SPS in the District Court in Lamb County, Texas, based on the same facts alleged in the petition for a cease and desist order at the PUCT. This suit has been dormant since it was filed, awaiting a final determination at the PUCT of the legality of SPS providing electric service to the disputed customers. The PUCT order of May 23, 2003, found that SPS was legally serving the disputed customers, thus collaterally determining the issue of liability contrary to LCEC’s position in the suit. An adverse ruling on the appeal of May 23, 2003 PUCT order could result in a re-determination of the legality of SPS’ service to the disputed customers.

Manufactured Gas Plant Insurance Coverage Litigation — In October 2003, NSP-Wisconsin initiated discussions with its insurers regarding the availability of insurance coverage for costs associated with the remediation of four former MGP sites located in Ashland, Chippewa Falls, Eau Claire, and LaCrosse, Wis. In lieu of participating in discussions, on Oct. 28, 2003, two of NSP-Wisconsin’s insurers, St. Paul Fire & Marine Insurance Co. and St. Paul Mercury Insurance Co., commenced litigation against NSP-Wisconsin in Minnesota state district court. On Nov. 12, 2003, NSP-Wisconsin commenced suit in Wisconsin state circuit court against St. Paul Fire & Marine Insurance Co. and its other insurers. Subsequently, the Minnesota court enjoined NSP-Wisconsin from pursuing the Wisconsin litigation. Although the Wisconsin action has not been dismissed, the January 2007 trial date was adjourned and has not been rescheduled.

NSP-Wisconsin has entered into confidential settlements with St. Paul Mercury Insurance Company, St. Paul Fire and Marine Insurance Company and the Phoenix Insurance Company (“St. Paul Companies”), Associated Electric & Gas Insurance Services Limited, Fireman’s Fund Insurance Company, INSCO, Ltd. (on its own behalf and on behalf of the insurance companies subscribing per Britamco, Ltd.), Allstate Insurance Company and Compagnie Europeene D’ Assurances Industrielles S.A. and these insurers have been dismissed from the Minnesota and Wisconsin actions. These settlements are not expected to have a material effect on Xcel Energy’s financial results.

36




NSP-Wisconsin has reached settlements in principle with Admiral Insurance Company; certain underwriters at Lloyd’s, London and certain London Market Insurance Companies (“London Market Insurers”), General Reinsurance Corporation and First State and Twin City Fire Insurance Companies. These settlements are not expected to have a material effect on Xcel Energy’s financial results.

On Oct. 6, 2006, the trial court issued a memorandum and order on various summary judgment motions. The court ruled that Minnesota law on allocation applies and ordered dismissal, without prejudice, of 15 carriers whose coverage would not be triggered under such an allocation method. The court denied the insurers’ motions for summary judgment on the sudden and accidental and absolute pollution exclusions; late notice; legal expenses and costs; certain specific lost policies; and miscellaneous coverage issues under several individual policies. The court granted the motions of Fidelity and Casualty Insurance Company and Continental Insurance Company related to certain specific lost policies. On Oct. 13, 2006, the trial court denied NSP-Wisconsin’s request for leave to file a motion for reconsideration of the court’s allocation decision. The Nov. 6, 2006 trial date was also adjourned to allow for additional discovery and potential motions in light of the Minnesota Supreme Court’s recent allocation decision in Wooddale Builders, Inc. v. Maryland Casualty Company, 722 N. W.2d 283 (Minn. 2006). The trial has been set for a four-week period commencing on July 16, 2007.

The PSCW has established a deferral process whereby clean-up costs associated with the remediation of former MGP sites are deferred and, if approved by the PSCW, recovered from ratepayers. Carrying charges associated with these clean-up costs are not subject to the deferral process and are not recoverable from ratepayers. Any insurance proceeds received by NSP-Wisconsin will operate as a credit to ratepayers, therefore, these lawsuits are not expected to have a material effect on Xcel Energy’s financial results.

Polychlorinated Biphenyl (PCB) Storage and Disposal — In August 2004, Xcel Energy received notice from the EPA contending SPS violated PCB storage and disposal regulations with respect to storage of a drained transformer and related solids. The EPA contended the fine for the alleged violation was approximately $1.2 million. Xcel Energy contested the fine and submitted a voluntary disclosure to the EPA. On April 17, 2006, SPS received a notice of determination from the EPA stating that the voluntary disclosure had been reviewed and that SPS had met all conditions of the EPA’s audit policy. Accordingly, the EPA will mitigate 100 percent of the gravity-based penalty for the disclosed violation, and no economic penalty will be assessed.

Cornerstone Propane Partners, L.P. et al. vs. e prime, inc. et al. — On Feb. 2, 2004, a purported class action complaint was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York against e prime and three other defendants by Cornerstone Propane Partners, L.P., Robert Calle Gracey and Dominick Viola on behalf of a class who purchased or sold one or more New York Mercantile Exchange natural gas futures and/or options contracts during the period from Jan. 1, 2000, to Dec. 31, 2002. The complaint alleges that defendants manipulated the price of natural gas futures and options and/or the price of natural gas underlying those contracts in violation of the Commodities Exchange Act. In February 2004, the plaintiff requested that this action be consolidated with a similar suit involving Reliant Energy Services. In February 2004, defendants, including e prime, filed motions to dismiss. In September 2004, the U.S. District Court denied the motions to dismiss. On Jan. 25, 2005, plaintiffs filed a motion for class certification, which defendants opposed. On Sept. 30, 2005, the U.S. District Court granted plaintiffs’ motion for class certification. On Oct. 17, 2005, defendants filed a petition with the Second Circuit Court of Appeals challenging the class certification. On Dec. 5, 2005, e prime reached a tentative settlement with the plaintiffs that received final court approval in May 2006. The settlement was paid by e prime and it did not have a material financial impact on Xcel Energy.

Department of Labor Audit — In 2001, Xcel Energy received notice from the U.S. DOL Employee Benefit Security Administration that it intended to audit the Xcel Energy pension plan. After multiple on-site meetings and interviews with Xcel Energy personnel, the DOL indicated on Sept. 18, 2003, that it was prepared to take the position that Xcel Energy, as plan sponsor and through its delegate, the Pension Trust Administration Committee, breached its fiduciary duties under ERISA with respect to certain investments made in limited partnerships and hedge funds in 1997 and 1998. The DOL has offered to conclude the audit if Xcel Energy is willing to contribute to the plan the full amount of losses from the questioned investments, or approximately $7 million. On July 19, 2004, Xcel Energy formally responded with a letter to the DOL that asserted no fiduciary violations have occurred and extended an offer to meet to discuss the matter further. In 2005, and again in January 2006, the DOL submitted two additional requests for information related to the investigation, and Xcel Energy submitted timely responses to each request.

On June 12, 2006, the DOL issued a letter to the Xcel Energy Pension Trust Administration Committee indicating that, although there may have been a breach of the Committee’s fiduciary obligations under ERISA, the DOL will not pursue

37




any action against the Committee or the pension plan with respect to these alleged breaches due, in part, to the steps the Committee has taken in outsourcing certain investment management and administration functions to third parties.

NewMech vs. Northern States Power Company — On May 16, 2006, NewMech served and filed a complaint against NSP-Minnesota, Southern Minnesota Municipal Power Agency (SMMPA), and Benson Engineering in the Minnesota State District Court, Sherburne County, alleging entitlement to payment in the amount of approximately $4.2 million for unpaid costs allegedly associated with construction work done by NewMech at NSP-Minnesota and SMMPA’s jointly owned Sherco 3 generating plant in 2005. NewMech had previously served a mechanic’s lien, and sought, through this action, foreclosure of the lien and sale of the property. NewMech additionally sought the claimed damages as a result of an alleged breach of contract by NSP-Minnesota. NSP-Minnesota, SMMPA and Benson filed answers denying NewMech’s allegations. Additionally, NSP-Minnesota and SMMPA counterclaimed for damages in excess of $7 million for breach of contract, delay in contract performance, misrepresentation and fraudulent inducement to enter into the contract and slander of title. A confidential settlement of the dispute was reached on Sept. 29, 2006 and it did not have a material financial impact on Xcel Energy.

Additional Information

For more discussion of legal claims and environmental proceedings, see Note 14 to the Consolidated Financial Statements under Item 8, incorporated by reference. For a discussion of proceedings involving utility rates and other regulatory matters, see Pending and Recently Concluded Regulatory Proceedings under Item 1, Management’s Discussion and Analysis under Item 7, and Note 13 to the Consolidated Financial Statements under Item 8, incorporated by reference.

Item 4 — Submission of Matters to a Vote of Security Holders

No issues were submitted for a vote during the fourth quarter of 2006.

38




PART II

Item 5 — Market for Registrant’s Common Equity, Related Stockholder Matters and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities

Quarterly Stock Data

Xcel Energy’s common stock is listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). The trading symbol is XEL. The following are the reported high and low sales prices based on the NYSE Composite Transactions for the quarters of 2006 and 2005 and the dividends declared per share during those quarters.

 

 

High

 

Low

 

Dividends

 

2006

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

First Quarter

 

 

$

19.61

 

 

$

17.91

 

 

$

0.2150

 

Second Quarter

 

 

$

19.76

 

 

$

17.80

 

 

$

0.2225

 

Third Quarter

 

 

$

21.05

 

 

$

18.96

 

 

$

0.2225

 

Fourth Quarter

 

 

$

23.63

 

 

$

20.56

 

 

$

0.2225

 

 

 

 

High

 

Low

 

Dividends

 

2005

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

First Quarter

 

 

$

18.41

 

 

$

16.50

 

 

$

0.2075

 

Second Quarter

 

 

$

19.65

 

 

$

16.83

 

 

$

0.2150

 

Third Quarter

 

 

$

20.19

 

 

$

18.44

 

 

$

0.2150

 

Fourth Quarter

 

 

$

19.83

 

 

$

17.81

 

 

$

0.2150

 

 

Book value per share at Dec. 31, 2006, was $14.28. The number of common shareholders of record as of Dec. 31, 2006 was 98,881.

Xcel Energy’s Restated Articles of Incorporation provide for certain restrictions on the payment of cash dividends on common stock. At Dec. 31, 2006 and 2005, the payment of cash dividends on common stock was not restricted. For further discussion of Xcel Energy’s dividend policy, see Liquidity and Capital Resources under Item 7.

The following compares our cumulative total shareholder return on common stock with the cumulative total return of the Standard & Poor’s 500 Composite Stock Price Index, and the EEI Electrics Index over the last five fiscal years (assuming a $100 investment in each vehicle on December 31, 2001 and the reinvestment of all dividends).

The EEI Electrics Index currently includes 63 companies and is a broad measure of industry performance.

COMPARATIVE TOTAL RETURN

GRAPHIC

 

 

2001

 

2002

 

2003

 

2004

 

2005

 

2006

 

Xcel Energy

 

$

100

 

$

43

 

$

69

 

$

77

 

$

82

 

$

100

 

EEI Electrics

 

$

100

 

$

85

 

$

105

 

$

129

 

$

150

 

$

181

 

S&P 500

 

$

100

 

$

77

 

$

97

 

$

106

 

$

109

 

$

124

 

 

See Item 12 for information concerning securities authorized for issuance under equity compensation plans.

39




Item 6 — Selected Financial Data

 

 

2006

 

2005

 

2004

 

2003

 

2002

 

 

 

(Millions of Dollars, Except Share and Per-Share Data)

 

Operating revenues

 

 

$

9,840

 

 

$

9,625

 

 

$

8,216

 

 

$

7,731

 

 

$

6,893

 

Operating expenses

 

 

$

8,663

 

 

$

8,533

 

 

$

7,140

 

 

$

6,607

 

 

$

5,717

 

Income from continuing operations

 

 

$

569

 

 

$

499

 

 

$

522

 

 

$

523

 

 

$

549

 

Net income (loss)

 

 

$

572

 

 

$

513

 

 

$

356

 

 

$

622

 

 

$

(2,218

)

Earnings available for common stock

 

 

$

568

 

 

$

509

 

 

$

352

 

 

$

618

 

 

$

(2,222

)

Average number of common shares
outstanding (000’s)

 

 

405,689

 

 

402,330

 

 

399,456

 

 

398,765

 

 

382,051

 

Average number of common and potentially dilutive shares outstanding (000’s)(c)

 

 

429,605

 

 

425,671

 

 

423,334

 

 

418,912

 

 

384,646

 

Earnings per share from continuing operations —
basic

 

 

$

1.39

 

 

$

1.23

 

 

$

1.30

 

 

$

1.30

 

 

$

1.43

 

Earnings per share from continuing operations —
diluted

 

 

$

1.35

 

 

$

1.20

 

 

$

1.26

 

 

$

1.26

 

 

$

1.43

 

Earnings per share-basic

 

 

$