Manitoba Hydro has signed a 10-year agreement with Minnesota-based Xcel Energy, subject to regulatory approval in both jurisdictions, for export of 500 MW of electricity from Manitoba to Minnesota starting in 2005.Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada – August 15, 2002 [SolarAccess.com] This sale agreement will result in an energy flow to Xcel Energy of 2.1 MWh of electrical energy every year. The deal is anticipated to produce US$1.7 billion in revenue over the life of the contract. “Export revenues have provided Manitoba Hydro with the stability to allow it to maintain some of the lowest rates in North America,” said Premier Gary Doer “This agreement is good news for Minnesotans because it provides a clean, reliable energy supply and this agreement is good for Manitobans, because it provides long-term certainty, and once again proves the benefits of Limestone.” “Minnesota and Manitoba have been trading in electricity for over 30 years and this latest contract is an affirmation of the benefits of such trade for both parties,” said Manitoba Hydro President and CEO Bob Brennan. “This mutually beneficial sale between Manitoba and Minnesota will result in lower rates for utility customers in each area.” The current agreement started with a request for proposals by Northern States Power Co. (NSP) in 1999 for supplies of electricity to meet its future needs. (NSP successfully merged with Denver-based New Century Energies to form Xcel Energy in August 2000.) Out of this competition, Manitoba Hydro was selected as one of the suppliers to meet part of this requirement. Manitoba Hydro was approved as a successful bidder by the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (MPUC) in November 2000. Xcel Energy will now be seeking final approval on the sale contract terms and conditions from the MPUC while Manitoba Hydro will be making an application to the National Energy Board for approval of the export sale. Manitoba Hydro has several existing contracts with Xcel Energy, including a 500 MW contract that began in 1993 and expires in 2005. Although the terms and conditions are different, the new deal effectively replaces the expiring contract. This new contract will not require any new generating facilities in Manitoba nor will it require changes in Manitoba’s system operations. Electricity exports have made up a growing portion of Manitoba Hydro revenues in the last decade, rising to US$588 million in 2001-02 from US$143 million in 1992-93, mainly due to higher export market rates.