At the close of last year, Minnesota Administrative Law Judge Eric Lipman determined that the single solar proposal in a competitive resource acquisition process would provide the best value to Xcel ratepayers (see more here). Key to his decision was his conclusion that Xcel’s capacity needs in the timeframe considered were uncertain and potentially declining substantially. Yesterday Xcel and the natural gas bidders (Calpine and Invenergy) in the process filed exceptions to his findings and took sharp aim at the Judge’s determination that Xcel’s capacity needs appeared to be declining from what had earlier been predicted. In a related news article, Bill Grant, the Deputy Commissioner for Energy Programs at the Department of Commerce, voiced concern that the Judge had relied on an “untested and unusually low forecast for future sales” and suggested that ratepayers would be better served by Xcel’s procurement of solar resources through a solar-specific process. The parties with the selected solar (Geronimo) and capacity (GRE) bids, perhaps unsuprisingly, do not agree with these voiced concerns and largely applauded the Judge’sselection of scalable resources in light of uncertain need . Reply comments are due at the end of this month and ultimately the matter will soon be taken up by the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission.