BISMARCK — Xcel Energy is no longer seeking to create a separate legal entity for its North Dakota operations after state utility regulators passed on the idea.

Minneapolis-based Xcel proposed a separately regulated utility in 2017, stating that its move toward cleaner energy sources may not be embraced in North Dakota. An Xcel official worried the company wouldn't be able to recover certain costs "that are incompatible with North Dakota's energy priorities."

But a North Dakota Public Service Commission consultant warned of a "substantial likelihood of increased costs" with creating a separate legal entity.

PSC Chairman Brian Kroshus said Wednesday, Aug. 14, the all-Republican panel "essentially shut down the initial proposal" but "left the door open" for the company to propose something new. He said the developments in the case happened at least several months ago.

An Xcel spokesperson said the company is "working with commission staff on a resource planning process for the state that would create a more formal regulatory review process and encourage more public engagement."