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NORTHERN STATES POWER COMPANY (MINNESOTA) $600 MILLION FIRST MORTGAGE BONDS (SHELF) RATED 'AA-'

 CHICAGO, Dec. 29 /PRNewswire/ -- Duff & Phelps Credit Rating Co. has assigned a rating of "AA-" (Double-A-Minus) to Northern States Power Company's (NSP) shelf registration for $600 million of first mortgage bonds. Proceeds will be used primarily to purchase or redeem outstanding first mortgage bonds and to repay short-term borrowings.
 NSP has a conservative capital structure, competitive electric and gas rates, and a healthy service territory. Additionally, the company has a well diversified fuel mix and minimal clean air compliance expenditures. Regulatory support, which has relaxed to some extent in recent years, will be necessary out into the future as NSP adds new base load capacity in the late 1990's.
 In the Sept. 1993 rate order, the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (PUC) initially authorized NSP a $54.3 million (4.1 percent) electric and a $8.3 million (3.2 percent) gas rate increase. Positively, after NSP filed for reconsideration of several PUC rulings, additional electric and gas rate increases totalling approximately $20 million were authorized. The additional revenues granted resulted from a higher allowed return on equity (11.47 percent versus the initial 11 percent), revenues associated with incentive compensation, and recognition of higher federal taxes.
 NSP is currently appealing a Minnesota Court of Appeals ruling which requires state legislative approval prior to storing spent nuclear fuel above ground at its Prairie Island plant.
 Northern States Power Company generates, transmits and distributes electricity to about 1.3 million customers and distributes natural gas to more than 380,000 customers. The Minnesota parent operates in Minnesota, North Dakota, and South Dakota. A major subsidiary, NSP-Wisconsin, has electric and gas operations in Wisconsin and Michigan. NRG Energy, Inc. is a wholly owned non-utility operating subsidiary.
 -0- 12/29/93
 /CONTACT: William A. Abrams, CFA of Duff & Phelps Credit Rating, 312-368-3112/
 (NSP)


CO: Northern State Power Company ST: Illinois IN: UTI SU: RTG

SP -- NY026 -- 7813 12/29/93 13:38 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Dec 29, 1993
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