The top executive of Xcel Energy said Thursday he doesn't believe the city of Minneapolis will kick out the company in favor of a municipal utility.

In remarks to investment analysts, Xcel CEO Ben Fowke said the utility looks forward to working with those in the community who want more clean energy supplied to Minneapolis customers — a major driver of the proposal to create a municipal power company.

"I think at the end of the day we are going to sit down, work with the city, and I think everybody recognizes the cost and risk, the enormous cost for Minneapolis, to go forward with something like that," Fowke said in the conference call about its quarterly financial results.

"We have been a partner for 100 years," he added. "I suspect we'll be a partner in Minneapolis for another 100 years."

Fowke said Xcel is ahead of many of the city's renewable energy goals, saying the company will achieve a 30 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2020.

The remarks, in response to an analyst's question, came as the Minneapolils City Council was holding a hearing on whether to push ahead with a municipal utility, a process that requires voter approval at the ballot box.

David Shaffer • 612-673-7090 • @ShafferStrib