Xcel Energy produced 25 percent of the electricity it supplied to customers in 2016 from renewables, with 1 gigawatt coming from solar and 6.7 gigawatts coming from wind. That’s according to its 2016 Corporate Responsibility Report. The power company also is expanding its renewable energy portfolio even further and is on pace to reduce its carbon emissions across its 8 state service area by 45 percent by 2021, compared to its 2005 levels.
“We know our success is tied to our communities’ success,” said Ben Fowke, chairman, president and CEO, Xcel Energy. “Growing and vibrant communities support our business, while clean and affordable energy powers our communities. As a responsible community partner, we are committed to delivering on our shared goals and continually raise the bar on our performance.”
Already four years ahead of its initial goals, Xcel reduced its total carbon emissions by 30 percent between 2005 and 2016. It achieved this by reducing its water consumption by 35 percent, reducing emissions of coal ash by 28 percent, sulfur-dioxide by 70 percent and nitrogen-oxide by 73 percent. It also said it’s saved a terawatt-hour of power through 150 efficiency and rebate programs since 2005.
Looking ahead, Xcel already plans to add 1.1 more gigawatts of solar and 3.6 gigawatts of wind generation to its renewable energy portfolio over the next 5 years. The utility is already in the middle of plans to develop 11 wind farms across Colorado, Minnesota, New Mexico, Texas, Michigan, North Dakota and South Dakota. Xcel has also committed to invest more than $18 billion in local infrastructure over the next 5 years to improve grid security and reliability.
“Longer term, we will transition our energy supplies away from coal to even more renewable energy, where we expect to reduce carbon emissions by 60 percent by 2030 compared to 2005 levels. And as always, we will complement our service with industry-leading efficiency programs to help customers manage energy use and keep bills low. In short, our customers want clean and affordable energy as well as a community partner, and we’re ready to provide it,” Fowke said.
The utility also is creating programs to meet customer needs and give them more renewable energy choices. Over 136,000 customers participate in Xcel’s renewable energy programs across its service area.Tweet