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Xcel Energy proposes new solar program for customers in Colorado

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Xcel Energy proposes new solar program for customers in Colorado

April 3, 2014

Solar*Connect to give customers the option to receive up to 100 percent of their electricity needs from large-scale solar

DENVER – Colorado customers would have expanded energy choices for accessing the state’s abundant solar resources through an Xcel Energy program proposed today with the Colorado Public Utilities Commission.

Solar*Connect would make access to large-scale solar available to thousands of Colorado consumers. Xcel Energy would seek to purchase 50 megawatts (approximately 10 – 15,000 homes) of electricity from a new independent, large-scale solar facility. Customers would in turn subscribe for capacity from this facility to meet their desired solar energy needs.

“We want to make renewable energy available at the right cost for all of our customers,” said David Eves, president and CEO of Public Service Co. of Colorado, an Xcel Energy company. “Solar*Connect would complement our existing rooftop and solar garden offerings, but would give customers an option to access large-scale solar, the most cost-effective form of solar generation.”

“Solar*Connect will enable customers to purchase solar power through subscription, eliminating the need for construction of a rooftop panel system. Solar*Connect would make solar available to all customers, including those who rent apartments, cannot afford a rooftop system, live in an area where solar power is not an option, or simply lack the ability to put solar panels on their homes,” Eves said.

Eves noted that Xcel Energy Solar*Connect would take advantages of the benefits provided by low cost, large-scale solar. Recent large scale solar generation facilities are cost competitive with other forms of power generation over their lifetime, and are half the cost of other forms of solar generation, such as rooftop solar.

“Large-scale solar offers a great advantage. Facilities can be built to maximize system benefits and minimize costs by using state-of-the-art technology, such as tracking (which enables the panels to follow the sun), and by selecting locations with the best sun exposure,” Eves said. “Solar*Connect also would benefit all of our customers, even those who don’t have solar, by reducing cross subsidies associated with existing solar programs.”

Xcel Energy’s Colorado customers would enroll to power some or all of their energy needs by selecting the percentage of solar power they would want. It also provides customers greater flexibility because it allows them to set their own terms by choosing program offerings, amount of solar energy to purchase, and length of their participation in the program. Xcel Energy is also proposing that customers can continue their participation even if they move within our service territory.

Solar*Connect must be approved by the CPUC. If approved, the company would need to execute agreements with an independent solar company, which would build, own and operate a facility for the program offering. It is anticipated that Solar*Connect could begin in mid 2015.

Consumers can access additional information about Solar*Connect at SolarConnect@xcelenergy.com .

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Xcel Energy (NYSE: XEL) is a major U.S. electricity and natural gas company with regulated operations in eight Western and Midwestern states. Xcel Energy provides a comprehensive portfolio of energy-related products and services to 3.4 million electricity customers and 1.9 million natural gas customers through its regulated operating companies. Company headquarters are located in Minneapolis.

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This news release includes forward-looking statements relating to increased costs associated with expected higher commodity prices that are subject to certain risks, uncertainties and assumptions. Actual results may vary materially. Forward-looking statements speak only as of the date they are made, and we do not undertake any obligation to update them to reflect changes that occur after that date. Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially include, but are not limited to, those risk factors listed from time to time by Xcel Energy in reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), including Risk Factors in Item 1A and Exhibit 99.01 of Xcel Energy’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended Dec. 31, 2008.

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