As an energy provider, we can play a valuable role in helping local economies grow and prosper. Through our ongoing investment in our infrastructure—the plants, pipes, poles and wires that make up our business—we generate tax revenue, purchase goods and services and employ local workers. Also, by keeping our energy prices affordable, local residents and businesses have extra money to spend in their communities too. But, our connection and contribution to local economies goes much deeper than this.
Our utility system is often integral to the success of major local initiatives, such as downtown revitalization efforts, new industrial parks and public works projects. For example, we are actively participating in the planning of several forward-looking, sustainable developments within our service area that are models for cutting-edge, efficient energy design, including the Ford Site and Rice Creek Commons in the Twin Cities and Pena Station in Denver.
By working side-by-side with local chambers of commerce and economic development organizations, we can provide our expertise and valuable service to attract and retain area business. After all, for many businesses, energy is an important consideration for where they locate—it may be their largest expense or key to achieving corporate sustainability goals. By offering a complete package of energy solutions, including a comprehensive portfolio of renewable and energy-saving options, along with competitive prices and outstanding service reliability, we are helping our communities successfully compete for business.
In recognition of our commitment to local economies, Finance & Commerce recognized Xcel Energy with a 2017 Progress Minnesota award for the company's commitment to the state’s economy, including energy efficiency and renewable energy leadership.
|Total revenues||$11.1 billion|
|Electric utility revenues||$9.5 billion|
|Natural gas revenues||$1.53 billion|
|Other operating revenues||$75.7 million|
|Electric fuel and purchased power costs||$3.72 billion|
|Cost of natural gas sold and transported||$732.7 million|
|Employee compensation, including wages and benefits||$1.9 billion|
|Tax payments||$806.9 million|
|Franchise fees||$171.5 million|
|Community giving||$63.4 million|
|Interest charges and financing costs||$619.9 million|
|Common stock dividends||$680.5 million|
Xcel Energy launched a strategic economic development function in 2016 to help attract new businesses and assist existing businesses to grow within our eight state regions. We are leveraging our strong partnerships with local, state and regional economic development organizations to advance opportunities for customer growth. These efforts are concentrated in serving our regional business clusters that include: data centers, advanced manufacturing, bio sciences, aerospace and aviation, microelectronics, agriculture and food processing, as well as traditional heavy manufacturing and processing industries.
Primary to the success of supporting business growth is having data and information about the issues that affect the businesses we serve. We are expanding and fine-tuning our use of information to better understand business challenges our customers face. Market intelligence better prepares us to compete for new customers and retain existing customers, further increasing our competitive value to the marketplace.
To target and encourage industry clusters to build in our service territories, we are implementing a national engagement strategy that is centered on key industry leaders and associated business organizations, as well as using internationally recognized site consultants. With outstanding reliability and customer service, combined with competitive prices and our ability to provide renewable energy and efficiency options, we provide a competitive solution to meet customer needs.
We also are promoting real estate opportunities in our service territories through a new Certified Site initiative. The program enables site consultants and individual businesses to efficiently evaluate locations for new or expanding industrial clients. By partnering with our communities on this initiative, we foster collaboration and the ability to best facilitate load growth within our eight states.
Xcel Energy operates two nuclear energy facilities in Minnesota—the Monticello Nuclear Generating Plant in Monticello and the Prairie Island Nuclear Generating Plant near Red Wing. As Minnesota’s largest source of carbon-free energy, the plants generate about 1.4 billion kilowatt hours of electricity per year, enough to serve about 1.5 million homes, but their contribution goes much further than this.
In spring of 2017, the Nuclear Energy Institute published a report on the contribution of these facilities to Minnesota’s economy.
Xcel Energy’s nuclear operations are estimated to generate approximately $1 billion of total economic output annually, which contributes $600 million to Minnesota’s gross state product each year. The study finds that for every dollar of output from Xcel Energy’s nuclear operations, the state economy produces $1.98. NEI also estimates the facilities generate about $33 million in state and local taxes annually, in addition to federal annual taxes of more than $113 million. In addition, they are a source of high-skilled jobs, employing approximately 1,700 people at the facilities, plus 140 support positions at the Minneapolis headquarters. This direct employment is estimated to create another 4,200 jobs in other industries, for a total of 6,100 jobs in Minnesota.
The plants generate about 21 percent of Minnesota’s electricity and about 54 percent of the state’s carbon-free electricity. Without this carbon-free electricity, an estimated 7 million metric tons of carbon dioxide would be released annually, the equivalent of putting more than 2.6 million additional cars on Minnesota’s roadways each year, or double the number of passenger cars in all of Minnesota. By 2030, these nuclear plants will have provided almost $9 billion in avoided emissions benefits.
During full-power operations, the three reactors provide around-the-clock electricity for Minnesota homes and businesses. Over the last 10 years, the facilities have operated at approximately 85 percent of capacity, which is significantly higher than all other forms of electric generation, providing reliable electricity to businesses and consumers and helping prevent power disruptions which could lead to lost economic output, higher business costs, potential loss of jobs and losses to consumers.
In 2014, the city of Minneapolis, Xcel Energy and CenterPoint Energy teamed up to form a novel Clean Energy Partnership in support of the city’s Climate Action Plan and 2040 Energy Vision. Now in its third year, the partnership is building on a long history of collaboration to explore innovative approaches and enhanced outcomes in energy efficiency and the use of renewable energy in Minneapolis. The partnership provides a leadership framework through which the city and utilities can work together to prioritize, plan, coordinate, implement, market, track and report progress on clean energy activities in the city.
In 2016, the Clean Energy Partnership board continued to focus on completion of its 2015-2016 work plan focused on:
Key actions under the plan include:
The board also released its inaugural annual report focused on progress in 2015, which showed the city has reduced its carbon footprint by 7 percent since 2014. In early 2017, it also finalized its new 2017-2018 plan, with goals of establishing low-income community solar gardens within the city and developing a small business refrigeration energy efficiency program targeted at grocery stores and gas stations. This program will leverage Xcel Energy program resources, utility rebates and city grants and financing.
In early 2016, the U.S. Department of Energy recognized the partnership between Xcel Energy and the city of Minneapolis with a Better Buildings® award for designing a new Energy Benchmarking tool. The award specifically honors the collaboration between the two organizations in developing the system that makes it easier for building owners to better understand, track and report their energy usage. The new web-based tool allows owners and building managers to access whole-building data, instead of having to collect billing information from tenants separately.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and others also recognized the Clean Energy Partnership with a 2016 Climate Leadership award. The effort received an Innovative Partnership Certificate for working collaboratively on leading edge climate initiatives and collectively establishing objectives to measurably address greenhouse gas emissions.
Learn more at the Minneapolis Clean Energy Partnership website.
Learn more about our efforts to maintain affordable, reliable energy.
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