We generate reliable, affordable electricity from a range of sources. In 2017, across our eight-state service area, 40 percent of our electricity came from carbon-free sources: wind turbines, solar panels, hydroelectric plants and nuclear plants. The rest is produced at thermal power plants where coal, natural gas, oil or biomass are used to heat water into steam to drive a turbine that produces electricity.
In total, our plants are capable of producing more than 17,000 megawatts (MW) of electricity. One megawatt of power provides enough electricity to serve nearly 1,100 typical homes.
The charts above provide a snapshot of all the electricity by fuel type on our system in 2017. We have included energy that Xcel Energy plants generated, energy that we purchased, and energy that we supplied or made possible for customers under Xcel Energy renewable energy programs — Windsource®, Renewable*Connect®, Solar*Rewards®, and Solar*Rewards Community®. We count wind, solar, other renewables and nuclear as carbon-free.
For every megawatt hour of electricity that renewable sources produce, we receive a renewable energy certificate or credit (REC). Each year we retire RECs to comply with our state renewable energy standards or save RECs for future compliance. Based on market opportunities, we also sell some of our extra RECs and share any profits with customers. Learn more about RECs in our annual Corporate Responsibility Report.
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