Clean Energy

Xcel Energy is implementing a clean energy strategy that works for our customers, regulators and communities. Our strategy improves the environment while ensuring that we continue to provide low-cost, reliable energy. We continue to maintain prices below the national average even as we significantly reduce emissions. Since 2005, our carbon dioxide emissions are down 12 percent from the power we own and purchase. Sulfur dioxide emissions are 43 percent lower and nitrogen oxide emissions 50 percent lower from the generating plants we own.

Our electric system is better today because we continue to sensibly invest in a balanced portfolio of cleaner, modern technologies. Our diverse energy supply achieves the benefits associated with each resource while balancing their operational, financial and regulatory risks.

We operate in areas of the United States that are rich in renewable resources. These resources contribute to our position as the nation's No. 1 wind energy provider and our top 10 ranking for solar energy. They also improve our ability to provide renewable energy at excellent prices. In 2011, we grew our use of wind and solar power by more than 700 megawatts, and we signed several new contracts for wind energy at a very low cost, making it competitive with some fossil fuel generation.

Our diverse energy mix includes efficiency, and through our energy saving programs, customers conserved enough electricity in 2011 to satisfy the needs of 107,000 homes1. Since 1992, these programs have enabled us to avoid building more than 14 power plants — protecting the environment while saving money.

Working with our states, we are proactively and cost-effectively reducing emissions from our fossil generating fleet through projects such as our Minnesota Metro Emissions Reduction Project completed in 2009 and the Colorado Clean Air-Clean Job project currently underway. We work to install emission controls on the most efficient coal-fired generating plants while replacing the least productive facilities with new natural gas-fired generation. These proactive measures position us to meet future environmental rules and avoid the extraordinary costs that others in our industry now face.

Our balanced clean energy strategy has worked for our customers and our company and continues to result in a cleaner environment and low-cost, reliable power. Because of its success, we will continue to pursue this strategy for the benefit of the people we serve.

1 Average annual electricity use per home is 8,100 kWh. Average annual gas use per home is 87 million cubic feet (MCF).

2011 Owned and Purchased Energy (total in MWh)

Owned Generation Purchased Generation Total
Upper Midwest 31,668,355 14,218,674 45,887,029
Colorado 23,742,935 13,027,945 36,770,880
Texas/New Mexico 19,310,334 11,492,134 30,802,468
Total 74,721,624 38,738,753 113,460,377

2011 Owned and Purchased Energy (by energy source)

Upper Midwest


Texas/New Mexico

1 This category includes wind energy de-bundled from renewable energy credits (RECs).

2 This category also includes Windsource RECs. See more information about RECs and Windsource.

3 “Other” includes small amounts of power purchased from a number of sources.

4 Includes distributed generation through the Solar*Rewards program.

Reducing power plant emissions »

About the Report

We published our first corporate responsibility report (formerly known as the Triple Bottom Line report) in April 2005, with the contents covering the 2004 calendar year, and we have published a similar report in each following year. Our report is based on Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) G3 Sustainability Reporting Guidelines, the most widely used sustainability reporting framework in the world. Additionally, we incorporate the GRI's Electric Utilities Sector Supplement indicators wherever possible.

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About the Report