Xcel Energy’s clean energy strategy balances environmental improvement and cost while ensuring we continue to operate a reliable utility system. Our company is focused on making smart investment choices that customers want and value and that benefit the environment. These efforts include:
- Increasing the use of cost-effective renewable resources
- Helping customers better manage their energy use, save money and support the environment
- Modernizing our power plant fleet and retiring older, less efficient coal units
As we work toward a more diverse portfolio of cleaner, modern technologies, our system is stronger to better serve customers. For more than a decade, Xcel Energy continues to be ranked the No. 1 utility provider of wind energy in the United States, and we are applying the same dedication to increase the use of solar energy. Our portfolio of customer energy efficiency programs is extensive and recognized as one of the best in the country. We have spent the past decade implementing projects that reduce emissions and transform our generating plants. This began with the Minnesota Metro Emissions Reduction Project, which significantly reduced air emissions from our Twin Cities-area power plants, and continues today with the Clean Air-Clean Jobs project in Colorado. Beyond our clean energy strategy, protecting the environment is one of our core values. From recycling in our office buildings to water management at our plants and protection of wildlife habitat on the land where we have power lines—it’s part of our everyday operations.
- Since 2005, Xcel Energy has reduced carbon dioxide emissions by 22 percent and projects a 30 percent reduction by 2020. If approved, our proposed Upper Midwest resource plan will reduce our carbon dioxide emissions in that region by 40 percent by 2030.
- According to the 2014 Ceres report: Benchmarking Utility Clean Energy, Xcel Energy is among the top U.S. utilities for renewable energy sales and energy efficiency saving. In 2014, wind energy was 16 percent of our total energy mix—four times the wind energy in the average U.S. energy supply, which is about 4 percent.
- We continue to set system records for wind production. Through advanced wind forecasting, we have improved our ability to predict wind availability by 40 percent, which has saved customers more than $49 million in fuel costs.
- Xcel Energy is well positioned to meet new requirements for mercury and other hazardous air pollutants beginning in 2015, thanks to early improvements made under comprehensive emission-reduction efforts in Minnesota and Colorado, as well as new controls installed at our coal-fueled plants in Texas.
- At Xcel Energy’s power plants in Texas and New Mexico, about half of the water we use comes from recycled municipal effluent. It is a practice we helped pioneer decades ago to help save fresh water resources.
- Under the company’s Avian Protection Plans, Xcel Energy has retrofitted more than 2,600 electric transmission and distribution locations with equipment to protect birds.