Xcel Vitality Colorado Releases Particulars of Clear Vitality Plan

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Xcel Energy Colorado has unveiled the scope of its upcoming Clean Energy Plan, which will enable its customers to achieve an estimated 85% reduction in carbon dioxide emissions from 2005 to 2030.

The plan will result in a greater reduction than required by Colorado law and will double the storage of renewable energy and batteries in the Xcel Energy Colorado system, providing customers with electricity from approximately 80% renewable sources while being more affordable and reliable energy service is maintained.

“We have a long track record of successfully transforming our facilities to meet future energy needs and look forward to doing so in Colorado, a state with executives who share our clean energy goals,” said Ben Fowke, chairman and CEO of Xcel Energy. “We strive to work with our employees and the communities we serve while ensuring reliability and affordability for our customers.”

According to Xcel Energy, in 2018 it was the first energy company in the country to announce a vision of a carbon-free power grid by 2050. This announcement includes a balanced, diversified portfolio of energy sources to ensure reliability and affordability while supporting communities as a company works to meet Colorado’s goals for reducing carbon emissions and evolving energy needs. Highlights of the plan are:

– Adds approx. 5,500 MW of new wind, solar and battery storage
– Significantly reduce the operation of coal-fired power plants by 2030 and retire or repower any remaining coal units by 2040
– Building on successful customer-oriented energy efficiency programs, distributed generation possibilities and options for responding to demand for controlling the energy load
– Ensuring grid stability and reliability with flexible resources that are suitable for dealing with renewable resources and in times of extreme heat or cold
– Prepare a workforce and community transition plan based on the utility’s experience of making clean energy transitions in its utility area
– Assessment of the transmission infrastructure in the state to improve the reliability and flexibility of the system and reduce the cost of the renewable energy supplements envisaged in the plan

Xcel Energy’s Colorado customers’ electricity bills are already among the lowest in the country – the new energy plan will continue to keep bills low. It is estimated that the plan will result in an increase in customer bills at or below the rate of inflation. Layoffs are not expected in any of the coal-fired power plants affected by the plan. Company and union leaders are working together to manage this transition through attrition, retirement and retraining of employees.

The plan will be submitted to the Colorado Public Utilities Commission late next month.

Photo: Ben Fowke

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