Energy Efficiency, GHG Emissions, Utilities - June 23, 2023
Xcel Energy Surpasses 50% Carbon-Free Electricity Generation
Xcel Energy announced that over half of the power generated across the eight states it serves is from carbon-free sources.
The utility company, which operates in eight Western and Midwestern states, reported that carbon-free energy made up 53% of its 2022 energy mix and also reduced carbon emissions associated with the electricity it provides to customers by 53% from 2005 levels.
Details were provided in its annual Sustainability Report, which discusses the company’s progress in transitioning to clean energy while maintaining reliable and affordable natural gas and electricity service.
“Xcel Energy is at the heart of our nation’s clean energy transition,” said Bob Frenzel, chairman, president and CEO of Xcel Energy in a statement. “Guided by our customers’ priorities and enabled by rapidly changing technology, we’re driving toward a clean energy future, bringing reliable, affordable, increasingly clean energy to millions.”
The company started to implement its Colorado and Upper Midwest energy plans, which outline the new energy generation, transmission infrastructure, and other resources it will develop to meet its 2030 goal of reducing carbon emissions from its operations by 80% from 2005 levels.
Xcel Energy also plans to exit from coal by the end of 2030 if regulators approve its proposal to retire coal operations at Tolk Generating Station in Texas four years ahead of schedule.
To support the reliability and resiliency of the grid as this transition continues, the company is helping to incubate and scale emerging technologies, including demonstration-scale projects in long-duration battery storage and clean hydrogen production.
Through the clean energy transition, the company is reducing other environmental impacts of its operations as well. Since 2005, Xcel Energy has reduced water consumption from owned and purchased energy generation by 39% and air emissions of sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides from its power plants by about 80%.
Xcel Energy is also taking steps to save customers money through cost-effective wind and solar projects as well as efficiency programs to help them save energy. From 2017 to 2022, company-owned wind projects saved customers approximately $3 billion through avoided fuel costs and earned tax credits.