Xcel Energy Surpasses 50% Carbon-Free Power

by | Jun 21, 2023

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Chalkboard with a decreasing line chart and a hand writing CO2 in chalk

(Credit: Canva Pro)

Xcel Energy, a prominent energy provider serving eight states, reports that the company now generates more than half of its power from carbon-free sources.

In its annual sustainability report, Xcel Energy said carbon-free energy accounted for 53% of its energy mix in 2022, surpassing the national average of 41%. Additionally, the company said it has successfully reduced carbon emissions associated with the electricity it provides to customers by 53% since 2005.

Xcel Energy, which provides utility energy services to eight states, has targets that include providing customers with 100% carbon-free electricity by 2050 and achieving an 80% reduction in carbon emissions from its operations by 2030, compared to 2005 levels.

Xcel Energy’s Carbon-Free Future Plans

To realize these goals, the company has begun implementing comprehensive energy plans in Colorado and the Upper Midwest. These plans outline the development of new energy generation, transmission infrastructure, and other resources needed to meet the 2030 target. The company also plans to exit coal operations by the end of 2030, subject to regulatory approval for retiring coal operations at the Tolk Generating Station in Texas ahead of schedule. 

Furthermore, Xcel Energy is actively promoting grid reliability and resiliency during this transition by supporting emerging technologies such as long-duration battery storage and clean hydrogen production through demonstration-scale projects. The company is also expanding its transmission line infrastructure, with approval received for the Colorado Power Pathway project spanning 560 to 650 miles.

Other Sustainability Efforts

Xcel Energy’s commitment to sustainability extends beyond carbon reduction. The company has made significant strides in minimizing other environmental impacts. Since 2005, Xcel Energy has reduced water consumption from energy generation by 39% and air emissions of sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides from its power plants by approximately 80%.

With high global natural gas prices, Xcel Energy expanded efforts to arrange payment plans and connected over 190,000 customers to energy assistance programs in 2022. These customers collectively received $216 million in energy assistance, representing a nearly 50% increase compared to the previous year. Xcel Energy is currently working on policies to protect customers from future natural gas price volatility.

According to the sustainability report, Xcel Energy has introduced programs that promote electric vehicle ownership, charging infrastructure accessibility, and renewable energy choices. 

Editor’s note: Don’t miss the virtual Environment+Energy Leader Solutions Summit ’23 on July 18-19. Learn tangible, innovative solutions to help with sustainable transitions across industries. Speakers from companies and organizations including Schneider Electric, Cority, Jump Associates, Mycocycle, Plainsight, LRQA, the Alliance to Save Energy, and many more will share tactics and lessons that can help you solve your energy management, sustainability, and ESG challenges. Learn more about the #EESummit23, and then register today!

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