Saturday, August 15, 2009

Xcel SubmitsPlan to Rev Up Renewables

Submitted by: Heartland Energy Colorado - written by Art Mass

Colorado’s largest utility submitted its plan late yesterday to the State Public Utilities Commission outlining steps to increase its production of renewable energy.

The proposal details how Xcel will adjust its energy mix away from coal-fired power production and more toward “green” energy production. The company says it wants to add roughly 980 megawatts of solar and wind power by 2015 and cut carbon emissions by 10 percent. The plan stems from bids Xcel requested for proposals to generate the power the utility will need to serve customers through 2015.

Provisions include:
• Retiring two coal-fired generating units at Xcel’s Cameo Generating Station near Grand Junction by the end of next year and two coal units at Denver’s Arapahoe Generating Station by 2014.
• Adding about 700 megawatts of wind and solar photovoltaic generating capacity and 280 megawatts of “new solar technology.”
• Continued access to about 900 megawatts of existing natural gas-fired resources.

Should the plan be accepted by the Colorado PUC, it would reduce Xcel’s carbon dioxide emissions by about 10 percent from current levels, according to the company.
Xcel said its proposal exceeds the targets set by the PUC in December for renewable-energy production.

“The plan that we filed with the commission puts us well on target to meet the state’s climate action plan,” Tim Taylor, president and CEO for Public Service Co. of Colorado, Xcel’s Colorado unit, said in a statement late Monday. “We believe our resource plan will keep us as one of the leading providers of renewable energy resources – currently ranked as the No. 1 wind provider in the U.S. and the No. 4 solar energy producer.”

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