NewEnergyNews: XCEL ENERGY MOVES TO NEW ENERGY

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    Thursday, December 20, 2007

    XCEL ENERGY MOVES TO NEW ENERGY

    In addition to its impressive commitment to wind energy (it is #1 in the US), Xcel has made other interesting commitments. Though it has chosen nuclear over “dirty” coal, it has committed only to extend licenses and expand capacities of existing plants, not build new infrastructure. And it has committed to building no new coal plants until there are national emissions caps and/or “clean” coal becomes something more than an oxymoron.

    Xcel Energy outlines plans for more efficiency, green power
    December 15, 2007 (AP via KARE-Minneapolis/St. Paul)

    WHO
    Xcel Energy (Dave Sparby, CEO, Xcel Northern States Power)

    click to enlarge

    WHAT
    Xcel Energy’s report to Minnesota regulators announced plans to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions through conservation, efficiency and New Energy.

    WHEN
    - The report covers the upcoming 2 years. It was announced December 14.
    - Xcel will add 2,600 megawatts of new wind resources by 2020, not counting the 1,300 megawatts operating or planned by year-end 2008.

    WHERE
    - Xcel Northern States Power is the branch of Xcel Energy serving Minnesota.
    - Xcel, the US biggest seller of wind energy, obtains its supplies from Minnesota's southwest quadrant and the Great Plains states.

    click to enlarge

    WHY
    - Xcel’s report welcomed Minnesota’s laws mandating that utilities obtain 30% of their electricity from renewables and targeting a 30% emissions reduction by 2025.
    - Xcel will extend the operating license of its Prairie Island nuclear plant's two units for 2033 and 2034. The Monticello nuclear plant license was previously extended through 2030. It will expand capacity at Prairie Island by 160 megawatts and the Monticello plant by 71 megawatts. This will save its customers $1.1 billion over 20 years.
    - Xcel will upgrade the Sherco coal-fired plant in Becker, Minn, to 115 megawatts capacity with environmental upgrades. This sustains the company’s pledge to not build another coal-fired plant until there are national emissions caps or "clean-coal" technology is commercialized.

    QUOTES
    Sparby, Xcel Northern States Power: "Our plan would reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 22 percent from 2005 levels by 2020, a 6 million-ton reduction, while pursuing the lowest-cost expansion path, meeting increased customer needs and maintaining system reliability…"

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