In graphs, A is actual and E is estimated. The resource plan does not outline specific proposals for meeting either goal. - the gas industry supports almost 3 million jobs in the U.S. - we have lots and lots of domestic natural gas, more than anyone in the world, and enough for several hundred years. As much as wind and solar are increasing, natural gas is increasing more. Our carbon reporting is based on The Climate Registry’s Electric Power Sector Protocol. Investing in low-cost clean energy now creates long-term economic opportunities for rural communities, reduces water use and helps Xcel Energy keep costs low for years to come. In a filing with regulators, the utility also warned that COVID-19 could raise concerns: “While it is too early to determine the full impact of the pandemic, we have experienced and continue to anticipate a temporary loss of demand response participation from both residential and business customers over the next several months impacting our 2020 forecast.”. Demand response allows utilities, in coordination with their customers, to shed, shape, and shift loads “while saving money for everybody,” he said. When they sell electricity at peak times, they charge some customers more for that power. Dominion Energy, Duke, NextEra Energy, Southern Company and Xcel Energy are investing billions of dollars along these lines. Just look at how Xcel Energy’s generation mix has changed since 2005 and is projected to change by 2030: wind is going from 9% to 60% of its mix (see figure below). Utilities have not embraced demand response programs because they undermine two profit centers, said Frank Lacey, chair of the Advanced Energy Management Alliance. Xcel Energy, which owns electric and gas utilities featuring major wind and growing solar resources, is making a big commitment to renewable generation. Xcel also recently established notable forward-looking Renewables are expected to provide 60% of Xcel’s generation by 2030. But there has been growth in states that have already surpassed their RPS such as Texas and Iowa, and growth in states that don’t have an RPS, like Florida. Xcel Energy: Wind energy hits record high marks this spring ... Natural gas-fueled generation supplied 47% and coal-fueled generation made up 25% of the mix. Another demand response initiative will come before the commission this fall, Xcel said in filings at the commission. Built with the Largo WordPress Theme from the Institute for Nonprofit News. Company Proposes to Shut Down 900 Megawatts of Coal; Plan Provides Savings of at Least $225 Million Xcel Energy proposed today a low-cost option to significantly reduce Colorado coal-fired generation emissions, through a combination of retiring, repowering or retrofitting of several power plants as called for under the recently enacted state Clean Air Clean Jobs Act. increases because of its price and versatility, while renewable energy is added to achieve state renewable portfolio standards. Hydro and small modular nuclear reactors are also excellent for load-following renewables, but only the Pacific Northwest has sufficient hydro for that on a large-scale, and SMRs will take decades to deploy in sufficient numbers to take over from natural gas. Until recently, there was a waiting list, and now the program is again accepting new enrollees. All Rights Reserved, This is a BETA experience. In graphs, A is actual and E is estimated. “It’s also critical to increasing the amount of clean energy on the system.”. As a result, greenhouse gas emissions in America dropped to a 25-year low two years ago, although they are now rising again with increased economic activity and an ever-increasing number of gas-guzzling SUVs. In April 2017, Xcel Energy rolled out a new renewable energy program called Renewable Connect that allows customers to source their electricity from wind and solar energy. A proposal by the state’s Public Utilities Regulatory Authority is designed to drive the deployment of 580 megawatts of energy storage capacity by 2030. A 1,4000-megawatt demand response program could significantly shave peak demand, according to a Brattle Group study. The other utilities are changing in some form along these lines as well, depending on their specific mixes, but renewables and gas are the only two sources expected to increase significantly. Utilities can avoid expensive new transmission infrastructure and add more renewable energy with robust demand response programs. The proposals, a mix of owned wind farms and power purchase agreements, would come online through 2021. America's Top Givers: The 25 Most Philanthropic Billionaires, EY & Citi On The Importance Of Resilience And Innovation, Impact 50: Investors Seeking Profit — And Pushing For Change, KAMI’s New Year Resolution Is To Make Activewear More Sustainable, Electric Vehicles: A Small Window For Safety And Stability, A Large Arena For Research, U.K. State regulatory staff recently recommended that utilities offer discounts for charging vehicles during off-peak hours. Given our supposed desire to reign in our emissions and cut our fossil fuel use, this is definitely going in the wrong direction to any green energy future, even if renewables expand significantly. Learn more. Contact Customer Service. Nuclear will decline slightly based on planned plant retirements partially offset by two new reactors coming online in the next two years, and particularly by small modular reactors, which should take off after 2025. “We’re looking forward to seeing how Xcel will incorporate aggregators and customers into its demand response programs to ensure a clean energy future.”. Demand response allows utilities to incent businesses and consumers to reduce their electricity usage during busy times and maintain grids during extreme events. Xcel Energy Transmission A proven performer A collaborator in transmission Xcel Energy was a leader in creating CapX2020, a joint initiative of 11 investor-owned utilities, generation and transmission cooperatives, and municipal joint action agencies. “We believe demand response is an important tool for creating a cleaner, more reliable grid and for opening opportunities to add more renewable energy to Minnesota’s generation mix,” she said. About. Whether it’s an aircraft carrier, a utility company or the United States, these are big ships to turn. “I think it was a fair initial reaction in that we’re coming up against a deadline and we haven’t seen a lot of detail,” said Benjamin Stafford, Clean Energy Economy Minnesota’s government affairs director. Demand response may become a more critical asset as utilities transition to clean energy sources. © Copyright 2021. Community; Company Diversity; Corporate Governance It’s why the gas industry has been the major supporter of wind energy. Uncaught ReferenceError: grecaptcha is not defined throws at You may opt-out by. Just look at how Xcel Energy’s generation mix has changed since 2005 and is projected to change by 2030: wind is going from 9% to 60% of its mix (see figure below). Nuclear energy accounts for a third of Xcel Energy's upper Midwest energy mix, and roughly half of its carbon-free energy generation. Xcel Energy, which owns the northwest Colorado plant with PacifiCorp and the Salt River Project, said in a statement Monday that Unit 2 of the plant will be retired by the end of 2027 and Unit 1 will be retired in 2028. CapX2020 upgraded and expanded the electric transmission grid in four states to: ensure continued For over 25 years I have been a member of Sierra Club, Greenpeace, the NRDC, the Environmental Defense Fund and many others, as well as professional societies including the America Nuclear Society, the American Chemical Society, the Geological Society of America and the American Association of Petroleum Geologists. Xcel said in an email that since 1992 energy and conservation programs have helped it avoid building 13 power plants. Xcel Energy plans to add 12 wind farms in seven states, leading to more than 11 GW on its system by 2021. This is a list of electricity-generating power stations in the U.S. state of Colorado, sorted by type and name.In 2019, Colorado had a total summer capacity of 16,592 MW through all of its power plants, and a net generation of 56,338 GWh. 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The commission’s January 2017 order requires Xcel to “acquire no less than 400 MW of additional demand response by 2023” and, in its next integrated resource plan, take “into account the technical and economic achievability of 1,000 MW of additional demand response, or approximately 20% of Xcel’s system peak in total by 2025.”. Projected annual generation mix in 2020 This shift has enabled significant carbon reductions in the Upper Midwest portfolio, whose 2017 emissions were roughly 30% below a 2005 benchmark level. I also consult for EPA/State environmental agencies and industry on clean-up of heavy metals from soil and water. UPDATE: Jan. 5, 2020: Xcel Energy on Monday announced plans to close the coal-fired Hayden Generating Station, with Unit 2 retiring by the end of 2027 and Unit 1 … The Department of Commerce agreed with much of the alliance’s contentions and offered suggestions on what details further filings should include on Xcel’s demand response plans. Xcel has not asked the commission to approve a demand response product offering since the 2017 order, the alliance said. Xcel Energy set a new renewable power generation record by powering more than 80% of Colorado’s energy mix in an hour with wind and solar on May 7. Xcel Energy is one of the fastest growing investor-owned transmission systems with more than 20,000 miles of transmission lines and more than 1,200 substations across 10 states, serving 22,000 megawatts of … His articles have appeared in more than 50 publications, including Minnesota Monthly, Wired, the Los Angeles Times, the Minneapolis Star Tribune, Minnesota Technology, Finance & Commerce and others. The company’s plan to reduce carbon emissions by 80% by 2030 and 100% by 2050 will include demand response programs that lower customers’ energy use and shift peak load. It consists of four operating subsidiaries: Northern States Power-Minnesota, Northern States Power-Wisconsin, Public Service … Choosing the course of renewables and gas, locks us into gas in a big way for decades, twice as long as it locks renewables, because of the difference in unit lifespans. Green Jobs, natural gas is cheap, and has been getting even cheaper. But how aggregation would work in Minnesota, including how the utility works with aggregators, will be determined in later filings before the commission. The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission has recognized the importance of increasing levels of cost-effective demand response. New technology has revolutionized drilling, like Patterson-UTI’s APEX WALKING® drill rig shown here. As advanced metering infrastructure and digitally connected appliances become more common, utilities can offer pricing programs that reward consumers for shifting electricity use to times of low demand. But will we? Xcel Energy-Colorado and its partners in the Hayden Generating Station will close the coal-fired plant's two units by 2028, years earlier than planned. Utilities that meet state renewable energy portfolio standards will fill most of the growth gap from the elimination of, or reduction, in tax credits. “We need to have a more flexible and resilient system and demand response is a critically important resource to keep the grid efficient and reliable cost-effective,” Schuerger said. Nuclear energy accounts for a third of Xcel Energy's upper Midwest energy mix, and roughly half of its carbon-free energy generation. Clean energy advocates believe demand response lessens the need for new fossil fuel power plants and potentially reduces generation demands on existing ones. Natural Gas and Renewable Energy Top Morningstar’s 2030 Power Generation Forecast. It is significantly larger than an 800-megawatt natural gas plant Xcel intends to build in Becker to replace the coal-burning Sherburne County Generating Facility (known as Sherco) destined to close later this decade. Although a new name in the industry, Xcel is made up of companies familiar to EL&P's readers, including Northern States Power Co. (NSP), Southwestern Public Service, Public Service Company of Colorado and NRG Energy. © 2021 Forbes Media LLC. 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Xcel plans to use federal production tax credits to secure low wind energy prices. “I think it was giving some stakeholders and the commission a little bit of heartburn. Company-wide, renewables are 25% of our energy mix, and we estimate they will provide up to 60% of our generation by 2030 as we advance new plans to achieve our 80% carbon goal. by 2030. eSmart Systems, Xcel Energy, and EDM International announce the completion of the first phase of a strategic initiative to enhance the aerial inspection of Xcel’s transmission system. The corresponding electrical energy generation mix was 44.9% coal, 30.3% natural gas, 19.3% wind, 2.9% hydroelectric (including pumped storage), and 2.2% solar. Currently Xcel Energy is at 6514 MW of Installed Capacity, which is currently 20.6 percent of the company’s generation mix. Supporters of the group’s arguments were Clean Energy Economy Minnesota and the city of Minneapolis. As a result, their 2019 delivered generation for customers has a capacity fuel mix of: Coal 1,590 MW; Natural Gas 1,561 MW; Oil 32 MW; Solar 43 MW; Wind 67 MW and Landfill Gas 3 MW. Demand response mitigates the challenge of incorporating variable power sources such as solar and wind, he said. Solar and Wind Power by the Numbers Path to Carbon-Free Power Generation by 2035 Demand response is part of the utility’s integrated resource plan, a lengthy document that outlines investments and its generation mix over several years. Our industry-leading programs give our customers affordable, cleaner energy options and more control over their energy use. At this rate, gas will exceed 50% of the power mix by 2050, which may be a double-edged sword. The key thing about renewables and gas amounting to over 60% of the mix in only 10 years is that renewables need natural gas for backup, or load-following, or we start having rolling blackouts when the wind stops blowing. Clean energy advocates, along with the city of Minneapolis, want to know more. Commissioner Matt Schuerger, a former energy consultant, said the electric grid changes as power plants retire, generation disperses, digital technology becomes commonplace and decarbonization continues. According to Morningstar, the ramp down in solar and wind tax credits during the next few years won’t slow growth as much as other forecasts predict. And gas will continue to grow faster than all other energy sources in the United States for some time. “We know our customers want to do their part to save energy, and by expanding our successful demand response programs and introducing new programs, we will provide them with additional opportunities to save energy and money, while also reducing carbon,” Xcel said in a statement. Xcel Energy, NextEra leading charge to add utility, merchant wind to energy mix Q3: U.S. The plan, required by the commission every four years to cost effectively meet the states growing energy needs, calls for a variety of new generating resources, including wind, natural gas and coal. Wind will come along for a symbiotic ride, and together will rule America’s generation sector. Platte River Power Authority expects fully eliminating emissions will require more distributed resources and changes to how it manages peak demand. Xcel Energy Inc. is a utility holding company based in Minneapolis, Minnesota, serving more than 3.3 million electric customers and 1.8 million natural gas customers in Minnesota, Michigan, Wisconsin, North Dakota, South Dakota, Colorado, Texas and New Mexico in 2017. Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own. To fund the pilot, Xcel was recently awarded a $10.5 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). Xcel has close to 1.6 GW of wind energy available in its Texas-New Mexico generation mix and its proposal will nearly double that, adding 1.2 GW. Nearly four years after Minnesota regulators required Xcel Energy to develop hundreds of megawatts of new resources to cut peak electricity demand, little is known about the utility’s plans. The Public Utilities Commission agreed, and last month required Xcel to provide greater detail by February on its plan. Texas and New Mexico regulators approved the company’s $1.6 billion, 1.2 GW wind expansion plan in 2018. 8 The 2019 increase in natural gas generation is associated with the acquisition of the Oleander and Stanton plants at the end of 2018. Likewise, wind turbine technology is advancing that lengthens lifetimes and capacity factors. Renewables are currently 28% of our Colorado energy mix, and under the Colorado Energy Plan, we expect renewable energy to be 55% of our energy mix by 2026. Even after a stakeholder process, Xcel had failed to “make a good faith effort” to offer a specific plan to regulators and other interested parties, the Advanced Energy Management Alliance said. A strong transmission system will ensure continued reliable and affordable service; meet state and regional energy policy goals; and support a diverse generation mix, including renewable energy. But I think [the order] moves the discussion forward in productive ways where in the past getting stakeholders on the same page was impossible because we didn’t know what the page was.”. Utilities “are not predisposed to like demand response because it’s a very powerful, competitive resource,” Lacey said. New technology has revolutionized drilling, like Patterson-UTI’s APEX WALKING® drill rig shown here. Contact Us. I write about nuclear, energy and the environment. 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