Coal, Gas, Renewables, Solar, Wind

Xcel Cuts Carbon Emissions by 35 Percent, Reaches 40 Percent Carbon-Free Generation

By Editors of Power Engineering

The aggressive transformation of Xcel Energy’s power mix continues, with the company announcing it has cut carbon emissions 35 percent from 2005 levels and remains on track for a total reduction of 60 percent by 2030.

Xcel’s current carbon reduction is greater than the United States’ previous commitment under the Paris Climate Accord, which called for a 26 to 28 percent reduction by 2025. President Trump pulled the United States out of the accord last year.

Today, 40 percent of Xcel’s power generation is carbon-free, with half of that generated by wind energy. The company aims to increase that total to 60 percent by 2022, by continuing to retire coal plants – 20 slated for retirement from 2005 to 2026 — and replace that capacity with wind and solar power with natural gas as a backup.

In particular, Xcel Energy plans to double its wind generation with 12 new wind farms in seven states.

Xcel’s emissions of sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides are down more than 70 percent and water consumption decreased 40 percent from 2005 levels.