Xcel is No. 1 Clean Energy Provider in U.S., Industry Group Reports
utility on track for 100% renewable energy by 2050
Xcel Energy, which a few years ago became the first U.S. utility to announce plans to reduce its carbon emissions to zero by 2050, has added another feather to its renewable energy cap: A report released this month by the American Clean Power Association ranked Xcel as the No. 1 utility in the nation when it comes to clean power.
Specifically, as of the end of 2020, Minneapolis-based Xcel had 11,205 megawatts of wind and solar in its system, edging out every other investor-owned utility in the U.S., the report by the industry group said.
“The nation has seen tremendous growth on the wind and solar front, and we’re proud to be leading the charge in providing our customers with clean energy,” Ben Fowke, CEO and chairman of Xcel Energy, said in a media release. “This is a time of significant change for our company and industry as we embrace renewables and other technologies that provide value to our customers, communities, and the environment.”
Xcel said that its energy mix in 2020 was 47% carbon-free: 27% of its energy came from wind, 13% from nuclear, 3% from solar, and 4% from other renewable sources, including hydroelectricity.
In its own annual sustainability report, Xcel said that its energy mix in 2020 was 47% carbon-free: 27% of its energy came from wind, 13% from nuclear, 3% from solar, and 4% from other renewable sources, including hydroelectricity. (Carbon-emitting coal and natural gas were 21% and 32% of the mix, respectively.) By comparison, Xcel’s energy production was only 21% carbon-free in 2005.
The No. 1 ranking in the American Clean Power Association report came on the heels of several other renewable energy headlines for Xcel, which has 3.7 million electricity customers in eight states, including Wisconsin. Earlier this year, Xcel announced it had become one of the first energy companies in the nation to reach 10,000 megawatts of wind energy capacity. In addition, the company plans to add another 10,000 megawatts of renewable energy to its system in Minnesota and Colorado alone by 2030. And in June, Wisconsin regulators approved Xcel’s purchase of a 74-megawatt solar farm, known as the Western Mustang Project, in Pierce County, about 50 miles from Eau Claire.
Here’s the full announcement from Xcel about its No. 1 ranking:
Xcel Energy is number one in clean energy
MINNEAPOLIS (Aug. 11, 2021) – Xcel Energy today announced that it is the largest clean energy provider in the country when it comes to wind, solar and battery storage, according to the American Clean Power Association (ACP). In its recently published annual report, the ACP ranks investor-owned utilities, based on the amount of clean power on their systems at the end of 2020, and Xcel Energy came out on top.
“The nation has seen tremendous growth on the wind and solar front, and we’re proud to be leading the charge in providing our customers with clean energy,” said Ben Fowke, CEO and chairman of Xcel Energy. “This is a time of significant change for our company and industry as we embrace renewables and other technologies that provide value to our customers, communities and the environment.”
Xcel Energy is the first major U.S. power provider to announce a vision of delivering 100% carbon-free electricity to its customers by 2050, and it’s more than halfway there. The company has also proposed plans to retire most of its coal generation ahead of schedule, which will help reduce carbon emissions 80% by 2030, one of the most aggressive interim targets in the industry, consistent with the Paris Agreement targets.
At the end of 2020, Xcel Energy had 11,205 megawatts of wind and solar on the system, edging out its peers by 43 megawatts, according to the report.
In 2021, the company surpassed 10,000 megawatts of wind on its system, after wrapping up the largest multi-state wind expansion in the country. By the end of this year, Dakota Range, a large wind farm in South Dakota, is expected to come online.
In addition to reducing carbon emissions 80% by 2030, Xcel Energy expects to serve customers company-wide with electricity that is nearly 80% carbon free, including approximately 65% renewable sources, by the end of the decade.