Xcel Energy (NYSE:XEL) has won Colorado Public Utilities Commission (PUC) approval for a resource plan that moves the company toward less-emitting generation through 2018 and beyond.
“This is an historic moment,” PUC Chairman Joshua Epel said Dec 10. “Colorado has been moving toward a lower-carbon future, and with the lower wind and solar costs, we have an opportunity to move that future forward.”
The utility has touted the success of its all source solicitation in September, which evidently brought in cheaper-than-expected proposals for solar photovoltaic generation.
Once the written decision is issued, Xcel Energy will negotiate contracts to acquire the selected resources, the PUC said. Public Service Co. of Colorado is Xcel Energy’s regulated utility subsidiary in the state.
The PUC approved a resource portfolio for Xcel Energy that includes:
• The previously-authorized acquisition of 450 MW of wind resources.
• Continued operation of the Cherokee 4 unit on natural gas.
• Retirement of Arapahoe 4 coal unit. Arapahoe is a 1950s vintage unit that burns sub-bituminous coal.
• Entering into purchase power agreements with two natural-gas fired facilities owned and operated by independent power producers for a total of 317 MW of gas-fired capacity.
• The acquisition of 170 MW of photovoltaic (PV) solar capacity.
The decision allows the company to acquire capacity beyond the level required within the resource acquisition period of the plan (through 2018) due to the low cost of bids received and the need for additional capacity beginning in 2019.