Xcel touts clean energy work in multi-state service areas

May 24, 2016 10:59 AM Eastern Daylight Time

MINNEAPOLIS–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Xcel Energy’s commitment to clean energy is benefiting the customers and the environment in the communities it serves. By adding wind and solar power, retiring aging coal plants and expanding energy efficiency programs, the company has significantly reduced emissions and water consumption across its operations.

In 2015, Xcel Energy’s mercury emissions declined 85 percent, while sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide emissions declined 67 percent at its plants, since 2005. Xcel Energy is on track to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by more than 30 percent by 2020 and has also cut water consumption by 30 percent at its operations, according to the company’s newly released 2015 Corporate Responsibility Report.

“Customers today want clean, reliable and affordable energy solutions and the significant emission reductions we’ve achieved show we’re committed to delivering it,” said Ben Fowke, chairman, president and CEO of Xcel Energy. “We’re investing in a diverse energy supply that is putting us on a path to a more sustainable energy future, without losing sight of cost.”

In 2015, carbon-free energy sources made up 34 percent of Xcel Energy’s electricity supply and the company plans to grow its carbon-free energy sources to 43 percent by 2020. As the nation’s No. 1 utility wind energy provider for 12 consecutive years, Xcel Energy added four new wind farms in 2015, increasing its wind capacity 15 percent. The company expects wind to make up 24 percent of its electricity supply by 2020. Xcel Energy also expects to triple the solar energy on our system by 2020.

Xcel Energy also ended coal operations at the Black Dog plant in Minnesota and the Cherokee Unit 3 in Colorado, as the company works to reduce 25 percent of coal-fueled capacity it owns by 2018.

Xcel Energy also offers 160 programs to manage electricity and natural gas use. In 2015, customers saved more than one billion kilowatt hours of electricity, enough to power more than 137,000 homes annually and 1.7 million dekatherms of natural gas, or enough to fuel more than 20,000 homes a year.

Xcel Energy’s Corporate Responsibility Report also details its corporate citizenship. The company contributed nearly $60 million in 2015 through energy assistance, volunteer efforts and grants.

Other highlights from the report include:

  • Storm response that is among the best in the industry, with the company managing more than 50 major storm event in 2015 and restoring service to 90 percent of customers within 12 hours.
  • A focus on military hiring, with veterans making up nine percent of the company’s workforce in 2015, and 10 percent of newly hired employees for the year.
  • Improved employee safety with employee injuries down approximately 50 percent since 2010.

Xcel Energy (NYSE: XEL) provides the energy that powers millions of homes and businesses across eight Western and Midwestern states. Headquartered in Minneapolis, the company is an industry leader in responsibly reducing carbon emissions and producing and delivering clean energy solutions from a variety of renewable sources at competitive prices. For more information, visit www.xcelenergy.com or follow us on Twitter and Facebook.