Making the Cut: Xcel Energy Reduces Carbon Emissions 35%

 

Xcel Energy announced this week that it cut carbon emissions 35%, according to its newly released Corporate Responsibility Report.

“We’re on a path to provide a more sustainable, prosperous energy future and believe reducing carbon emissions while enhancing affordability is a tremendous benefit for the customers and communities we serve,” said Ben Fowke, chairman, president and CEO of Xcel Energy.

This puts Xcel Energy on track to reach or exceed its goal of reducing carbon emissions 60% by 2030 from 2005 levels. As illustrated in the image below, the company has decreased its reliance on coal over the past several years.

Xcel Energy’s report touches on the following energy efficient and environmentally sustainable milestones for present and future:

  • Forty percent carbon-free electricity provided to customers in 2017, about half generated by wind energy.
  • The retirement of 20 coal units from 2005 to 2026, representing 40% of its coal-powered capacity.
  • Emissions of sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides are down more than 70% and water consumption decreased 40% from 2005 levels.
  • A decline in the average Xcel Energy residential electricity and natural gas bill over the past five years, which results in keeping bills flat overall.
  • Community investment of $72.9 million in 2017, which includes support for energy assistance that helped customers in need, volunteer programs and grants through the Xcel Energy Foundation to nonprofits for STEM education, economic sustainability, environmental stewardship and arts and culture.

In 2017, Energy Manager Today reported that Xcel began a $4 million solar energy storage pilot program in Denver. And in 2016, the energy supplier announced its Courtney Wind Farm in North Dakota was online and operational. It includes 100 turbines that cover 25,000 acres that are owned by 60 landowners. It is capable of powering an average of about 100,000 homes.

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Xcel Energy

 

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