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Xcel Files Long-Range Energy Plan

By 2015, Xcel Energy in Colorado wants to add approximately 1,050 megawatts of renewable generation, reduce current electricity demand by 694 megawatts through energy efficiency programs, and replace two older, coal-fired power plants with a natural gas facility.

The company’s Colorado Resource Plan (CRP) filed today would help reduce greenhouse gas emissions from Xcel Energy by at least 10 percent by 2017 compared with 2005 levels. The company further committed to file an expedited resource plan in 2009, which would provide options and make recommendations to put the company on a path to reduce the utility’s greenhouse gas emissions by up to 20 percent by 2020, a goal recently set by Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter.

The company says it plans to pursue the following goals if approved by the CPUC:

Wind Power: Increase the portfolio of wind power resources by 800 megawatts by 2015. Xcel Energy would then have a total of approximately 1,900 megawatts in Colorado.

Solar Power: Incorporate efficient, utility-scale solar power, starting with the acquisition of approximately 25 megawatts of capacity from a central solar power plant, with plans to bring in a plant of up to 200 megawatts as technology develops.

On-Site Solar: Pursue an additional 29 megawatts of on-site, customer-owned solar installations, as part of the company’s Solar*Rewards program.

Energy Efficiency: Increase participation in enhanced customer efficiency and conservation programs in Colorado. Xcel Energy plans to double the current capacity of its customer programs to 694 megawatts, while tripling the amount of annual energy sales reductions to approximately 2,350 gigawatt-hours, by 2020.

Plant Retirement/Replacement: To meet carbon dioxide reduction goals, the company would replace the output of four coal-burning units (at two power plants) with a highly efficient, natural gas generating facility; this would reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 1.4 million tons each year. The plants to be replaced total 229 megawatts of generation, and include the Arapahoe Generating Station in Denver and the Cameo Generating Station east of Grand Junction.

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