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Colorado and Xcel's Clean Energy Plan

Please note that this article is intended to provide factual coverage of events and is NOT intended to express political opinion. Any opinions that may be implied do not represent the official stances of the Poudre Press, Poudre School District, or Poudre High School.

Colorado has made some recent advancements in their plan for the future of clean and renewable energy sources for the future and the coming years. To efficiently and effectively preserve our resources recreationally and humanly. According to Xcel Energy in July of 2022, they recently approved what according to XcelEnergyenergy is one of the most dominant and excessive energy plans that have ever been brought into existence. Since 2018, Xcel has been creating a plan to reduce carbon emissions by 80 percent by 2030.

This energy plan will attempt to reduce carbon emissions by 85 percent by 2030 when compared to 2005 levels and hopes to completely nullify the use of fossil fuels in the state of Colorado by 2030. Approximately 80 percent of customers will supposedly be using renewable energy sources by 2030. The purpose of this plan is to exceed our goal of nullifying carbon emissions and begin to change how we gain energy. Xcel hopes to do this by providing an easy transition into retiring coal plants for other communities. Develop economic investment and opportunity throughout the states. As well as add renewable energy resources to the grid.

One of the main goals is to retire these coal plants, Xcel energy is the main leader of the operation. They hope to double the renewable energy source and battery storage on the current system. This plan which was created in spring 2021 was originally going to deliver 100 percent carbon-free energy by 2025. Xcel Carbon-Free now finally reached an agreement with a vastly larger group of stakeholders made up of different customers, communities, state agencies, etc. In July of 2022, The Colorado Public Utilities Commission team approved this.

Xcel plans to spend 15 billion dollars on renewable energy to provide Colorado with renewable resources and energy. Xcel said that this plan would allow 80 percent of the system in Colorado to run on wind, solar, and biomass energy by 2030. This plan would theoretically add 6500 megawatts of renewable energy to the energy grid. Without using any Energy energy sources and therefore cutting down on emissions.

“This is a very significant investment for our customers and our communities.” said the president of Xcel Energy Colorado, Robert Kennedy. Later going on to say

“It’s not just benefiting our environmental goals, but it will put us on our path to reduce carbon emissions.” (Interview with Henry Craver, 2019)

  • “Xcel Colorado announced some ambitious energy goals in 2019. What spurred the utility's interest in cutting its carbon footprint and what specifically informed those predictions?”

Given the pace of change happening within our industry and the risk of climate change, we see an opportunity to transform our energy supply and significantly lower carbon emissions at a low cost to customers.

“In 2018 Xcel Energy announced our corporate-wide plan to reduce our carbon emissions by 80% (from 2005 levels) by 2030 and committed to deliver 100% carbon-free electricity by 2050. We expect our approved Colorado Energy Plan to achieve a 60% carbon emissions reduction and to deliver 55% renewable energy by 2026 in Colorado.

Current advancements in wind and solar energy, along with natural gas, battery storage, and nuclear power are making it possible for us to reduce carbon emissions to 80 percent by 2030 corporate-wide, while keeping electricity reliable and bills affordable. To eliminate that last 20 percent of carbon on our system, we will need new carbon-free technologies that are available 24/7 to emerge. Some options we are exploring include carbon capture, power to gas, deep rock geothermal, advanced nuclear, and seasonal storage.” -Xcel Energy

  • “Does Colorado's climate make renewables more practical than they are in other parts of the world?”

“Xcel Energy is fortunate to operate in states, including Colorado, that have excellent wind and solar resources for generating electricity.”

  • “As the utility incorporates more renewables into its energy portfolio, how will it continue to ensure reliability?”

“Xcel Energy is committed to offering carbon-free electricity within the guardrails of reliability and affordability. We will need new carbon-free technologies that are available 24/7 to achieve our 100% carbon-free aspiration by 2050. We are confident that the technology will develop, and we continue to encourage nonrenewable and public policy that incents this type of innovation.”

  • “In addition to relying more on renewables, are there plans to implement technologies/programs to boost energy efficiency?”

“All technologies must be on the table. We will need a diverse energy mix including nuclear, renewables, and new technologies that enable renewables to maintain reliable, affordable energy. This includes carbon-free 24/7 resources to integrate interest of wind and solar (60 percent or higher), balancing the peaks when customer use exceeds renewable generation and valleys when renewable generation exceeds customer use.”

Since this has happened the energy plan that Xcel has been working on has become more and more aggressive over the last few years. The Company expects to spend 15 billion dollars contributing to leasing property for the contribution to wind and solar energy production, this will also contribute to adding more natural gas generators.

Xcel, which is Colorado's main energy provider other than Black Hills, is attempting to increase the amount of money required for its services. To complete this Xcel Energy needs to gain the permission of the public utility commission so they can increase the current rates, starting in July of 2023. Xcel Energy originally started the request to increase the rates by 312 million dollars. Later on, this number was changed to less than 50 million, if this were to be implemented the average consumer would therefore be paying about an additional $1.54 to $2.90 each month.

"It's a dollar a month on top of the dollar that came the last time, on top of the dollars that came the previous time. It's the additive effect," said Carolyn Elam, the sustainability manager for the City of Boulder, Colorado.

Boulder being among the 25 most expensive cities to live in Colorado has begun taking a stand against this proposal. Saying these increasing rates are impacting Coloradans. Particularly citizens with lower incomes.

“It’s a significant issue to us as a municipality.” Elam Said

“When does it stop? People have already seen their utility bills double.” Said Angela Cortez, spokesperson for AARP Colorado.

“It’s called panicking and you’re putting one rate hike on top of another rate hike on top of another rate hike.

According to CBS News, when they reached out to Xcel Energy and when they spoke to Xcel, Elam said the City of Boulder could support their increased rates to help build the foundation of their infrastructure. This will help reduce the possibility of wildfires and make clean energy more affordable and prominent. Elam also spoke about how the City felt as if the possibility of the new plan being implemented would cause To, R&D, level energy levels to increase profits at the expense of consumers.

To provide renewable energy sources throughout Colorado eliminate non-renewable energy sources and slowly transition to a new kind of infrastructure Xcel plans to get rid of a Colorado coal power plant located in Pueblo Colorado and replace it with a Renewable energy battery system. Once this service is up and running it “Will allow Xcel, ewsEnergytoaninto store renewable energy such as solar and wind when it is being produced and then later distribute the energy during periods of lower renewable production” According to Xcel energy

“As we explore cutting-edge technologies to accelerate our journey toward 100% carbon-free electricity, we are committed to also keep our services affordable for our customers,” Bob Frenzel, chairman, president, and CEO of Xcel Energy. This Battery storage facility is very significant because most batteries store less than 8 hours of energy normally. These Iron Air batteries will serve up to 100 hours. Work on this plan is projected to begin in 2024 and is expected to be able to support 15 to 20 jobs in each state. Xcel To received a 20 million dollar grant from the Breakthrough Energy Catalyst Fund for recent climate technologies that are coming into the spotlight. This Grant will provide 10 million dollars towards Minnesota and Colorado Battery systems. Xcel Energy has created a plan for the future to use provisions in the federal nonrenewable energy, from the Breakthrough Energy Catalyst to the Breakthrough Fund, which has started affecting the costs of these iron-air batteries.

“As we build our clean energy future, reliable energy storage systems will play a key role in protecting communities by providing dependable sources of electricity when and where it’s needed most, particularly in the aftermath of extreme weather events or natural disasters,” said U.S Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm.

To sum everything up, Colorado has become much more equipped in recent years, by moving to renewable energy, and its Energy has started now much more efficiently reducing the use of coal. Xcel Energy has contributed to this by getting rid of and replacing fossil fuels with alternative energy sources such as the renewable battery Breakthrough Energy Catalyst Fund Energy Inflation Reduction Act is Energy storage Any Citedand reducing carbon emissions.

Please note that this article is intended to provide factual coverage of events and is NOT intended to express political opinion. Any and all opinions that may be implied do not represent the official stances of the Poudre Press, Poudre School District, or Poudre High School.

Works Cited

Kutscher, Chuck. “Opinion: Xcel’s Clean Heat Plan Is Less than Meets

Smith, Logan. “Xcel Plans to Replace Colorado Power Plant in Pueblo with Renewable Energy Battery System.” CBS News, CBS Interactive, 26 Sept. 2023,

Xcel Energy, Accessed 7 Nov. 2023.

My name is Andrew Sheneman, I am a Senior student at Poudre High School. I am involved with the Poudre Press here and it is my first year. I’ve always enjoyed writing, and I’m excited to contribute to the Poudre Press and take my writing a step further!

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