• Xcel Energy in Colorado, USA, has submitted a proposal along with 14 other groups to the Colorado Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) seeking permission to shut down two coal power plants representing a total capacity of 660 MW
  • It proposes competitive bidding way to set up 1 GW of wind power and 700 MW each of solar and natural gas capacity
  • Xcel Energy is targeting investment of 50% of renewable generation resources

US utility Xcel Energy is looking at shutting down two coal generation units representing 660 MW in Southern Colorado, and investing $2.5 billion in clean energy investments. This is part of a ‘Colorado Energy Plan’ to the Colorado Public Utilities Commission (CPUC)  proposed by Xcel and a coalition of 14 groups.

One of these coal plants should be closed by the end of 2022 and the other by the end of 2025. A competitive bidding process should be put in place to identify and select new generation projects, but not coal. These would be a mix of utility and IPP owned facilities. Xcel Energy proposes setting up 1 GW of wind power, 700 MW of solar and natural gas each. The utility is targeting investment of 50% of the renewable generation resources, and 75% of natural gas-fired, storage or renewable with storage generation resources in the portfolio.

A request for proposals (RFP) for the competitive bidding will be launched in the next several days. It expects to file a recommended portfolio with the CPUC in Q1/2018, which is expected to make its decision in the summer of 2018.

The proposal could increase renewable energy to 55% by 2026, save customers money, and dramatically reduce carbon and other emissions,” said President Xcel Energy-Colorado, David Eves.

The plan will only see the light of the day if the resulting portfolio of resources reduces the cost of energy to its customers, or at least does not increase it.

Xcel Energy’s renewable generation plans come soon after another US utility Duke Energy Florida announced that it plans to move away from the Levy Nuclear Project and add 700 MW of solar energy to its operations in the next four years (see Duke Energy To Add 700 MW PV).