Xcel Energy is seeking permission to triple the amount of large-scale solar power, wind energy and power from natural gas-fired generators produced in Colorado.
In a report filed Monday with the Colorado Public Utilities Commission, the utility also seeks to close its Arapahoe coal-fired power plant in Denver by the end of 2013 and convert its Cherokee plant in Denver to a gas-fired facility by the end of 2017.
The proposal is scheduled for consideration by the commission Dec. 9.
“This request will add significant amounts of wind and solar energy to the system at the right price, and it makes good sense for our customers and the environment,” said David Eves, president and chief executive of Xcel’s Colorado subsidiary.
The energy plan includes adding 170 megawatts of utility-scale solar power on top of the 80 megawatts currently generated; adding 450 megawatts of wind power to the current wind capacity of 2,650 megawatts; and adding 317 megawatts of natural-gas power from existing Colorado plants that could be ramped up or dialed down quickly to accommodate daily fluctuations in wind and solar generation, the Denver Post reported Tuesday (http://tinyurl.com/p5cfaps ).
Rural electricity providers also have begun discussions with the Colorado Energy Office on how to increase renewable energy sources.
An advisory group was set up to give the electricity providers a chance to respond to a new law that doubles renewable energy standards for rural energy suppliers. The rural energy suppliers have said they won’t be able to meet the goal of getting 20 percent of their energy from renewable sources by 2020 without raising rates more than the 2 percent cap in the law.
The eight-member panel includes environmental activists who pushed for the higher energy standards. The head of the Colorado Energy Office told panel members that they’re not there to debate whether the legislation was good or bad, but to identify the obstacles to achieving its goals.
Information from: The Denver Post, http://www.denverpost.com
Filed Under: Industrial automation