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Richfield Joins Xcel's Partners in Energy Initiative (Ind. Report)
Xcel Energy
Date: 2020-09-04
In Minnesota, the City of Richfield is the latest community to join Xcel Energy's Partners in Energy Initiative to help the city achieve its energy goals and assist local residents and businesses in reducing their energy bills and carbon footprints.

Partners in Energy provide communities with the tools and resources necessary to develop and implement an energy action plan that reflects the community's vision for shaping energy use and supply in its future. The program lasts for two years with the initial six to eight months dedicated to developing a strategic energy action plan and the remaining time focused on the implementing that plan.

Communities accepted into the Partners in Energy initiative work with an Xcel Energy team that provides guidance, education, and resources for city staff, businesses and residents as they work to achieve measurable energy goals by a specified target date. While each community's energy action plan is unique, all plans identify strategies to meet specific goals. For example, they could include an education plan on energy conservation, finding ways to finance renewable energy sources such as wind and solar for city buildings, or promoting green technologies to businesses and residents. (Source: City of Richfield, PR, 2 Sept., 2020) Contact: Xcel Energy,, Xcel Energy Partners in Energy Initiative,

More Low-Carbon Energy News Xcel Energy,  Energy Efficiency,  

Minnesota Community Solar Program Going Strong (Ind. Report)
Xcel Energy
Date: 2020-07-20
In St. Paul, Xcel Energy reports Minnesota's 2013-vintage community solar garden program now has over 680 MW of operating capacity in the first quarter of 2020 -- twice the capacity of its nearest competitor, Massachusetts.

A recent Xcel update reported as of the first quarter of 2020 Minnesota had 349 MW in the application process]while Massachusetts has 276 MW, New York 261 MW and Colorado 81MW.

Xcel reports Minnesota's community solar gardens currently have around 19,000 subscribers, but the commercial and industrial clients represent 86 pct of their capacity. Even so, Xcel Energy has reportedly called for the program to be cut back or eliminated. (Source: Xcel Energy, Energy News Network, Institute for Nonprofit News, Star Tribune, 19 July, 2020) Contact: Xcel Energy, Christopher Clark, Pres. for Minnesota and the Dakotas,

More Low-Carbon Energy News Xcel Energy,  Community Solar,  Solar Garden,  

Nautilus Solar Snares Minnesota Community Solar Portfolio (M&A)
Nautilus Solar Energy,
Date: 2020-07-10
Summit, New Jersey-based Nautilus Solar Energy, LLC is reporting the acquisition of a 10.4 MW community solar gardens portfolio of eight single axis tracker solar installation projects in Minnesota from ReneSola Power. The sites are expected to be operational by Q1 of 2021.

Nautilus will be responsible for the project management, long-term asset management and maintenance services. ReneSola will be responsible for securing the subscribers. The energy generated by the projects will directly benefit qualified commercial and residential off-takers situated within Xcel Energy's service territory by providing energy cost savings as well as advancing Minnesota's 10 pct solar energy goal by 2030. (Source: Nautilus Solar Energy Website, June, 2020) Contact: Nautilus Solar, Cathy W. McAuliffe, Marketing Coordinator, Nautilus Solar Energy LLC, Jim Rice, Co-CEO, 908-795-3041, ,; ReneSola,

More Low-Carbon Energy News Nautilus Solar Energy,  Community Solar,  ReneSola,  

Xcel Advancing $3Bn Solar, Wind Projects Plans (Ind. Report)
Xcel Energy
Date: 2020-06-19
Xcel Energy is proposing to accelerate nearly $3 billion in spending on new large renewable-energy projects, including a new solar plant in Becker that would be at least four times larger than Minnesota's current largest solar array.

Xcel would also speed up the planned repowering of four older wind farms with new turbines and other new equipment at a projected cost of $1 billion to $1.4 billion. The wind farm repowering, which hed been previously scheduled for the late 2020s, would allow Xcel to take advantage of federal tax credits.

Xcel would also be able to use federal tax credits for a 450-MW solar plant, which would cost up to $650 million and be located next to the company's coal-fired plant in Becker. Xcel had been planning to add 3,000 MW of new solar power on line 2026 through 2030 as its coal plants are shutdown.

Xcels' push to advance its renewables projects is in response to the Minnesota PUC's call for the state's electric and gas utilities to "assist in Minnesota's economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic." (Source: Xcel Energy, Star Tribune, June, 2020) Contact: Xcel Energy, Christopher Clark, Pres. for Minnesota and the Dakotas,

More Low-Carbon Energy News Xcel Energy,  Wind,  Renewable Energy,  solar,  

Willdan Energy Design Assistance Contract Renewed (Ind. Report)
Wildan,CenterPoint Energy
Date: 2020-05-22
Anaheim, California-headquartered Willdan Group Inc. reports it has been selected by Xcel Energy and CenterPoint Energy Inc. to continue implementing the Energy Design Assistance (EDA) Program. This latest contract is valued at $10 million over four years.

The EDA program provides commercial building owners within Xcel Energy and CenterPoint Energy's service territory with energy expertise to encourage energy-efficient building design and construction. The program uses Willdan's real-time energy modeling software -- Net Energy Optimizer (NEO) -- to allow project teams to visualize the effects of energy efficiency measures. The program serves new commercial construction, additions, and major renovations over 20,000 square feet.

Willdan has served more than 900 buildings through this program to date, delivering 23 million therms and 550 million kWh in annual savings, according to the release. (Source: Wildan, PR , BusinessWire, 19 May, 2020) Contact: Xcel Energy,; Center Point Energy,; Willdan Group, Inc. , Stacy McLaughlin , CFO, 714-940-6300 ,,

More Low-Carbon Energy News Xcel,  Wildan,  CenterPoint Energy,  Energy Efficiency,  

Roadmap to a US Hydrogen Economy (Ind. Report Attached)
Date: 2020-03-23
The attached Road Map to a US Hydrogen Economy stresses the versatility of hydrogen as an enabler of the renewable energy systems, transportation and other applications.

The report was developed by: Air Liquide; American Honda Motor Co., Inc; Audi; Chevron; Cummins Inc.; Daimler AG: Mercedes-Benz FuelCell GmbH/Mercedes-Benz Research & Development North America; Engie; Exelon Corporation; Hyundai Motor Company; Microsoft; Nikola Motors; Nel Hydrogen; Plug Power; Power Innovations; Shell; Southern California Gas Company; Southern Company Services; Toyota; and Xcel Energy.

Download Roadmap to a US Hydrogen Economy HERE (Source: Green Car Congress, 22 Mar.,2020)

More Low-Carbon Energy News Hydrogen Alternative Fuel,  

Xcel Energy Claims Carbon Emissions Cutting Record (Ind. Report)
Xcel Energy,ONE Future
Date: 2020-02-28
Minneapolis-headquartered Xcel Energy is reporting its largest single-year drop in emissions in 2019, cutting carbon by 5.6 million tons -- more than 10 pct reduction in one year.

Since 2005, Xcel has reduced carbon emissions by 44 pct due in part to the completion of three significant wind projects in 2018 and 2019, including Rush Creek in Colorado, and Hale and Bonita in Texas. Other factors include flexible coal plant operations, strong performance from the company's nuclear fleet and low natural gas prices, which allowed Xcel Energy to continue reducing coal generation, according to the release.

Xcel Energy notes it has joined ONE Future -- a consortium of natural gas companies working to voluntarily reduce methane emissions below 1 pct by 2025 -- and has pledged to keep its own methane emissions to less than .2 pct in its natural gas operations. The company has also invested more than $1 billion to improve its natural gas pipelines and tighten its system. The company also participates in EPA's voluntary Natural Gas STAR and its Methane Challenge program. (Source: Xcel Energy, PR, Bus.Wire, 26 Feb., 2020) Contact: Xcel Energy, Media, (612) 215-5300,; ONE Future,

More Low-Carbon Energy News Methane,  Xcel Energy,  Carbon Emissions,  

SMMPA Opting for Renewables to Cut Carbon Emissions (Ind. Report)
Southern Minnesota Municipal Power Agency
Date: 2020-02-10
The Rochester-based nonprofit power provider Southern Minnesota Municipal Power Agency (SMMPA) reports it plans to produce 80 pct of its electricity from carbon-free sources by 2030.

The agency gets much of its power from the coal-fired Sherco 3 power plant in Becker, Minn. SMMPA holds a 41 pct stake in the generating unit. But Sherco 3's majority owner, Xcel Energy, announced last year it intends to retire the plant in 2030. SMMPA notes that with the declining costs of wind and solar it makes sense to replace most of that coal-fired electricity with renewables -- probably an equal mix of wind and solar. The planned change would result in a 90 pct reduction in CO2 emissions from 2005 levels.

SMMPA currently sources over 20 pctof its power from renewable sources, Schoenherr said. It also gets carbon-free electricity from hydropower projects.

SMMPA provides electricity to 18 city-owned utilities, mostly in the southern and central parts of the state, including Rochester, Austin, Owatonna and Mora. (Source: SMMPA, MN Public Radio. 7 Feb., 2020) Contact: SMMPA, Dave Geschwind, Exec. Dir., CEO, 507-285-0478,

More Low-Carbon Energy News Southern Minnesota Municipal Power Agency ,  SMMPA,  ,  

Minn. Energy Efficiency Disclosure Ordinance in Force (Ind. Report)
Date: 2020-01-15
The city of Minneapolis is reporting a city ordinance requiring one- and two-family homeowners to collect energy consumption and efficiency data before listing their homes for sale came into force Jan. 15, 2020.

Homeowners can comply with the ordinance by having a Truth In Sale of Housing (TISH) inspector collect the data during the mandatory pre-listing evaluation or by getting an energy audit from Xcel Energy and CenterPoint Energy's Home Energy Squad program.

In either case, an inspection evaluates a home's windows, heating system and attic and wall insulation and compiles the data into an "energy score" of the home's energy efficiency. The inspector will also prepare a report detailing the improvements a homeowner or homebuyer could -- but is not required to -- make, how much those improvements typically cost and how much could be saved annually by making them.

The Minneapolis Climate Action Plan calls for 75 pct of houses to undergo energy retrofits by 2025, and notes the city offers no financing for energy efficiency improvements. (Source: City of Minneapolis, Southwest Journal, Jan., 2020) Contact:; Home Energy Squad,

More Low-Carbon Energy News Energy Efficiency,  Building Energy Benchmarking,  

Xcel Breaks Ground on 522-MW New Mexico Wind Farm (Ind. Report)
Xcel Energy
Date: 2019-12-20
Xcel Energy report work is underway on what Upon completion in late 2020, the $900 million, 522-MW Sagamore Wind Project in Roosevelt County, New Mexico, When fully operational, the will be the single largest wind energy plant in New Mexico.

The project will incorporate 240 Vestas turbines to generate sufficient power for 194,000 typical homes annually. (Source: Xcel Energy, NewsWest, 16 Dec., 2019) Contact: Xcel Energy, David Hudson, Pres. New Mexico, Texas, (612) 215-5300,

More Low-Carbon Energy News Xcel Energy,  Wind ,  

ALLETE's North Dakota Glen Ulin Wind Facility Online (Ind. Report)
Date: 2019-12-11
Minnesota-based Allete Inc. subsidiary Allete Clean Energy is reporting its 106-MW Glen Ullin Energy Center west of Bismarck, North Dakota is now online and producing wind power for Xcel Energy customers in the Upper Midwest. The 43-turbine wind facility produces sufficient electric power for about 55,600 homes.

ALLETE Clean Energy also developed the 107.5-mw Thunder Spirit wind farm near Hettinger and sold it to Montana-Dakota Utilities in 2015. ALLETE Clean Energy expanded Thunder Spirit to about 155 MW and sold the expansion to MDU in 2018. The company is also working on the 80-mw South Peak wind site in Montana with plans to bring it online near the end of the year to sell power to NorthWestern Energy. The company's approximately 300-megawatt Diamond Spring wind project in Oklahoma has broken ground and will sell wind power to Walmart, Starbucks and Smithfield Foods. (Contact: ALLETE, Business North, 10 Dec., 2019) Contact: ALLETE, Allan S. Rudeck Jr., Pres., Vince Meyer, IR, (218) 723-3952,,

More Low-Carbon Energy News ALLETE CLean Energy,  ALLETE,  Wind,  Renewable Energy,  

Cargill Recognized for Energy Efficiency Upgrades (Ind. Report)
Xcel Energy,Cargill
Date: 2019-11-13
Xcel Energy is reporting it has awarded Minnetonka, Wisconsin-based Cargill for its recently completed remodeling and energy efficiency upgrade of its 600,000 square foot corporate headquarters in Minnetonka.

The project upgrades included building automation system replacement, a new air handling unit and an upgrade to 90 pct of the electrical system, resulting in an over 3 million kWh over 650 kW totaling $568,000 in rebates, according to the Xcel release. (Source: Xcel Energy, PR, swnewsmedia, Nov., 2019) Contact: Xcel Energy, Karen Rhodes, Energy Director of Customer Solutions, (612) 215-5300,

More Low-Carbon Energy News Xcel Energy,  Cargill,  Energy Efficiency,  

Minneapolis Utilities Exploring Energy Efficiency Improvement Finance Options (Ind. Report)
Date: 2019-10-23
Minneaplis City officials, CenterPoint Energy and electricity provider Xcel Energy report they are looking into "inclusive on-bill financing" programs to help both home owners and renters finance energy efficient appliances and energy efficiency upgrades.

In June, the city's Clean Energy Partnership -- a collaboration with CenterPoint and Xcel Energy -- created a general outline for an inclusive on-bill financing program.

Minneapolis has made inclusive financing a priority in a move help an increasing number of city residents seeking energy efficient appliance and energy efficiency upgrade financing in preparation for the city's upcoming 2020 residential energy disclosure ordinance. Under the ordinance, homes and apartment energy consumption will be scored and made available to postential purchasers and renters. (Source: Xcel Energy, CenterPoint, Oct., 2019) Contact: Xcel Energy Media Relations, (612) 215-5300,; CenterPoint Energy,

More Low-Carbon Energy News Xcel Energy,  CenterPoint Energy,  ,  Energy Efficiency,  Energy Efficiency Financing,  

Mortenson Tapped for 500-MW Colorado Wind Project (Ind Report)
Date: 2019-09-09
Xcel Energy-Colorado reports the selection of wind developer Mortenson for construction of the 500-MW Cheyenne Ridge Wind Project in Cheyenne and Kit Carson counties, Colorado. The $743 million project is expected to be completed in December 2020. Turbine manufacturer Vestas will supply a total of 229 turbines for the wind farm. (Source: Xcel Energy, Denver Post, 6 Sept, 2019) Contact: Mortenson Construction, Tim Maag, VP Wind Energy Group,

More Low-Carbon Energy News Mortenson,  Wind,  Xcel Energy ,  

Turkey Litter, Biomass Power Plant Bites the Dust (Ind. Report)
Fibrominn,Xcel Energy
Date: 2019-08-16
Following up on our 21st February, 2018 coverage, Fibrominn's 2007 vintage 55 MW biomass plant in Benson, Minnesota, the country's first turkey manure and wood chips fired power plant, has been demolished by Xcel Energy to make way for a third-party proposed new dairy manure biogas facility. The plant had reportedly become too cost inefficient to continue running. Xcel acquired the plant for $24.5 million in 2017.

The city of Benson is purchasing the site and reportedly has a letter of intent from a Californian company interested in constructing dairy manure biogas facility. (Source: West Central Trib., Aug., 2019) Contact: Xcel Energy,

More Low-Carbon Energy News Xcel Energy,  Turkey Litter,  Fibrominn,  Biogas ,  

SD PUC OKs 300 MW South Dakota Wind Project (Ind. Report)
South Dakota Public Utilities Commission
Date: 2019-07-12
On Tuesday in the state capitol city of Pierre, the South Dakota Public Utilities Commission (SD PUC) reports the approval of a permit with conditions for construction of the Crowned Ridge Wind Farmin the northeastern part of the state. The proposed $400 million wind farm will incorporate up to 130 wind turbines and generate as much as 300 MW of power which will be purchased by Northern States Power Co., dba Xcel Energy. Construction is expected to be completed by the end of 2020. (Source: South Dakota Public Utilities Commission, Brookings Register, AP, 10 July, 2019) Contact: South Dakota Public Utilities Commission, (605) 773-3201,

More Low-Carbon Energy News Wind,  

Xcel Energy Carbon Emissions Cuts Ahead of Schedule (Ind. Report)
Xcel Energy
Date: 2019-06-03
In its recently released annual Corporate Responsibility Report, Minneapolis-headquartered Xcel Energy reports that it reduced carbon emissions 38 pct from 2005 levels -- ahead of industry reductions -- as it aims by 2050 to deliver 100 pct carbon-free electricity. The company notes it is currently on pace to reach its interim goal to cut carbon 80 pct by 2030.

Xcel Energy's annual Corporate Responsibility Report tracks non-financial performance and includes information related to environmental impact, safety, economic development, community giving and workplace programs.

Download Xcel Energy's Destination 2050: Building the Future -- 2018 Corporate Responsibility Report HERE. (Source: Xcel Energy, PR, BusinessWire, 29 May, 2019) Contact: Xcel Energy Media Relations (612) 215-5300,

More Low-Carbon Energy News Xcel Energy,  Carbon Emissions,  

Xcel Energy Recognizes Energy Efficiency Efforts (Ind. Report)
Xcel Energy
Date: 2019-05-27
Minneapolis-headquartered utility Xcel Energy reports it recently recognized 52 Minnesota businesses for their efforts to help customers save energy and reduce their environmental impact. The Efficiency Partner awards, recognized the contractors, equipment suppliers and engineers that contributed the greatest electricity and natural gas savings to conservation programs in 2018.

Xcel offers incentives, such as rebates and funding for energy efficiency studies and upgrades, to its business and residential customers to encourage them to make energy-efficient choices. The rebates submitted by these 52 companies saved Xcel Energy customers over 81 gWh of electricity and 127,000 dekatherms of natural gas -- equivalent of powering 7,665 homes for a year. (Source: Xcel Energy, May, 2019) Contact: Xcel Energy,

More Low-Carbon Energy News Xcel Energy,  Energy Efficiency,  Energy Efficiency Rebate,  

Xcel Energy Utility to be Coal-Free by 2030 (Ind. Report)
Xcel Energy
Date: 2019-05-24
Further to our April 1 coverage, Minnesota's largest utility, Xcel Energy reports that subject to Minnesota PUC approval, it plans to close its two remaining coal-fired power plants -- the Allen S. King plant in Oak Park Heights, Minn., and the Sherco 3, plant in Becker, Minn. -- 10 years earlier than previously announced. The two are the largest greenhouse gas, carbon-emitting sources on Xcel's system. The company's Monticello, Minnesota nuclear power plant will be kept online until 2040.

Xcel's broader energy plan includes extending the life of the Monticello nuclear plant, continuing to rely on natural gas power plants and increased focus on renewable energy sources. (Source: Xcel Energy, MPR News, 22 May, 2019) Contact: Xcel Energy,

More Low-Carbon Energy News Xcel Energy,  Carbon Emissions,  Coal,  

Xcel Energy Retiring Coal Plants by the Dozen (Ind. Report)
Xcel Energy
Date: 2019-04-01
Following up on our March 11 coverage, Minneapolis-headquartered Xcel Energy, a $30 billion utility reports it has shuttered a quarter of its coal power plants and will soon shut down another 25 pct of its coal fired power capacity as part of it plan to deliver zero-carbon electricity to its 3.6 million customers by 2050, making it the first large American power company to commit to that goal. goal.

Xcel has already cut its emissions by 38 pct from 2005 levels and aims to further cut emission to 80 pct by 2030. To that end, Xcel is rapidly moving away from coal which in 2013 supplied 46 pct of the utility's power and expanding its renewable energy portfolio, which is expected to make up more than half its power by 2024. The company plans to build 12 new wind farms across seven states. Xcel aims to retire 23 coal units -- about half its capacity -- between 2005 and 2027. (Source: Xcel, WRAL, 29 Mar., 2019)Contact: Xcel Energy,

More Low-Carbon Energy News Xcel Energy,  Coal,  Renewable Energy,  Carbon Emissions,  

Xcel Report Confirms Renewables, CO2 Reduction Plans (Ind. Report)
Xcel Energy
Date: 2019-03-11
In its just released Building a Carbon-Free Future report, Excel Energy outlines its plan to achieving its ambitious carbon reduction goal consistent with the Paris climate agreement and its plan to deliver 100 pct carbon-free electricity by 2050.

In 2018, Xcel Energy cut carbon emissions by 3 pct and has reduced carbon emissions by 38 pct from 2005 levels by adding new wind and solar to its energy portfolio while retiring coal plants and transitioning with cleaner natural gas. Last year, Xcel Energy opened its new 600-megawatt Rush Creek wind farm in Colorado, the company's largest wind farm. Further, it will retire more coal plants or change those operations to reduce emissions and support strategic electrification of certain end uses, such as transportation, as well as invest in technologies to upgrade its grid. (Source: Xcel Energy, Daily Energy Insider, 8 Mar., 2019) Contact: Xcel Energy,

More Low-Carbon Energy News Xcel Energy,  Carbon Emissions,  

Xcel Supports 100 pct Carbon-Free Power by 2045 Act (Ind Report)
Southwestern Public Service,Xcel
Date: 2019-03-08
In Albuquerque, New Mexico, Xcel subsidiary utility Southwestern Public Service (SPS) Co. reports it supports a Senate Bill 489, known as the Energy Transition Act. The bill would require SPS and New Mexico's two other public utilities to source 50 pct of their local electricity sales from renewable resources by 2030, 80 pct by 2040 and 100 pct carbon-free generation in 2045.

To meet that standard, SPS plans to add significantly more renewable generation to its Southwest grid over the next decade, including a 522-MW wind farm that is expected to come online in 2020. It's also building a 478 MW wind farm in West Texas, and will purchase 230 MW of wind energy from another facility owned by NextEra Energy. Taken together, the tree project will bump SPS' wind generation from 21 to 46 pct by 2022, making the utility's system 48 pct carbon-free that year.

SPS parent firm Xcel, which serves about 3.6 million electric customers in eight states, previously announced plans to slash its carbon emissions to 80 pct below 2005 levels by 2030, and to achieve 100 pct carbon-free generation by 2050. (Source: Xcel Energy, Albuquerque, Journal, 6 Mar., 2019)Contact: Southwestern Public Service,; Xcel Energy, David Hudson, Pres.Southwest Region,

More Low-Carbon Energy News Southwestern Public Service ,  Xcel,  

Google Seeks Wind-Powered Data Center Tax Breaks (Ind Report)
Date: 2019-02-27
Minnesota Public Radio reports Google has asked Sherburne County and the city of Becker, Minnesota, for a tax break on a proposed $600 million wind powered data center property in central Minnesota. The tax break would save the company up to $15 million.

Xcel Energy, would dedicate two new wind farms to power the facility on land next to the Sherburne County Generating Station, a large, coal-fired plant where the Minneapolis-based utility plans to retire most of its generators. The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission is reviewing the agreements between Google and Xcel Energy. (Source: Economic Times, 26 Feb., 2019) Contact: Xcel Energy,

More Low-Carbon Energy News Google,  Xcel Energy,  Wind,  

Pablo Center Awarded Energy Efficiency Incentives (Ind. Report)
Focus on Energy,Xcel Energy
Date: 2019-01-24
In Eau Claire, Wisconsin, the Pablo Center performing and visual arts facility is reporting receipt of nearly $30,000 in incentive checks for its energy efficiency initiatives. The city of Eau Claire Focus on Energy business incentives program awarded the Center $21,000 of the total.

The Pablo Center's energy efficiency features include high-efficiency air conditioning units and LED lights and fixtures which save enough energy to to power 4,700 residential homes and about 37,000 tons of carbon dioxide given from coal being burned. (Source: Pablo Center, Xcel Energy, WEAU, 22 Jan., 2019)Contact: Pablo Center, 715-492-0240; Xcel Energy, Frank Prager, VP Policy and Federal Affairs,; Focus on Energy, Karl Hilker, Snr. Project Manager,

More Low-Carbon Energy News Focus on Energy,  Energy Efficiency,  Xcel Energy,  

Allete Unloads North Dakota Thunder Spirit Wind Farm (M&A)
Allete Clean Energy,Montana-Dakota Utilities
Date: 2018-11-02
Further to our 5 March coverage, Duluth, Minnesota-based Allete Clean Energy is reporting the sale of the Thunder Spirit wind facility in North Dakota to Montana-Dakota Utilities. The wind farm incorporates 16, 3-MW turbines generating sufficient energy for approximately 15,000 homes.

Allete also reports ground-breaking on a 106-MW, North Dakota wind project that will supply electricity to Xcel Energy under a 20-year PPA.

With these transactions, Allete now owns and operates wind generation facilities in Minnesota, Iowa, Oregon and Pennsylvania, and plans additional projects in 2019.(Source: Allete Clean Energy, KDAL Radio, 1 Nov., 2018) Contact: Montana-Dakota Utilities Co.,; Allete Clean Energy, Allan S. Rudeck Jr., Pres., , Vince Meyer, IR, (218) 723-3952,,

More Low-Carbon Energy News Allete Clean Energy,  Wind,  Montana-Dakota Utilities,  

Xcel Undeterred in Carbon Emissions Goals (Ind. Report)
Xcel Energy
Date: 2018-08-27
Further to our June 8th coverage, Minneapolis-headquartered Xcel Energy notes it remains committed to its carbon emissions goals and creating clean energy for its customers despite the Trump administration's reversal of the Obama administration's Clean Power Plan coal pollution rules.

The new EPA Affordable Clean Energy Rule proposal would give states leeway on whether to limit emissions and by how much and allow older power plants to operate longer.

Xcel has coal plant operations in Becker, Minn. It has three units working and one united scheduled to be retired in 2023 and another in 2026.

Since 2005 Xcel has reduced carbon emissions 33 pct in the Upper Midwest -- a level that is ahead of the former U.S. commitment under the Paris Agreement. Xcel projects a 50 pct reduction in emissions by 2022. The company's current Upper Midwest energy mix is 58 pct carbon free -- 29 pct nuclear, 18 pct wind, 10 pct other renewables and 1 percent solar. The remaining mix is 30 pct coal and 12 pct natural gas. the company notes. By 2022, Xcel projects the Upper Midwest numbers to be 76 pct carbon free. (Source: Xcel Energy, 24 Aug., 2018) Contact: Xcel Energy, Frank Prager, VP Policy and Federal Affairs,

More Low-Carbon Energy News Xcel Energy,  Carbon Emissions,  

XCEL Announces Texas Wind Farm Groundbreaking (Ind. Report)
XCEL Energy
Date: 2018-08-22
Minneapolis-headquartered Xcel Energy is reporting the ceremonial ground breaking of the Hale Wind Farm in Hale County, near Petersburg, Texas.

The project will incorporate 239 wind turbines spread over 60,000 acres and will generate 478 mw of power. The project, which is expected to be complete by June, 2019, will generate sufficient power for 168,000 homes. (Source: XCEL, Plainsview Herald, 17 Aug., 2018)Contact: Xcel Energy,

More Low-Carbon Energy News XCEL Energy,  Wind,  

Xcel's $200Mn Foxtail Wind Project Underway (Ind. Report)
Xcel Energy
Date: 2018-08-13
Minneapolis-headquartered Xcel Energy is reporting groundbreaking on its 75-turbine, 150-MW Foxtail Wind project southwest of Fargo, North Dakota.

The completed project, which will generate sufficient energy for 80,000 homes, is part of Xcel's planned 70-pct, 1,850-mw expansion of its wind portfolio.

The project is expected to come in at about $200 million with West Fargo-based Wanzek Construction as construction contractor. (Source: Xcel Energy, WDAY, 10 Aug., 2018) Contact: Xcel Energy,

More Low-Carbon Energy News Xcel Energy ,  Wind,  Foxtail Wind,  

Xcel's 72-turbine SD Wind Farm Gets the Nod (Ind. Report)
Xcel Energy
Date: 2018-07-16
Minneapolis-headquartered Xcel Energy reports the South Dakota PUC has approved Excel's planned $380 million, 72-turbine wind farm in Grant and Codington counties in northeastern South Dakota. The Dakota Range project is expected to be finished and online in 2021.

Xcel presently owns five wind farms producing about 850 megawatts in the Upper Midwest with a sixth project under construction in Colorado.

The South Dakota project is one of eight new wind farms Xcel is developing in Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota. One of the projects, the 150-MW Foxtail Wind Farm in Dickey County, North Dakota, is already under construction. The other six planned are two 200-MW projects in Lincoln County in southwest Minnesota, a 100-MW farm in Pipestone County in southwest Minnesota, a 200-MW project in Freeborn County in southeast Minnesota and parts of Iowa, a 100-MW project in Morton and Mercer counties in south-central North Dakota and another Codington County project, this one at 600 megawatts, in northeast South Dakota. The seven are expected to be completed by the end of 2020. (Source: Twin Cities, Forum News, 14 July. 2018) Contact: Xcel Energy,

More Low-Carbon Energy News Xcel Energy ,  Wind,  

Xcel Plan Closes Coal Plants, Slashes CO2 Emissions (Ind Report)
Xcel Energy Colorado
Date: 2018-06-08
According to a Xcel Energy Colorado filing with the Colorado PUC, the utility's new power plan, which includes the closure of two coal-fired power plants, could save customers an estimated $215 million, cut carbon emissions by half and lift renewable energy sources to 55 pct of its electricity portfolio by 2026.

The plan would retire 660 mw of coal generation from the Commanche 1 and Commanche 2 plants in Pueblo and add 1,100 mw of new wind capacity, 750 mw of solar generation, and 380 mw of flexible gas sources. The plan reduces the utility's coal power production from 44 pct in 2017 to 24 pct by 2026. (Source: Xcel Energy Colorado, Denver Post, 6 June, 2018)Contact: Xcel Energy Colorado, David Eves, Pres.,; Colorado Public Utilities Commission, (303) 894-2000,

More Low-Carbon Energy News Xcel Energy Colorado,  Coal,  Carbon Emissions,  

Xcel Expanding Wind Capacity in New Mexico, Texas (Ind. Report)
Xcel Energy
Date: 2018-05-21
Minnesota-headquartered Xcel Energy reports it has received Texas PUC approval to expand its wind energy capacity by 1,230 MW in Texas and New Mexico. New Mexico regulators approved the plan in March.

Xcel Energy's proposal consists of two new wind farms, which will generate most of the new power, but also includes a 30-year PPA with NextEra Energy Resources through which the company will acquire energy from other wind facilities in Texas.

The two new farms are estimated to cost $1.6 billion to construct and are anticipated to save Texas and New Mexico customers $2.8 billion over a 30-year period. The two new facilities, which are expected to come online in 2023, will generate sufficient electric power for more than 360,000 homes annually.

(Source: Xcel, Commercial Property Executive, May, 2018) Contact: Xcel Energy,

More Low-Carbon Energy News Xcel Energy,  Wind,  

Minneapolis Community Solar Slated for Spring Startup (Ind. Report)
Cooperative Energy Futures of Minneapolis
Date: 2018-03-07
In Minneapolis, the city's first community solar garden is reportedly slated to get underway this spring on a flat-roofed church along W. Broadway Avenue. The $500,000 Shiloh solar array will host 630 panels. The project, which is being developed by Cooperative Energy Futures of Minneapolis , is 40 pct financed by a local equity investor.

The 2013, state-mandated Community Solar Garden program is administered by Xcel Energy. The program is aimed at residents, businesses and governments. (Source: Cooperative Energy Futures of Minneapolis, StarTribune, 4 Mar., 2018)Contact: Cooperative Energy Futures of Minneapolis, (612) 568-2479,

More Low-Carbon Energy News Community Solar,  Solar,  Xcel Energy,  

Minturn CO Joins Xcel Energy Conservation Program (Ind. Report)
Xcel Energy
Date: 2018-03-07
In Colorado, the town of Minturn reports it has joined Xcel Energy's Partners in Energy in the development and adoption of an Energy Action Plan for saving energy and and pursuing renewable energy alternatives.

The town aims to cut building-related greenhouse gas emissions 5 pct per year, and 80 pct by 2050; cut energy consumption 5 pct from 2016 energy baseline by June 2019; and engage 5 pct of Minturn households and businesses in a renewable energy program. (Source: Town of Minturn, Vail Daily, 1 Mar., 2018) Contact: Town of Minturn,; Xcel Energy, [stasrtlink][endlink]

More Low-Carbon Energy News Xcel Energy,  Energy Conservation,  

Xcel, Winona Partner on Business Energy Improvement (Ind. Report)
Xcel Energy
Date: 2018-03-05
In Minnesota, the city of Winona and Xcel Energy report they are working with Minnesota's Clean Energy Resource Teams to reach 100 downtown businesses with information on ways to cut energy consumption and save on energy costs. The door-to-door campaign aims to share information on the energy efficiency options such as rebates and incentives available to the city's businesses.

As part of the effort, businesses can sign up for free energy audits available through the Chamber of Commerce Energy Smart program later in March. The audits provide detailed recommendations for saving energy and money, and connect business owners to utility program and rebate options to meet their needs.

The information campaign is part of a continuing partnership with Xcel to encourage the use of renewable energy, cut energy consumption and to reduce the community's energy-related greenhouse gas emissions by 15 pct over the next decade. Since starting their plan, the city of Winona and Xcel have concentrated on residential energy use and implemented programs to improve the efficiency of qualifying households. (Source: Xcel Energy, Wininoa Daily News, 1 Mar., 2018) Contact: Xcel Energy, Partners in Energy,

More Low-Carbon Energy News Xcel Energy,  Energy Efficiency,  

Minn. Biomass Plant Closure "Slighly Positive" says Economic Impact Study (Ind. Report)
Benson Energy
Date: 2018-02-21
Following up on our July 1t, 2017 coverage, A recently published study from the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) has revealed the economic impact of Xcel Energy's closing of the 50-MW, waste-wood and poultry litter-fired Fibrominn Benson Energy biomass power plant in the state.

According to a DEED required economic impact study, the closure would have a "slightly positive net economic impact statewide" despite having a negative local effect. The closure is being widely opposed on the grounds that it would adversely affect the environment and state economy, and violate guaranteed state contractual obligations. The Minnesota Timber Association and the Minnesota Turkey Growers Association are among the petitioners opposing the closure.

Download the Economic Impact of Closure: Benson Power Biomass Facility HERE. (Source: Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development, Swift County Monitor, 19 Feb., 2018) Contact: Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development,; Fibrominn Benson Energy, (320) 843-9013; Xcel Energy,

More Low-Carbon Energy News Fibrominn,  Benson Power,  Biomass,  

Broomfield, Xcel Energy Issue Business Energy Challenge (Ind. Report)
Xcel Energy
Date: 2018-02-07
In Colorado, the city of Broomfield reports it has joined with Xcel Energy's Partners in Energy Program aimed at developing and adopting an Energy Efficiency and Engagement Plan for the city's businesses.

The initiative is in line with the City and County of Broomfield's goal of achieving 365 energy-related actions from Broomfield businesses by the end of 2018. An energy-related action can be any number of energy saving activities, such as installing programmable thermostats, on-site solar, an energy audit or participating in an Excel efficiency and or renewable energy program.

Participating businesses, which are encouraged to implement at least one efficiency or renewable energy activity, will gain recognition from the City and County of Broomfield, Broomfield Chamber and Xcel Energy. (Source: Xcel Energy, City of Broomfield, Feb., 2018) Contact: Xcel Energy Partners in Energy,; Invest Broomfield, Mike Van Den Bosch, Senior Economic Development Specialist,

More Low-Carbon Energy News Xcel Energy,  Energy Efficiency,  Energy Conservation,  

Xcel Shuttering Minnesota Biomass Power Plants (Ind. Report)
Xcel Energy,Minnesota PUC
Date: 2017-12-04
In Minneapolis, the Minnesota PUC reports it has approved Xcel Energy's planned closure of three biomass electricity generation plants that taken together generate a minimal percentage of the utility's capacity.

In Benson, Minnesota, Xcel plans to purchase and close a plant that burns turkey manure to produce electricity and buy out its contract to purchase power from two wood-burning plants on the Iron Range.

In its application for approval to close the facilities, Xcel claimed the biomass plants were up to 10 times more costly than wind power. (Source: Xcel, Star Tribune, 30 Nov., 2017)Contact: Xcel Energy,; Minnesota PUC, (651) 296-0406,

More Low-Carbon Energy News Xcel Energy,  Biomass,  

Xcel Switching Winona to High-Efficiency LEDs (Ind. Report)
Xcel Energy
Date: 2017-11-15
In Minnesota, Xcel Energy reports it has begun the replacement and upgrading of 2,500 old streetlights to high-efficiency LED units in the City of Winona, at no cost to the city. Xcel is paying all costs associated with the retrofitting, including the removal and salvage of old lights.

The new LED fixtures use approximately 40 to 60 pct less electricity than the current systems and have a longer service life and require less maintenance than old model street lights. Winona used approximately about 5 million kilowatt hours annually between its buildings and other requirements. (Source: Xcel Energy, City of Winona, Winona Daily News, 13 Nov., 2017) Contact: Xcel Energy,; City of Winona,

More Low-Carbon Energy News Xcel Energy,  LED,  Energy Efficient Light,  Streetlight,  

Xcel Energy, IBM Partner on Boulder Solar Array (Ind. Report)
Xcel Energy, IBM
Date: 2017-11-13
Xcel Energy last week announced plans for a 6-MW, 54-acre solar array at the IBM campus in Gunbarrel, which, when complete, will be the largest solar project in the city. The massive solar array is expected to be completed and online in late 2018.

Xcel also recently announced it plans to increase its statewide renewable portfolio from the present 30 pct to 55 pct by 2026.

The city of Boulder is aiming to acquire Xcel's local assets and start a new city-run utility more focused on renewables and fighting climate change. Xcel is opposed to the city's plan. (Source: Xcel Energy, Boulder Daily Camera, 9 Nov., 2017) Contact: City of Boulder, Boulder Regional Sustainability Coordinator Jonathan Koehn,; Xcel Energy,

More Low-Carbon Energy News Xcel Energy,  IBM,  Solar,  

Mortenson Awarded Xcel Wind Farm Contracts (Ind. Report)
Xcel Energy,Mortenson Construction
Date: 2017-10-30
Minneapolis-headquartered Xcel Energy is reporting the appointment of Mortenson Construction to construct two new wind farms in southwest Minnesota, as part of the utility's larger $2 billion 1,500-mw investment in new wind generation.

When fully operational, the "Blazing Star 1" and "Blazing Star 2" wind farms will incorportae 200 wind turbines to generate a combined power capacity of 400 MW. (Source: Xcel Energy, Finance & Commerce, October 24, 2017) Contact: Xcel Energy,; Mortenson Construction,

More Low-Carbon Energy News Xcel Energy,  Wind,  Mortenson Construction,  

Wanzek Contracts for Xcel's Foxtail Wind Farm (Ind. Report)
Date: 2017-10-27
In North Dakota, West Fargo-based Wanzek Construction has been hired by Xcel Energy to build the utility's $270 million Foxtail Wind Farm in Dickey County, North Dakota. Wanzek will also build the the Freeborn Energy Project in southern Minnesota and Iowa. The cost of the North Dakota project is $270 million. Work is scheduled to begin next spring with completion scheduled for 2019. (Source: Wanzek, PR, 24 Oct., 2017) Contact: Wanzek Construction, (701) 893-3623,; Xcel Energy,

More Low-Carbon Energy News Xcel,  Wind,  

Ameren Missouri Commits to Major Emissions Cuts (Ind. Report)
Ameren Missouri
Date: 2017-10-20
Ameren Missouri, the Show-me state's largest utility is now among the first utilities in the country to announce an ambitious carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions reduction goal of cutting its CO2 emissions by 80 pct by 2050 compared to 2005 levels. To that end, Ameren is retiring half of its coal capacity by 2050. The average age of Ameren's coal fleet is nearly 50 years, with the newest plant being 40 years old.

Other utilities that have committed to major emissions cuts include Xcel Energy, DTE Energy, Duke Energy and others. (Source: Ameren, NRDC, 16 Oct., 2017) Contact: Ameren Missouri, Dan Laurent, Dir. Energy Services, Michael Moehn, Pres., CEO, (314) 554-2165,

More Low-Carbon Energy News Ameren Missouri,  Carbon Emissions,  

NRRI Touts Refined Woody Biomass Solid Biofuel (Ind. Report)
University of Minnesota Duluth
Date: 2017-10-06
University of Minnesota Duluth (UMD) is touting the launch of its Natural Resources Research Institute (NRRI) Coleraine Lab. The facility can convert 3-4 tpd of woody biomass waste to solid briquette biofuel that "replicates the energy output and durability of traditional coal" and can be used as an alternative to coal. A further processing could to create syngas or liquid fuels, according to the Lab.

In 2018, the lab plans to install a moving bed torrefaction reactor increase the output of briquettes. Another methodology, hydrothermal carbonization, will convert processed materials and agricultural products to an "energy mud" that can be used alone or "with other torrefied products to form solid fuels."

The NRRI bio-energy lab is partially funded by Xcel Energy, Minnesota Department of Agriculture, Minnesota Power, Heetway, K.R. Komarek, Inc. and the Consortium for Advanced Wood to Energy Solutions, which was launched in 2014.

The Consortium for Advanced Wood-to-Energfy Solutions (CAWES) is an open-platform collaboration of public and private sector institutions representing green energy, forest management, research, philanthropy, and private industry committed to advancings sustainable, scalable, distributed wood-to-energy solutions that stimulate forest restoration and rural economic development through research and application of advanced wood-to-energy solutions. (Source: UMD, Business North,4 Oct., 2017) Contact: University of Minnesota Deluth, (218) 726-8000,; NRRI, Dr. Rolf Weberg, Exec. Dir., (218) 788-2694,; CAWES,

More Low-Carbon Energy News Wood Pellet,  torrefaction,  Biofuel ,  

Xcel Energy Planning 300-MW South Dakota Wind Farm (Ind. Report)
Xcel Energy
Date: 2017-09-29
Xcel Energy reports it plans to construct and own a 300-MW wind farm in South Dakota, the first publicly announced wind project to move forward under the phase-down of the production tax credit. The project, which brings the company's proposed wind farms to 13 representing 3,680 MW of capacity across seven states, puts Xcel on track to be the first US utility to exceed 10 GW of wind on its system. According to Xcel, he project is cheap enough to compete on cost with other fuel sources even without the full tax credit. (Source: Xcel Energy, Renewables, 27 Sept., 2017)

More Low-Carbon Energy News Xcel Energy,  Wind,  

Community Solar Program Announced in Denver (Ind. Report)
Denver Housing Authority,Namaste Solar
Date: 2017-09-25
The Denver Housing Authority reports it will launch a low-income community solar program that includes a 2 MW solar project.

The program will be supported by utility Xcel Energy's community solar program, GRID Alternatives Colorado, Enterprise Community Loan Fund and Monarch Private Capital will serve as financial partners. Boulder, Colorado-based Namaste Solar will serve as the installation partner. (Source: Denver Housing Authority , PV Mag., September 21, 2017) Contact: Denver Housing Authority, (720) 932-3000,; GRID Alternatives Colorado, (866) 921-4696,; Namaste Solar,

More Low-Carbon Energy News Solar,  Community Solar,  

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