Xcel Energy’s plans to shut down their coal-fired power plants isn’t just for Colorado: By 2030, the company plans on reducing carbon emissions in the Upper Midwest by 80%, compared to 2005 levels. They’ll be shuttering their last coal plants in the region in 2028 and 2030, and increasing the amount of wind and solar energy, adding 1,850 megawatts of wind power in 2022, meaning nearly a third of their customers in the region will get their energy from wind. By 2030, Xcel will add 3,000 megawatts of solar to their portfolio. More than half of the region’s Xcel customers will receive their electricity from renewables by that time.
Xcel’s ultimate goal is to run entirely carbon-free, company-wide, by 2050. Indeed, it is closing two of the three units at Pueblo’s Comanche Generating Station – one in 2022 and another in 2025. The company has been quite vocal about its intentions to move from carbon-based to carbon-free, and seems to be using natural gas as a bridge to help get to renewables, instead of seeing it as a long-term solution. And with renewable energy infrastructure cheaper than ever, it’s a good time to start accelerating the transition.