Xcel exceeding renewable energy goals in Colorado

Xcel Energy (NYSE: XEL) is adding in more than enough wind and solar power in Colorado to meet current requirements under the state’s renewable energy portfolio law. Under the law, Xcel and other investor-owned utilities must source 30 percent of its electric from renewable resources by 2020.

The company said today (May 13) that it was filing its 2012 Renewable Energy Standard Compliance Plan with the Colorado Public Utilities Commission. In a press release the company said the filing shows that Xcel Energy is well ahead of targets to meet the renewable energy standard. The plan was not available for review at the time of writing but will be available via the commission’s Website, according to Xcel. “We won’t post it online until they have it,” said Xcel spokesperson Michelle Aguayo.

The filing is a 10-year outlook of how Xcel plans to comply with the renewable portfolio standard. It also seeks approval for its plans in the next two years, according to Aguayo.

Among other things, Xcel will double the amount, in terms of megawatts, of customer-sited or distributed generation, according to Aguayo. Under law, Xcel is required to source 3 percent of its renewable energy from such systems.

To exceed the requirement, Xcel will add-in 30 megawatts of customer-sited generation for each of the next two years through its Solar*Rewards program. “The 30 megawatts is double the amount of customer-sited electricity above what is needed to meet minimum compliance with the renewable energy standard,” the company said in a press release.

In the filing the company is proposing a plan to balance its Renewable Energy Standard Adjustment (RESA) fund. RESA is a 2 percent fee assessed on customers’ electric bill to fund renewable energy development in Colorado. But under the way the program is currently administered the utility has spent more on renewable energy than covered under RESA.

Xcel also is seeking to diversify its portfolio of renewable generation. “We’re going to continue to invest in Solar Rewards but we’ll look balance the portfolio with other renewable sources,” Aguayo said.

Image of Xcel's Colorado Integrated Solar Project courtesy of Xcel Energy