Xcel Energy

From SourceWatch
Jump to navigation Jump to search

{{#badges:CoalSwarm |AEX}}

The Xcel Energy Center is an arena in St. Paul which was the site of the Republican National Convention in September, 2008.

Xcel Energy (NYSE: XEL), based in Minneapolis, Minnesota, is a public utility company that generates electric power and transmits and sells electricity and natural gas to customers in Colorado, Michigan, Minnesota, New Mexico, North Dakota, South Dakota, Texas, and Wisconsin. Xcel serves 3.3 million electricity customers and 1.8 million natural gas customers in these eight states.[1]


Ties to the American Legislative Exchange Council

Xcel Energy has been a corporate funder of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC).[2] It was the state corporate co-chair of Wisconsin as of the August 2011 ALEC annual meeting in New Orleans.[3] See ALEC Corporations for more.

In January 2014, an Xcel Energy spokesperson, responding to a letter to the Boulder Weekly criticizing Xcel's efforts to reduce homeowner solar "net metering" credits as a hindrance to transitioning to renewable energy sources, said that the company hasn't been an ALEC member since 2011[4] and hasn't funded the group since 2010, and attempted to distance the company from ALEC, complaining, "if you’ve been affiliated once, then they’ll brand you for life."[5] See Corporations that Have Cut Ties to ALEC for more.

About ALEC
ALEC is a corporate bill mill. It is not just a lobby or a front group; it is much more powerful than that. Through ALEC, corporations hand state legislators their wishlists to benefit their bottom line. Corporations fund almost all of ALEC's operations. They pay for a seat on ALEC task forces where corporate lobbyists and special interest reps vote with elected officials to approve “model” bills. Learn more at the Center for Media and Democracy's ALECexposed.org, and check out breaking news on our PRWatch.org site.

Power portfolio

Through its subsidiaries – Northern States Power Company, Public Service Company of Colorado, and Southwestern Public Service Company – Xcel generated 17,162 megawatts (MW) of electricity in 2005 (approximately 1.7% of all electricity produced in the U.S.). Of that total 2005 generating capacity, 8,961 MW (52.2%) was from coal, 5,162 MW (30.1%) from natural gas, 1,737 MW (10.1%) from nuclear, 581 MW (3.4%) from hydroelectricity, 524 MW (3.1%) from oil, 119 MW (0.7%) from wood and waste, and 26 MW (0.2%) from wind. Xcel’s 8,961 MW of coal energy production made it the 7th biggest private coal energy producer in the U.S. in 2005.[6] (However, Xcel has strongly pursued wind power in recent years, and by the end of 2007 Xcel had 2,800 MW of wind power capacity – making it the biggest wind power producer in the U.S.[7]) Xcel generates approximately 75% of the energy used by its customers; the remaining 25% is purchased from other electricity suppliers.[1]

Corporate earnings and governance

In 2007, Xcel reported total operating revenues of $10.0 billion – of which $7.8 billion was from its electricity business, and $2.1 billion from its natural gas business. The company’s 2007 profits totaled $577 million, or $1.35 per share.[8] In 2007, Xcel was the 260th biggest corporation in the U.S., and the 15th biggest gas & electric utility in the country.[9]

Xcel’s CEO, Richard C. Kelly, earned $8.0 million in total compensation in 2007.[10] Xcel’s Board of Directors includes:

Negative tax rate

A 2011 analysis by Citizens for Tax Justice and the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy, "Corporate Taxpayers & Corporate Tax Dodgers: 2008-10" found dozens of companies, including fossil fuels, used tax breaks and various tax dodging methods to have a negative tax balance between 2008 and 2010, while making billions in profits. The study found 32 companies in the fossil-fuel industry -- such as Peabody Energy, ConEd, and PG&E -- transformed a tax responsibility of $17.3 billion on $49.4 billion in pretax profits into a tax benefit of $6.5 billion, for a net gain of $24 billion.

The companies that paid no tax for at least one year between 2008 and 2010 are the utilities Ameren, American Electric Power, CenterPoint Energy, CMS Energy, Consolidated Edison, DTE Energy, Duke Energy, Entergy, FirstEnergy, Integrys, NextEra Energy, NiSource, Pepco, PG&E, PPL, Progress Energy, Sempra Energy, Wisconsin Energy and Xcel Energy.[11]

CEO compensation

In May 2007, Forbes listed Xcel CEO Richard C. Kelly as receiving $6.31 million in total compensation for the latest fiscal year. He ranked 14th on the list of CEOs in the Utilities industry, and 254th among all CEOs in the United States.[12]

Political contributions

Xcel Energy is one of the largest energy company contributors to both Republican and Democratic candidates for Congress. These contributions total $194,423 to the 110th US Congress (as of the third quarter), the largest of which has been to Rep. Earl Pomeroy (D-ND) for $10,000. Rep. Pomeroy, for his part, has consistently voted with the coal industry on energy, war and climate bills.[1]

Contributions like this from fossil fuel companies to members of Congress are often seen as a political barrier to pursuing clean energy.

More information on coal industry contributions to Congress can be found at FollowtheCoalMoney.org, a project sponsored by the nonpartisan, nonprofit Oil Change International and Appalachian Voices.

The Center for Responsive Politics Open Secrets database lists Xcel subsidiaries as having contributed to various Republican National Committee (RNC) projects between 2000 and 2002 and a $1000 contribution from the Xcel Energy Employee PAC to Marilyn Musgrave in March 2005.[13]

Other contributions in previous years have been:

  • Xcel Energy Services contributed $10,000 in October 2000 to the RNC's Republican National State Elections Committee;
  • Xcel Energy contributed $5,000 in October 2002 to the RNC's Committee to Preserve Eisenhower Center;
  • Xcel Energy contributed $10,000 in January 2002 to Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Building Fund Account 1;
  • Xcel Energy Services contributed $40,000 in January 2002 to the RNC's Republican National State Elections Committee;
  • Xcel Energy Services contributed $15,000 in January 2002 to the National Republican Senate Committee's Building Fund;
  • Xcel Energy Services contributed $10,000 in October 2000 to the RNC's Republican National State Elections Committee;
  • Xcel Energy Services contributed $10,000 in January 2000 to the National Republican Congressional Committee's Non-Federal Building Fund;
  • Xcel Energy Services contributed $7,500 in January 2000 to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee's Non-Federal Building Fund;
  • Xcel Energy Services contributed $7,500 in January 2000 to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee's Non-Federal Building Fund
  • in 2007 Xcel contributed $25,000 to the Democratic Governor's Association and the same amount to the Republican Governor's Association.[14]

Xcel Energy's lobbying

The Center for Responsive Politics Open Secrets database lists Excel disclosing that in 2007 it spent $2.7 million on lobbying. The lobbying disclosure forms reveal that the following companies worked for Xcel during 2007[15]:

Xcel Energy spent $2.42 million on its in-house lobbying work in 2008. A further $990,000 was spent in the first half of 2009.[16] Its sole registered lobbyist was John A. O'Donnell.[17]

In 2008 Xcel Energy also spent $50,000 on the services of Governmental Strategies, Inc, a lobbying firm.[18] The sole registered lobbyist working on the account was Timothy E. Smith.[19]

Xcel Energy also spent over $20,000 in 2008 on the services of The Smith-Free Group and a further $50,000 in the first half of 2009.[20] The registered lobbyists were James C. Free and Robert Hickmott.[21]

Xcel Energy spent $50,000 on the services of Clark & Weinstock in the first three quarters of 2008. The registered lobbyists working in the account were Niles Godes, Ed Kutler, Sandra Stuart and Vin Weber.[22]

Xcel Energy also spent $120,000 on the services of Stuntz Davis & Staffier, P.C. in 2008 and a further $30,000 in the second quarter of 2009. The registered lobbyists working on the account in 2008 were Randall E. Davis and Ellen S. Young[23] who were joined by Linda G. Stuntz in 2009.[24]

Xcel Energy also spent $40,000 on the services of Polaris Government Relations in the latter half of 2008. The registered lobbyists were Daniel J. Gans, Amelia Blackwood and Zack Rimmele.[25]

Xcel is a member of the American Coal Ash Association (ACAA), an umbrella lobbying group for all coal ash interests that includes major coal burners Duke Energy, Southern Company and American Electric Power as well as dozens of other companies. The group argues that the so-called "beneficial-use industry" would be eliminated if a "hazardous" designation was given for coal ash waste.[26]

ACAA set up a front group called Citizens for Recycling First, which argues that using toxic coal ash as fill in other products is safe, despite evidence to the contrary.[26]

Contributions to trade associations and other groups

In its 2007 contributions report Xcel Energy discloses the following contributions[14]:

Xcel subidiaries

Xcel states that its has two principal non-regulated subsidiaries, Eloigne Company and Quixx Corporation. It also has four regulated operating companies: Northern States Power Company Minnesota; Northern States Power Company Wisconsin; Public Service Company of Colorado and the Southwestern Public Service Company. It also has the service company, Xcel Energy Services Inc.

Coal projects sponsored by Xcel



Death and disease attributable to fine particle pollution from Xcel Energy coal plants

In 2010, Abt Associates issued a study commissioned by the Clean Air Task Force, a nonprofit research and advocacy organization, quantifying the deaths and other health effects attributable to fine particle pollution from coal-fired power plants.[27] Fine particle pollution consists of a complex mixture of soot, heavy metals, sulfur dioxide, and nitrogen oxides. Among these particles, the most dangerous are those less than 2.5 microns in diameter, which are so tiny that they can evade the lung's natural defenses, enter the bloodstream, and be transported to vital organs. Impacts are especially severe among the elderly, children, and those with respiratory disease. The study found that over 13,000 deaths and tens of thousands of cases of chronic bronchitis, acute bronchitis, asthma, congestive heart failure, acute myocardial infarction, dysrhythmia, ischemic heart disease, chronic lung disease, and pneumonia each year are attributable to fine particle pollution from U.S. coal plant emissions. These deaths and illnesses are major examples of coal's external costs, i.e. uncompensated harms inflicted upon the public at large. Low-income and minority populations are disproportionately impacted as well, due to the tendency of companies to avoid locating power plants upwind of affluent communities. To monetize the health impact of fine particle pollution from each coal plant, Abt assigned a value of $7,300,000 to each 2010 mortality, based on a range of government and private studies. Valuations of illnesses ranged from $52 for an asthma episode to $440,000 for a case of chronic bronchitis.[28]

Table 1: Death and disease attributable to fine particle pollution from Xcel Energy coal plants

Type of Impact Annual Incidence Valuation
Deaths 440 $3.2 billion
Heart attacks 696 $76.1 million
Asthma attacks 7725 $401.7 thousand
Chronic bronchitis 279 $123.9 million
Asthma ER visits 429 $158.2 thousand
Hospital admissions 328 $7.63 million

Source: "Health Impacts - annual - of Existing Plants," Clean Air Task Force Excel worksheet, available under "Data Annex" at "Death and Disease from Power Plants," Clean Air Task Force.

Note: This data includes the following plants owned by Xcel Energy and its subsidiaries Northern States Power Company, NRG Energy, Public Service Company of Colorado and Southwestern Public Service Company. Northern States Power Company plants included were: Allen S. King Generating Plant, Bay Front Station, Black Dog Generating Station, High Bridge Generating Plant, NSP - Minnesota Valley, and Sherburne County Plant. NRG Energy plants included were: Big Cajun II Power Plant, Huntley Generating Station (existing), Dunkirk Steam Station, Indian River Power Station, Limestone Generating Station, Long Beach Generation LLC, Somerset Power Generating Station, Parish Generating Station. Public Service Company of Colorado plants included were: Arapahoe Station, Cameo Station, Cherokee Station, Comanche Generating Station, Hayden Station, Pawnee Station and Valmont Station. Southwestern Public Service Company plants included were:Harrington Station, and Tolk Station. Abt have included Celanese station. However, the status of that plant is unclear.

Citizen action against Xcel's coal plants

July 14, 2009: Residents protest Valmont at public hearing, push for conversion

Many Boulder residents are pushing for the plant to stop burning coal either shut down entirely or convert to cleaner energy.[29][30]

On July 14, 2009, the Colorado Air Quality Control Commission held a hearing to solicit public comment on renewing the plant's permit. More than 200 people turned out to oppose the plant at a rally before the meeting. About 50 people addressed the Commission, asking its members to deny the permit because the plant emits more than 1 million metric tons of carbon dioxide each year.[31]

November 18, 2009: Demonstrators protest Cherokee and Valmont Stations: Denver, CO

Protesters dressed as clowns visited Colorado Governor Ritter's office to urge him to "stop clowning around when it comes to confronting global warming." Environmental groups are opposed to Xcel's request to renew expired permits at its Cherokee and Valmont Stations and want the state to pursue clean energy options instead. New research has shown that nitrogen oxide emissions are clouding lakes, changing lake biology, and threatening the aquatic life in the Colorado mountains.[32]

November 19, 2009: Residents pack regulator's hearing on Cherokee: Denver, CO

Local residents packed a public hearing by state air-quality regulators, urging officials to deny Xcel's request to renew its permit for Cherokee Station. More than 50 people spoke in opposition to the plant and advocated for a switch to cleaner energy sources. Residents argued that at minimum, regulators should work with Xcel to ramp up natural-gas systems at the plant, and then switch to solar and wind as those technologies mature.[33]

November 30, 2009: Activists stage 'Die-In' at Department of Public Health and Environment in Denver, CO

Fifteen activists demonstrated outside the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (DPHE) to demand the denial of Xcel's request to renew its air permit for Cherokee Station. The protesters greeted DPHE employees as they arrived for work and called on the department to close the coal plant. Protestors staged a "die-in" to call attention to the harmful health and environmental effects of coal. Other activists wore hazmat suits and roped off the area with "Global Warming Crime Scene" tape.[34]

February 26, 2010: ‘Die-in’ at Xcel Headquarters in Denver, Colorado

On February 26, 2010, local citizens in Denver staged a 'die-in' at the headquarters for Xcel Energy in opposition to the utility’s plan to build a new coal-fired power plant, Comanche 3, in Pueblo, Colorado. The plant would be the largest in the coal-fired power station in the state. Protesters cited environmental as well as social and economic issues as reasons for their actions. “Our leaders are failing to lead and Xcel is failing to take their responsibility seriously. Xcel should expect more protests and actions unless they start closing down coal plants and moving Colorado to 100% renewable electricity,” Kate Clark, a Power Past Coal activist. The protest was part of an ongoing series of actions by concerned citizens in Colorado who seek to end coal-power in the state.[35]

April 1, 2010: Activists Pull Prank on Xcel

On April Fools’ Day, as part of the international "Fossil Fools Day" – Colorado activists pulled a prank on Xcel Energy. The group developed a farce website www.xcelresponsiblebynature.com, a satirical press release, and a letter to Colorado ratepayers which states that activists helped Xcel Energy become a renewable energy leader. The announcement purported that Xcel Energy would switch to 100% renewable electricity in Colorado by phasing out all coal plants and abandoning plans to convert existing coal plants to natural gas.[36]

April 27, 2010: 5 Arrested in Boulder Anti-coal Campaign

On April 27, 2010 five people were arrested by Boulder Police officers and Boulder County sheriff's deputies during a protest at the Valmont Station in Denver.

The five activists joined about 20 protesters from the Rocky Mountain Peace and Justice Center who gathered around in the early afternoon protest against use of coal at the plant by Xcel Energy. Reported the Denver Post:

The environmental activists climbed atop a large coal pile in front of the plant, put up two mock wind turnbines and a large banner that read: "RENEWABLES NOW."
The protestors [sic] stood atop the coal pile for nearly two hours before authorities arrived, organizers said in a press release.
"Boulder is ready to move forward with 100 percent renewable electricity. If Xcel is not willing to partner with the city to make this happen, then Boulder officials and citizens need to take our energy future into our own hands," said protestor [sic] Tom Weis.[37]

NAACP Clearing the Air Road Tour

Colorado resident Myron Wilson speaks about air pollution from plant.

In April 2010, Jacqui Patterson of the NAACP Climate Justice interviewed community members in Denver. Patterson interviewed Myron Wilson, who lives just north of Denver in Aurora. Wilson shared his perspective on the Cherokee plant and its hazard to communities.

Colorado resident Ashara Ekundayo speaks about environmental racism.

Patterson also interviewed Ashara Ekundayo, culture worker, co-founder of Blue and Yellow Logic and Green For All Fellows. Ekundayo conducted a tour of the area near the Cherokee Station and the rail line that carries the uncovered coal to be process, spreading coal dust in the surrounding areas.[38]

City of Boulder, CO begins municipal takeover of Xcel in 2011

Voters in the city of Boulder approved a municipalization process on Nov. 1, 2011, in which the city will take over Xcel Energy utility lines and power generating equipment. The city is the home of the University of Colorado, the National Center for Atmospheric Research and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. Over 70 percent of voters supported the initiative according to polls in the fall of 2011, although Boulder Question 2C, which allows for the creation of a municipal utility, passed with 51.8 percent of the vote. XCel spent $950,000 fighting the initiative, while four groups that campaigned in favor of municipalization raised about one-tenth of that amount. [39] The process could take as long as five years, and many questions remain about the value of Xcel's generating and transmission equipment.

The project began in 2004 with a decision to study municipalization. [40] One study commissioned by the city showing that direct startup costs were in the neighborhood of $28 million for the city's 96,000 residents. [41]

Although city staff noted many uncertainties in the municipalization process, by 2009, Boulder officials concluded the city couldn't meet its goal of reducing emissions of greenhouses gases to 1990 levels by 2012. [42] During 2009 and 2010, a volunteer team associated with Citizens for Boulder's Clean Energy Future determined that the city could reduce carbon emissions by 60%, increase the percentage of renewables by 40%, all while keeping our rates at parity or lower than those charged by Xcel. The $300 million start up and infrastructure purchase cost should be seen in the context of Xcel's revenues from Boulder, which amount to $100 million per year. [43] Another feasibility study for the city put the cost at $223 million, excluding "stranded costs." [44]

Comanche 3 plant

Xcel is currently moving ahead with plans to build the 750-MW Comanche Generating Station Unit 3 in Pueblo, Colorado. Clean Energy Action and Citizens for Clean Air and Water in Pueblo filed a legal challenge against the plant. [45] After witnessing the public opposition to its Comanche 3 plant, Xcel executives have admitted that “they may never build another” coal-fired power plant.[46]

Climate settlement with New York state

In August 2008, in a landmark agreement, one of the America’s largest builders of coal-fired power plants was forced to give investors detailed warnings about the risks that climate change poses to its business. The agreement between New York’s attorney general, Andrew Cuomo, and Xcel Energy of Minneapolis, “could open a broad new front in efforts by environmental groups to pressure the energy industry into reducing emissions of the greenhouse gases that contribute to global warming,” said the New York Times.[47]

Although shareholder resolutions are gathering a pace against big oil and coal, “this really takes it another step, by making it a settlement agreement that should have an impact across the industry,” argued Dan Bakal, the director of electric power programs at Ceres, a coalition of investors and environmental groups.

According to the New York Times: “Cuomo subpoenaed Xcel and four other companies last September, seeking to determine whether their efforts to build new coal-fired power plants posed risks not disclosed to investors, like future lawsuits or higher costs to comply with possible regulations restricting carbon emissions.”[47]

“This landmark agreement sets a new industry wide precedent that will force companies to disclose the true financial risks that climate change poses to their investors,” Mr. Cuomo said in a statement.[48] “Coal-fired power plants can significantly contribute to global warming, and investors have the right to know all the associated risks.”

Under the agreement, Xcel had to disclose the financial risks of lawsuits and of federal or state court decisions that would affect its business. The company will also analyze and disclosed the “material financial risks” to itself associated with climate change.[47]

Plans to shut down units at Arapahoe, Cameo, Cherokee, and Valmont Generating Stations

In August 2008, Colorado regulators approved Xcel’s plan to shut down two coal plants: the Arapahoe Generating Station (Denver) and the Cameo Station (east of Grand Junction). According to Western Resource Advocates, "The utility’s decision to shut down the plants has been praised as the nation’s first voluntary effort to cut coal power generation in an attempt to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. In its decision to support Xcel’s plan, the Colorado Public Utilities Commission (PUC) cited public health benefits and shared concerns about carbon emissions as major selling-points in the company’s groundbreaking proposal. The verdict marks a collective effort to move the state and its utilities toward the carbon reduction goals outlined in Governor Bill Ritter’s Climate Action Plan."[49]

Xcel plans to replace the combined 229 MW of coal power with 850 MW of wind power and a 200 MW utility-scale solar power plant with storage capacity by 2015. Another key component of Xcel’s proposal, to build a 480 MW natural gas plant at the Arapahoe station, has been postponed pending approval by the Colorado PUC.[49]

The Cherokee Station 4 coal-fired plant is also scheduled to be shuttered in 2022. However, Xcel Energy announced in November 2010 its intent to close the plant, located north of Denver, in 2017, five years earlier than expected. The change of plans comes on the heels of the recently enacted Colorado Clean Air-Clean Jobs Act. As part of the legislation, Xcel receives financial incentives in exchange for a $1.3billion program of phasing out coal-fueled plants in favor of natural gas. The program targets plants in Boulder and Denver for conversion while facilities in Brush and Hayden would be upgraded to reduce pollution.[50]

As of November 2010, Xcel is also considering shutting down its Valmont Station Unit 5.[51]

Union Opposition to Shutting Down Coal Plants

In March 2010 the AFL-CIO, which represents Excel's union workers, stated that as many as 300 union jobs could be lost if Xcel were to shut down its coal plants and convert them to natural gas. The union rep stated that natural gas plants require fewer workers.[52]

Plan to retire Black Dog Generating Station and replace with natural gas

On March 15, 2011, Xcel Energy asked Minnesota regulators to approve a certificate of need for a project of retiring Black Dog Generating Station units 3 and 4, and replace the units with natural gas generators. If approved, the new gas plants would begin site preparation in 2012 and come on line in 2016. (Black Dog 1 and 2 were coverted to natural gas in 2002.)[53]

In August 2011 Xcel Energy said it was to complete the conversion of one of its Minnesota power plants from coal to natural gas. It was reported that Xcel is seeking permission from state officials to switch the remaining Black Dog Generating Station units in Burnsville to natural gas.[54]

Xcel promises to cut Colorado pollution

In March 2010, Colorado's largest utility Xcel Energy promised to cut air pollution over the next seven years. It will do so by either retiring Front Range coal-fired power plants or replacing them with natural gas and other sources of power. The company is required to submit plans by Aug. 15 to the state Public Utilities Commissions to reduce nitrogen oxide emissions at coal plants by up to 80 percent over the next eight years.[55]

In August, 2010 Xcel filed its plan to curb emissions from its coal-fired power plants along the front range. The plan stated that Xcel would shut down the Cherokee Station's fourth coal-fired generator by 2022 and replace it with a new, natural gas-fired generator. Xcel’s plan also called for the shutdown of Cherokee’s three other coal units before 2017, as well as the construction of a new natural gas plant.

However, in late September 2010, the Colorado public health department and the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) went after Xcel’s $1.3 billion plan to curb emissions from these power plants. The PUC stated that when it ruled that it can’t consider actions that occur after 2017 — the deadline in the Clean Air, Clean Jobs Act signed into law by Gov. Bill Ritter.

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment stated that Xcel's “truncated plan” that stops at 2017, and does not include shutting down Cherokee’s fourth coal unit, won’t meet tighter ozone regulations that are expected from the federal government and thus won’t meet the intent of the Clean Air, Clean Jobs law.

Hearings on Xcel's plan are set for late October, 2010.[56]

Xcel offers 70% renewables to Boulder, Colorado residents

In June 2011 Xcel Energy representatives presented Boulder City officials with the company's long-awaited plan for keeping Boulder as a customer of its electricity, which would offer residents there with 70% renewable energy, primarily from wind power.

Xcel attorney Paula Connelly, stated the utility wants Boulder voters to approve two ballot measures in November, 2011. The council has been exploring the possibility of asking voters whether the city should become a municipal utility or extend its longtime relationship with Xcel.

If Xcel is granted its request, one question would ask Boulder voters to approve a new franchise agreement with the company, making it the exclusive provider of electricity to Boulder for the next two decades. A second question would ask voters to approve a public-private partnership in which Boulder customers would pay the difference between the cost of new wind energy on Xcel's system and the company's savings from having the wind energy on its grid.[57]

Xcel develops world's first solar/coal hybrid power plant

In July 2010, the first ever solar-coal hybrid power plant began to operate in Colorado. The project was a joint endeavor between Xcel Energy and Abengoa Solar, the unit of Xcel’s Cameo Station is intended to show that solar power can reduce the environmental impact of coal-fired power plants. The plant uses parabolic trough solar collectors to heat the water that goes into the coal-fired turbine, which reduces amount of coal used at the facility by 2 to 3 percent. For a cost of $4.5 million, the hybrid plant will produce the equivalent of just one of 49 megawatts from solar power.[58]

Contact details

Xcel Energy
414 Nicollet Mall
Minneapolis, Minnesota 55401-1993
Website: http://www.xcelenergy.com General Xcel Energy website
Website: http://phx.corporate-ir.net/phoenix.zhtml?c=89458&p=irol-IRHome Xcel Energy Investor Information

Articles and resources

Related SourceWatch articles


  1. 1.0 1.1 Xcel website, accessed April 2008.
  2. American Legislative Exchange Council, "Solutions for the States," 38th Annual Meeting agenda, on file with CMD, August 3-6, 2011
  3. American Legislative Exchange Council, "Solutions for the States," 38th Annual Meeting agenda, on file with CMD, August 3-6, 2011.
  4. Letters I, Boulder Weekly, January 9, 2014.
  5. Jefferson Dodge, New PUC member might hinder Boulder’s municipalization, Boulder Weekly, January 9, 2014.
  6. ”Existing Electric Generating Units in the United States, 2005,” Energy Information Administration website, accessed April 2008.
  7. “2006 Triple Bottom Line”, Xcel website, accessed April 2008.
  8. “2007 Year End Summary”, Xcel press release, Jan. 30, 2008.
  9. 2008 Fortune 1000, Fortune website, accessed April 2008.
  10. BusinessWeek Company Insight Center, BusinessWeek website, accessed April 2008.
  11. Robert S. McIntyre, Matthew Gardner, Rebecca J. Wilkins, Richard Phillips, "Corporate Taxpayers & Corporate Tax Dodgers: 2008-10" Citizens for Tax Justice and the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy, November 2011 Report.
  12. CEO Compensation: #254 Richard C Kelly, Forbes.com, May 3, 2007.
  13. Center for Responsive Politics, "Xcel Energy: All Cycles", Opensecrets.org, accessed May 2008.
  14. 14.0 14.1 Xcel Energy, "Xcel Energy’s 2007 Political Contributions Report", Xcel Energy website, January 29, 2008.
  15. Center for Responsive Politics, "Xcel Energy: Client Summary, 2007", Opensecrets.org, accessed May 2008.
  16. "Xcel Energy", Center for Public Integrity, accessed September 2009.
  17. "Xcel Energy", Center for Public Integrity, accessed September 2009.
  18. "Xcel Energy", Center for Public Integrity, accessed September 2009.
  19. "Xcel Energy", Center for Public Integrity, accessed September 2009.
  20. "Xcel Energy", Center for Public Integrity, accessed September 2009.
  21. "Xcel Energy", Center for Public Integrity, accessed September 2009.
  22. "Xcel Energy", Center for Public Integrity, accessed September 2009.
  23. "Xcel Energy", Center for Public Integrity, accessed September 2009.
  24. "Xcel Energy", Center for Public Integrity, accessed September 2009.
  25. "Xcel Energy", Center for Public Integrity, accessed September 2009.
  26. 26.0 26.1 Coal-Fired Utilities to American Public: Kiss my Ash DeSmogBlog.com & PolluterWatch, October 27, 2010.
  27. "The Toll from Coal: An Updated Assessment of Death and Disease from America's Dirtiest Energy Source," Clean Air Task Force, September 2010.
  28. "Technical Support Document for the Powerplant Impact Estimator Software Tool," Prepared for the Clean Air Task Force by Abt Associates, July 2010
  29. Judith Mohling, "Peace Train: Convert Valmont plant to clean energy," Colorado Daily, July 11, 2009.
  30. Anne Butterfield, "Selfishly seeking clean energy," Daily Camera, July 12, 2009.
  31. "Public packs Valmont power plant hearing," Colorado Daily, July 14, 2009.
  32. Bruce Finley, "Protesters want Colorado to 'stop clowning around' on clean air," Denver Post, November 19, 2009.
  33. Bruce Finley, "Air panel urged to deny pollution permit for Xcel coal plant," Denver Post, November 20, 2009.
  34. "Denver N30:Local Citizens ‘Die-in’ at Dept. of Public Health and Environment in Protest over Coal," It's Getting Hot in Here, November 30, 2009.
  35. "Local Citizens ‘Die-in’ at Xcel HQ in Coal Protest Group calls on Xcel to Keep Comanche 3 Closed and Produce 100% Renewable Electricity by 2020" Katie Clark, Colorado Indymedia, February 26, 2010
  36. "Activists Pull Elaborate ‘Fossil Fools Day’ Prank on Xcel Energy" Press Release from Fossil Fools Day Activists, accessed April 1, 2010.
  37. Annette Espinoza, "Five Arrested in Boulder anti-coal protest" Denver Post, April 27, 2010.
  38. Jacqui Patterson, "Day VI Clearing the Air Road Tour — Denver, CO — Cherokee Plant," NAACP Climate Justice Initiative, April 21, 2010.
  39. Laura Snider, "Boulder Issues 2B, 2C: Municipalization, related tax narrowly approved" Boulder Daily Camera, Nov. 1, 2011.
  40. City Council Minutes, March 18, 2008.
  41. "Electric Municipalization Report" City of Boulder, Feb. 27, 2007.
  42. Mark Jaffe "Boulder, Xcel Energy Square Off," Denver Post, Sept. 11, 2011.
  43. Citizens for Boulder's Clean Energy Future Web pages accessed Sept. 2011.
  44. "Boulder Municipal Utility Feasibility Study," Robertson Bryan Inc., Aug. 16, 2011.
  45. "Colorado PUC and the Pueblo Coal Plant: Legal issues 2007-2006", Colorado Clean Energy Action.
  46. "Comanche Smokestack a Lightning Rod", Denver Post, November 20, 2007.
  47. 47.0 47.1 47.2 Nicholas Confessore, Xcel to Disclose Global Warming Risks,New York Times, August 27, 2008
  48. "Cuomo Reaches Landmark Agreement With Major Energy Company, Excel Energy, To Require Disclosure of Financial Risks of Climate Change to Investors", Media Release, August 27, 2008.
  49. 49.0 49.1 "Clean Energy Accomplishments," Western Resrouce Advocates, accessed April 2009
  50. Maryalene LaPonsie, "Green energy jobs are coming to Colorado" Utilities, Nov. 8, 2010.
  51. Mark Jaffe, "Nation watching Xcel's plans for aging coal-fired power plants" The Denver Post, Nov. 7, 2010.
  52. "Job losses expected in plan to reduce pollution at coal-fired plants" Mark Jaffe, Denver Post, March 26, 2010.
  53. "Xcel Energy Announces Plan to Repower Black Dog Plant," company press release, March 15, 2011
  54. "Xcel to complete conversion of coal power plant to natural gas" Dan Olson, MRPNews, accessed August 23, 2011.
  55. "Xcel Promises to Cut Pollution in Colorado" AP Press, March 5, 2010
  56. "Xcel's clean air plan hits snag" Cathy Proctor, Denver Business Journal, October 5, 2010.
  57. "Xcel officials unveil wind plan to Boulder leaders" Heath Urie, Daily Camera, June 7, 2011.
  58. "World’s First Hybrid Coal-Solar Power Plant Goes Online in Colorado" Cameron Scott, Inhabitat.com, July 12, 2010.

External resources

External articles

Wikipedia also has an article on Xcel Energy. This article may use content from the Wikipedia article under the terms of the GFDL.