Xcel Energy Announces Plan to Significantly Boost Solar Energy Resources Through Large-Scale Projects | Be Korea-savvy

Xcel Energy Announces Plan to Significantly Boost Solar Energy Resources Through Large-Scale Projects

Large-scale solar generating plant

Large-scale solar generating plant (Photo: Business Wire)

MINNEAPOLIS, March 4, 2014 (Korea Bizwire) – Citing the advantage of adding more solar energy at a lower customer  cost, Xcel Energy (XEL) submitted to state regulators a plan to  add up to 150 megawatts of large-scale solar resources in its Upper  Midwest service territory by the end of 2016.

“We are excited to develop solar resources that provide customer value  and offer new customer choices,” said Dave Sparby, president and CEO of  Northern States Power Co.-Minnesota, an Xcel  Energy company. “We plan to leverage the economies of large-scale  systems to keep the cost as low as possible for customers.”

Xcel Energy is proposing that a significant portion of Minnesota’s solar  standard be met through large-scale projects, which are more efficient  and less expensive than rooftop solar and smaller distributed systems.  The company on Friday notified the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission  of its intent to issue a request for proposals by April 15, 2014, for  large-scale solar projects totaling up to 150 megawatts to be installed  by Dec. 31, 2016, prior to a reduction in the federal Investment Tax  Credit for solar.

The omnibus energy bill passed last spring by the Minnesota Legislature  and signed into law by Gov. Mark Dayton requires investor-owned  utilities to acquire 1.5 percent of retail electricity sales from solar  energy by 2020. Xcel Energy estimates that it will need approximately  300 megawatts of solar capacity to meet the standard.

Xcel Energy officials expect that approximately one-third of Minnesota’s  2020 solar requirement will be met through new customer offerings and  solar projects receiving funding through the company’s Renewable  Development Fund. The new program offerings include a community  solar gardens program, a new Solar Rewards program, and the Made in  Minnesota program administered by the Department of Commerce.

“We already rely on renewable energy to provide our customers with clean  and affordable electricity,” said Sparby. “Through our solar programs,  we will provide interested customers with even more renewable energy  choices while ensuring that all customers have access to a reliable and  reasonably priced electricity system.”

Xcel Energy plans to propose a second round of large-scale solar  acquisition in 2017 or 2018 to acquire the necessary solar resources to  ensure compliance with the standard by 2020.

‘We look forward to working with large-scale solar project developers  and our rooftop customers to grow solar  energy in Minnesota in a safe, cost-efficient manner,” Sparby added.

About Xcel Energy

Xcel  Energy (XEL) is a major U.S. electricity and natural gas  company that provides a comprehensive portfolio of energy-related  products and services to 3.4 million electricity customers and 1.9  million natural gas customers through its regulated operating companies  in eight Western and Midwestern states. Company headquarters are located  in Minneapolis. More information is available at www.xcelenergy.com.

Source: Xcel Energy (via BusinessWire)


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