Xcel Energy is proposing to triple the amount of large-scale solar generation in its Colorado power portfolio, the company said in a report filed Monday with the Colorado Public Utilities Commission.
Xcel also proposes to increase wind energy and power from natural gas-fired generators in order to meet its long-term electricity needs.
“This request will add significant amounts of wind and solar energy to the system at the right price, and it makes good sense for our customers and the environment,” said David Eves, president and chief executive of Xcel’s Colorado subsidiary.
Components of the energy plan include:
• Adding 170 megawatts of utility-scale solar power on top of the 80 megawatts currently generated.
• Adding 450 megawatts of wind power to the current wind capacity of 2,650 megawatts.
• Adding 317 megawatts of natural-gas power from existing Colorado plants that could be ramped up or dialed down quickly to accommodate daily fluctuations in wind and solar generation.
Xcel also is proposing to permanently close the Arapahoe coal-fired power plant in Denver by the end of 2013 and to operate the Cherokee plant in Denver as a gas-fired facility after its conversion from coal fuel by the end of 2017.
The proposal is scheduled for PUC consideration by Dec. 9.