Xcel Energy Steps up to the plate on renewable energy

Environment Colorado

Supporters of Amendment 37, the Renewable Energy Standard passed by voters in 2004, gathered today to laud Xcel Energy for its commitment to renewable energy.

Representatives from Western Resource Advocates, Environment Colorado and the 25×25 Coalition gathered to express their support for Xcel Energy’s renewable energy efforts.

“The voters asked for more renewable energy and Xcel Energy stepped up to the plate,” said Matt Baker the Executive Director of Environment Colorado, “Xcel is on track to meet the goals of Amendment 37 eight years early.”

Amendment 37 called on Xcel Energy to produce 3.2 million megawatt-hours of renewable energy by 2015. This summer Xcel Energy signed contracts with wind developers to bring on line 775 megawatts of new wind powered electricity and brings Xcels total to more than 10 percent . The new wind farms will be built in northeastern and the eastern plains of Colorado .

“Xcel’s wind energy investment represents more than a billion dollars in rural economic development,” said Mike Bowman, the state coordinator for the 25×25 Coalition.

Bowman described how Xcel’s wind farm in Prowers County has increased the school districts and county tax base by 29 percent.

“Xcel’s commitment to wind energy will reduce air and global warming pollution as much as if we took 600,000 cars off the road,” said Rick Gilliam, Energy Program Co-director of Western Resource Advocates and author of Amendment 37. “Wind energy is an important part of combating Global Climate Change.”

The Amendment 37 coalition presented Xcel Energy CEO Pat Vincent with statements of support from environmental and agricultural advocates for renewable energy.