In a move that involves replacing some existing coal-fired electric generation units, Minneapolis-based Xcel Energy said Monday it proposes to add up to 645 MW of natural gas-fired peaking generation in Minnesota and North Dakota by 2019.
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Minneapolis-based Xcel Energy Inc. on Friday filed with Colorado regulators plans to raise retail natural gas utility rates while keeping retail electricity charges basically flat. Xcel’s combination Public Service Company of Colorado asked to make the rate changes effective April 1.
Minneapolis-based Xcel Energy Inc.’s Colorado combination utility said Thursday that it has reached a settlement with WildEarth Guardians on a four-year-old lawsuit by the environmental group involving emissions at the Cherokee Generating Station north of Denver. Under the agreement, Xcel’s Public Service Company of Colorado will fund several environmental and community projects in the area impacted by the 611 MW coal-fired generation plant. The settlement will not be final until the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Justice Department have reviewed it and made comments, an Xcel spokesperson said. Since the 2009 lawsuit, Xcel has decided to convert the Cherokee plant by 2018 as part of the Colorado Clean Air, Clean Jobs Act, which has prompted more renewables, efficiency and natural gas-fired generation in the state. Cherokee will remain a “vital resource,” but as a natural gas-fired plant. The conversion process began last October, the spokesperson said.
Although previously committed to replacing its coal-fired power plants with natural gas generation in Colorado, Minneapolis-based Xcel Energy said Thursday it is buying another 200 MW of wind-generated electricity supplies as part of efforts to meet the state’s 2020 renewable portfolio standard (RPS) goal of 30%.
Minneapolis-based Xcel Energy filed with Colorado regulators Wednesday to make utility rate decreases effective Oct. 1 for both electric and natural gas customers. The proposals are part of the quarterly adjustments made for both energy services, and the power rate changes come as seasonal tiered rates expire.
Minneapolis-based Xcel Energy’s network of 3.5 million electric and 2 million natural gas utility customers spread over eight western and Midwest states will not need any new baseload generation plants or new gas infrastructure during the next seven to nine years, CEO Dick Kelly told Xcel’s annual shareholders meeting Wednesday in Denver.
Minneapolis-based Xcel Energy’s Colorado utility said Wednesday its first quarter natural gas retail rates will decline by as much as 4% next year, compared to the first quarter of 2009. Overall, gas rates will drop by $14.3 million under the Xcel utility’s quarterly gas cost adjustment (QGCA) process overseen by the Colorado Public Utilities Commission (PUC).
Minneapolis-based Xcel Energy’s Colorado utility retail natural gas bills in May should be 38% lower than this month overall — 39% lower for residential customers and 45% lower for small businesses than they were last May, the utility holding company said last Friday. The commodity rate in May 2008 was three times higher than what is projected for this May, Xcel said.
Cash traders did not consider forecasts of Wednesday lows in the teens and 20s in the Northeast and Midwest — and as low as around zero in the Minneapolis area — to be sufficient to rally prices in post-holiday business Tuesday. Following another below-expectations storage pull report last Thursday, use of storage supplies was believed to be a continuing significant factor in suppressing demand for spot gas.
Due to “dramatic” declines in wholesale gas prices for its Colorado combination utility operations, Minneapolis-based Xcel Energy Tuesday asked state regulators to approve a 14%, or $109 million, retail electric rate decrease effective Oct. 1. Xcel in August asked the Colorado Public Utilities Commission (PUC) to lower retail residential and small business gas utility rates by 54%.