At the end of 2020, Xcel Energy became one of the first energy providers in the United States to reach 10,000 megawatts of wind energy capacity online for customers in the states it serves. The milestone is powered by the company’s 10 new wind projects in the Upper Midwest, Colorado, Texas, and New Mexico.
While many projects are already completed, all the projects will be online by year’s end, completing the largest multi-state wind investment in the country. As new projects continue to come online in 2021, the company estimates more than 31% of its nameplate energy capacity will come from wind by the end of the year. Additionally, Xcel Energy owns and operates much of the new wind, increasing its owned projects from 850 megawatts, to 4,469 megawatts by the end of the year.
“We launched an ambitious wind energy expansion in 2017 as part of our ongoing commitment to reduce carbon emissions while continuing to provide safe, reliable, and affordable service for our customers,” said Ben Fowke, chairman and CEO, Xcel Energy. “The new wind projects we’ve added will save customers money in the coming decades, are among the most cost-effective energy sources on our grid and are integral to our groundbreaking vision to deliver 100% carbon-free electricity to our customers by 2050.”
Xcel Energy is the first major U.S. power provider to announce a commitment to reducing carbon emissions by 80% (from 2005 levels) by 2030, with a vision of delivering 100% carbon-free electricity by 2050. The company is more than halfway to that interim goal.
The projects enabled the creation of thousands of construction jobs and hundreds of permanent operations and maintenance jobs, while also supporting local governments and landowners who receive benefits through lease payments and taxes that help support local infrastructure.