Minnesota sets new clean energy goals
Company will work to achieve goal while ensuring reliable and affordable service
On Tuesday, Feb. 8, Minnesota Governor Tim Walz signed into law new state standards for the future of clean energy. Xcel Energy is committed to working to achieve the new standards for carbon-free and renewable electricity in Minnesota while ensuring reliable and affordable service.
Xcel Energy is well positioned to meet the ambitious new goals, having already approved energy resource plans in the region that will retire all of the company's coal facilities and achieve both the 2030 carbon-free standard and the 2035 renewable energy standard. The company will partner with industry groups, national laboratories and venture capitalists to pursue new technologies to support Minnesota’s 2040 goal.
“Xcel Energy has long been a leader in the transition to clean energy, and in 2018 became the first electric company in the nation to commit to 100% carbon-free electricity,” said Bob Frenzel, chairman, president and CEO of Xcel Energy. “Minnesota’s 2040 goal will challenge the company and the industry to find new ways to build upon the robust plans we already have in place to accelerate our use of carbon-free and renewable resources, while maintaining safe, reliable and affordable energy for all.”
Under the Upper Midwest Energy Plan, Xcel Energy is currently on track to reduce carbon emissions from customers’ electricity more than 85% and provide 55% of electricity from renewable energy sources by 2030, meeting a new renewable energy standard five years early.
“In the years ahead, we will replace coal generation with wind and solar, extend the use of carbon-free nuclear energy, and explore new energy storage technologies,” said Chris Clark, president, Xcel Energy–Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota. “As we continue the energy transition, we remain committed to supporting the communities our facilities are located in and providing all of our customers with safe, reliable and affordable energy.”
Companywide, Xcel Energy's vision is to provide 100% carbon-free electricity by 2050. Because the company's Upper Midwest electric system serves fives states, Xcel Energy always works with policymakers and regulators across the states to ensure we operate a reliable, affordable, increasingly clean electric system while meeting policy objectives and the needs of customers in each state.
Today, the electricity Xcel Energy provides customers in the Upper Midwest is 60% carbon-free. Accessing the region’s excellent wind and solar resources has helped save customers money. Upper Midwest wind farms have saved customers more than $1.5 billion in avoided fuel costs and tax credits since 2017.
Many ongoing and upcoming projects will advance Xcel Energy towards fully carbon-free electricity in the region, including:
- Retiring all coal plants by 2030.
- Extending use of the Monticello Nuclear Generating Plant to at least 2040, providing access to an affordable and reliable generation resource with zero emissions.
- Developing more than 4,000 megawatts of new wind and solar by 2032 to replace retiring coal generation — enough to power 1.3 million homes annually.
- Constructing a 460-megawatt solar array near the site of the retiring Sherco coal plant in Becker.
- Implementing energy storage technologies, such as a 10-megawatt long-duration iron-air battery from Form Energy. The battery will store renewable energy at times of high generation and distribute it at times of high demand.
- Pursuing clean fuels — including renewable and synthetic natural gas and green and pink hydrogen.
- Building new transmission infrastructure to connect more clean energy to the grid, re-using existing grid connections near coal plants as they close and helping ensure reliable service for customers.
- Enhancing energy efficiency programs to help customers save energy and money and working with customers on new demand response options to manage the energy load.
- Exploring and developing new zero-carbon dispatchable resources that are not yet commercially available at the cost and scale needed to implement them today.
Xcel Energy will also use provisions in recent federal legislation, including the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act and Inflation Reduction Act, to drive innovation and reduce the cost of major energy generation and energy storage projects. With the Inflation Reduction Act alone, Xcel Energy expects to save Minnesota customers more than $1.4 billion in costs over the next 10 years.
Learn more about Xcel Energy’s clean energy plans.