Utility Company To Close Coal Plants, Convert To Renewables

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Colorado state regulators gave the go-ahead to Xcel Energy’s plans for a renewable
energy
makeover. The utility company
will shut down two coal-fired plants and build one of the world’s largest solar
power plants.
Doe_solar

Xcel’s decision
makes this utility the first in the nation to voluntarily shut down plants
to reduce
pollution
emissions. The Colorado
Public Utilities Commission approved he utility’s request for a 200-megawatt
solar plant using concentrated solar technology that not only helps generate
electricity from the sun, but also allows energy to be stored for later use.

In addition, Xcel requested to add 850 megawatts of wind
energy to its system. These proposed
solar and wind projects will catapult the utility into compliance with Colorado laws that
require larger utility companies to receive 20 percent of their electricity
from solar, wind or biomass sources by the year 2020.

“We are generally pleased…that the commission essentially has agreed with our
final plan concerning additional wind and solar power, and our plans to close
two of our power plants,” Xcel spokesman Mark Stutz said. “The additional wind
and solar provides benefits to the environment, and we look forward to those
additions to our system by 2015.”

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