Overall, the Colorado Energy Plan will invest $2.5 billion in eight counties to add more than 1,100 megawatts of wind generation, more than 700 megawatts of solar generation, and 275 megawatts of large-scale battery storage. Xcel Energy will retire two coal-fired power plants in Pueblo and will invest about $1 billion to acquire 500 megawatts of new wind generation and 375 megawatts of existing natural gas generation. The remaining investment, more than half of the total, will be made by independent power producers whose wind, solar and storage projects will sell electricity to Xcel Energy.
The plan will provide over $200 million worth of savings for customers compared to the alternatives, while reducing carbon emissions nearly 60 percent and increasing renewable energy sources to 55 percent of Xcel’s energy mix by 2026 in the state. Part of this landmark agreement included solar interests that will continue to grow rooftop solar, and it also set in motion a time-of-use (TOU) rate pilot. In addition to these efforts, the company is undertaking some storage pilot projects.
In December 2018, the Colorado Public Utilities Commission (CO PUC) took a major step toward advancing the state’s use of battery storage, adopting an order to help integrate procurement mechanisms into utilities’ long-term planning process.
In 2017, Xcel Energy got approval for Advanced Grid Intelligence and Security (AGIS) proposal, which includes tools that enable consumers to control their energy usage and allows the utility to collect data and control the two-way flow of energy from distributed energy resources.
Xcel Energy is also working with the CO PUC on future EV initiatives and expects to submit related fillings in 2019. The AMI implementation will begin in 2019 and finish around 2024, with installment of over one million residential smart meters.