Xcel Energy has accelerated its energy engine in utility markets
across the US. The utility holding company distributes electricity
to 3.5 million customers and natural gas to 2 million in eight
states through four regulated utilities; Colorado and Minnesota
account for most of its customers. Its utilities -- Northern States
Power (NSP-Minnesota and NSP-Wisconsin), Public Service Company of
Colorado, and Southwestern Public Service (in New Mexico and Texas)
-- have the combined capacity of more than 17,000 MW of
electricity. Xcel owns transmission and distribution lines, as well
as natural gas assets. It is also a leading wind power provider in
the US, with wind farms in Colorado, Minnesota, and Texas.
Xcel operates power and gas utilities: Northern States Power
Company-Minnesota; Northern States Power Company-Wisconsin, Public
Service Company of Colorado; and Southwestern Public Service
Company. The holding company has 75 generating plants, more than
87,165 miles of transmission lines and about 193,110 miles of
distribution lines. It also operates an interstate natural gas
pipeline company and a joint venture to develop and lease natural
gas pipelines, storage, and compression assets. Xcel has 2,405
miles of natural gas transmission pipeline and 34,091 miles of
distribution pipeline. Xcel's commercial operations manage the
generation fleet and all wholesale activities for Xcel Energy's
four public utility subsidiaries.
The company is also the US's fifth-largest utility solar energy
provider and owns the fourth-largest transmission system. In
addition, Xcel operates 26 hydroelectric power plants in Colorado,
Minnesota, and Wisconsin.
Xcel's reportable segments are regulated electric utility,
regulated natural gas utility, and all other. Regulated electric,
the largest segment generates, transmits and distributes
electricity, accounted for 84% of the company's total revenues in
2015; Regulated Natural Gas utility segment transports, stores and
distributes natural gas (15%).
The company serves customers in Colorado, Michigan, Minnesota,
New Mexico, North Dakota, South Dakota, Texas, and Wisconsin.
Sales and Marketing
Xcel Energy's major commercial and industrial electric sales are
to customers in the petroleum and coal, as well as food products
industries. It also serves small commercial and industrial
customers, and gets significant electric retail sales from real
estate customers and school systems and universities.
In 2015 Xcel's net revenues decreased by 6%.
Electric revenues declined due to lower fuel and purchased power
cost recovery, partially offset by various rate increases at
NSP-Minnesota, NSP-Wisconsin and SPS as well as the non-fuel rider
Natural gas revenues dropped as the result of the purchased
natural gas adjustment clause recovery, offset by operating
Net income decreased by 4% due to the presence of pre-tax charge
of $129 million related to Monticello life cycle
management/extended power project and a drop in net sales.
In 2015, cash from operating activities grew by 14% due to rate
increases in various jurisdictions, higher customer refunds and
income tax refunds received in 2015 (compared to taxes paid in
2014), partially offset by refunds issued as part of a settlement
agreement with Golden Spread and PNM in 2015.
To meet the demands both of customers and regulators, Xcel plans
to invest $14.1 billion in its utility businesses from 2014 through
2018 to modernize infrastructure, improve system reliability,
reduce environmental pollution, and expand the amount of renewable
energy available to its customers. Xcel has long-term plans to move
from coal-fired plants to natural gas, and on to alternative fuels
such as wind, solar, and biomass to boost its green power capacity
(88,705 MWh in 2015).
In 2015 the company announced plans to invest $15 billion in the
next five years to grow its rate base by 3.7% annually while
strengthening the grid and transitioning to a cleaner energy supply
In 2015 NSP-Minnesota filed its 2016-2030 Resource Plan with the
MPUC, proposing to achieve a 40% reduction in carbon emissions by
2030 from 2005 levels through the significant addition of
renewables, continued commitment to specific CIP annual
achievements, and the continued operation of its existing
cost-effective thermal generation.
In 2014 the City of Minneapolis and Xcel Energy signed a 10 year
franchise agreement. A separate clean energy partnership agreement
with the City of Minneapolis was also signed, which establishes a
board comprised of city and utility officials tasked with creating
a work plan to promote energy efficiency, the use of renewable
energy, and the reduction of carbon emissions.
That year Public Service Company of Colorado filed a plan to
construct a new 345 KV transmission line originating from Pawnee
Station, near Brush, Colorado and terminating at the Daniels Park
substation, near Castle Pines, Colo. The estimated cost of the
project is $178 million.
In 2013 the company expanded its agreement with the National
Center For Atmospheric Research for sophisticated renewable energy
forecasting as a way to help it save millions of dollars.
The company believes its strategy of making environmentally
sound investments is pivotal to its success. It is constructing the
CapX2020 project, a joint venture transmission expansion project
with 10 other utilities, scheduled for completion by 2020. The
project includes a 240-mile transmission line from Minnesota to
North Dakota. It has has filed to extend the licensing plants of
its two nuclear plants on Prairie Island in Minnesota for 20 years,
which it expects to save customers more than $1 billion.
In 2013 The New Mexico Public Regulation Commission approved
Xcel Energy's plan to buy 698 MW of additional wind energy for its
Texas-New Mexico system, which will save area customers an
estimated $590 million in fuel costs over the 20-year life of the
contracts. New wind facilities planned for Roosevelt County, New
Mexico, Hansford and Ochiltree counties, Texas, and Dewey and
Blaine counties, Oklahoma, will supply the power.
Xcel is also working to develop so-called "smart grid"
technology, which will provide customers with more reliability and
control over their energy use. It has completed the nation's first
fully integrated SmartGridCity in Boulder, Colorado.