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Xcel Energy Submits IRP to Provide Path to Achieve 100 Percent Carbon-free Energy by 2050

LCG, July 9, 2019--Northern States Power Company, doing business as Xcel Energy, submitted its 2020-2034 Upper Midwest Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) to the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission on July 1. Xcel Energy (Xcel) states that the IRP "charts the path toward achieving some of the most ambitious carbon reduction goals of any utility in the U.S. Specifically - we aim to reduce carbon emissions 80 percent by 2030, and provide 100 percent carbon-free energy by 2050."

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Interest in Eastern Offshore Wind Projects Rising

LCG, July 5, 2019--Two bills were introduced in the U.S. Senate last week to extend the federal Investment Tax Credit (ITC) for offshore wind energy. Federal subsidies, together with offshore wind technology advances and states' plans to increase renewables, may spur rapid investments in offshore wind.

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Industry News

FERC Approves Pumped Storage Project in Oregon

LCG, May 2, 2019--The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) granted approval and a license Tuesday to construct, operate and maintain the 400-MW Swan Lake Energy Storage Project, located near Klamath Falls, Oregon. The $800 million energy storage project is a joint project between Rye Development and National Grid, which are also in the earlier stages on an even larger, 1,200-MW project on the Washington side of the Columbia River east of Portland.

The proposed Swan Lake Energy Storage Project will provide utility-scaled energy storage capacity to complement the growth of wind farms that intermittently generate electricity within the day throughout the year. The project will pump water from the lower reservoir to the upper reservoir at times when power prices are relatively low. When power prices are high and energy is needed, water will be released from the upper reservoir through the power tunnel to the powerhouse to generate electricity. This will occur based on hourly power prices, the need to augment the production of local renewable wind power generation, or to provide ancillary power services.

The elevation difference between the two, 60-plus-acre reservoirs is over 1,600 feet, which would support an electric generating capacity of approximately 400 MW, together with a duration of up to nine hours.

The project would transmit electricity from the powerhouse via a new, 32.8-mile-long, 230-kV above ground transmission line that would connect to the grid at the Malin Substation.

The project developers are pursuing customers for the energy storage facility, which should be aligned with the needs of utilities in the Northwest that seek rapid growth in renewable resources and reducing or eliminating generation resources that emit carbon dioxide.
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