Eau Claire (WQOW)- Xcel Energy is working toward the goal to be carbon-free by 2050. Wednesday the utility announced that it reduced its carbon emissions by a record 10% between 2018 and 2019.
This is the largest drop in emissions in a single year for the company so far. Xcel spokesperson Chris Ouellette said they are now halfway to the goal of being 80 percent carbon free by 2030.
She said a lot of these reductions can be done while keeping customer bills low, and said the cost of using renewable energy has decreased dramatically over the past 5 to 10 years.
"It really validates the work that we've been putting into reducing the amount of carbon in the atmosphere, all while keeping our energy costs low, and our power reliable," Ouellette said. "Our customers can depend on us for reliable energy and low cost energy."
She said the large reduction in emissions can be partially attributed to drastic increases in wind energy-use between 2018 and 2019. In 2018 and 2019, the utility completed large wind projects in Texas and Colorado.
Ouellette said during that time, nuclear energy performed well and natural gas prices were low. As a result she said Xcel has been able to reduce how much coal it uses to generate energy and reduce carbon emissions.