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Xcel Energy explores renewable natural gas for customers

Company to provide programs helping to reduce emissions
 

MINNEAPOLIS (May 26, 2020) –Xcel Energy is expanding its clean energy leadership to the natural gas industry, by exploring how it could deliver renewable natural gas to customers. This initiative complements the company’s plan to reduce carbon emissions from the electricity it provides customers by 80% by 2030, while pursuing a vision to provide 100% carbon-free electricity by 2050. Eventually, the company hopes to provide new programs that enable customers to choose renewable natural gas, similar to current renewable electricity programs. 

“Xcel Energy provides innovative ways for our customers to further reduce their environmental impact through renewable electricity programs, and new programs for renewable natural gas would help further our commitment to our customers and the environment,” said Frank Prager, senior vice president of planning, strategy and external affairs, Xcel Energy. “We’ve been a national leader in renewable energy for more than a decade, and now we’ll expand that leadership to our natural gas operations.” 

Renewable natural gas can be captured from various sources 
Methane from landfills, wastewater treatment and agriculture has been used in power generation over the years, but this is the first time Xcel Energy has investigated the fuel’s potential for use directly by customers for heating, cooking and other activities in their homes. Methane is also the primary component of traditional natural gas. 

Normally, methane from these sources is either ‘flared’ by the producer or released into the atmosphere. Using the methane captured from these sources reduces the environmental impact associated with those emissions. Last year, Xcel Energy partnered with the cities of Englewood and Littleton in Colorado to capture methane from wastewater treatment facilities and inject it into the company’s natural gas system. 

Eventually, programs may be offered where customers can choose renewable natural gas for their use, similar to Windsource® and Renewable Connect®, programs that increase the amount of renewable energy customers use. This Request for Information will identify the locations and cost of capturing that methane and injecting it into pipes for use in customers’ homes and businesses. 

Continued push to reduce emissions from natural gas production and use 
Xcel Energy has been working both internally, and with the natural gas industry to reduce emissions associated with natural gas production and distribution. “Since 2012, we’ve replaced over 700 miles of natural gas pipelines, and we’re part of the ONE Future that works with producers and suppliers to limit emissions from natural gas production. Using renewable natural gas is another step we can take to help customers reduce their own emissions,” said Luke Litteken, senior vice president, natural gas, Xcel Energy. 

Details on participating in the Request for Information 
Additional information about the request can be found at www.xcelenergy.com/RNGRFI. Responders are asked to provide relevant details about their product, including cost, quality and location. Responders are asked to provide information by July 15, 2020. Questions may be directed to 2020RNGRFI@xcelenergy.com

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Matt Chester's picture
Matt Chester on May 27, 2020 11:29 am GMT

Methane from landfills, wastewater treatment and agriculture has been used in power generation over the years, but this is the first time Xcel Energy has investigated the fuel’s potential for use directly by customers for heating, cooking and other activities in their homes. 

How would this potentially impact the cost of gas being used by customers? 

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