Utility Xcel Proposes Clean Energy Program

Jan 15 2009 | 2:54am ET

A major public utility is seeking permission to raise rates to fund a clean energy program.

Xcel Energy, which is based in Minneapolis and has customers throughout the central United States, has asked the Colorado Public Utilities Program to approve its plan to raise $6 million a year for its Innovative Clean Technology program. If the PUC gives the okay, the program would run from 2010 until 2013.

Xcel says the funds would support small demonstration projects to test green energy systems for commercial viability. The first such project proposed by the company would be a $4.5 million solar power test at its facility near Grand Junction, Colo.

“In this period of difficult economic times, it is crucial for us to explore new, cleaner technologies by the most economical means possible,” Tim Taylor of Xcel’s Public Service Company of Colorado said. “Our proposal gives us the change to economically and efficiently accelerate the development of technologies that fit with the vision our customers have for future power needs in Colorado.”

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