National conventions to be powered by wind, sun

MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA - The 2008 Democratic and Republican national conventions will be powered with clean, renewable wind and solar energy. This is also the first time the same electric utility will serve both conventions in separate cities in the same year.

Xcel Energy, the nation’s No. 1 wind power provider according to an American Wind Energy Association ranking, will provide enough wind power through its Windsource program to offset the estimated 3,000 megawatt-hours that the conventions will use.

With approximately 70,000 residential and commercial customers in Colorado, Minnesota and New Mexico, Windsource is the nation’s largest voluntary wind energy program, according to a National Renewable Energy Laboratory ranking.

“We are pleased to provide clean, renewable power to the conventions because we want to display for the nation’s elected leaders and delegates what a 21st Century utility can look like,” said Dick Kelly, chairman, president and CEO of Xcel Energy. “In addition to renewable energy, we offer customers incentives for energy conservation and we’re reducing emissions from our facilities. We’re moving forward to make a real difference.”

The Windsource power for the national conventions primarily will come from Xcel Energy’s Ponnequin Wind Facility near the Colorado-Wyoming border and from a wind farm on southwestern Minnesota’s Buffalo Ridge.

Additional power will come from a 10-kilowatt solar installation at The Pepsi Center in Denver, and from a 10-kilowatt solar installation at the High Bridge Generating Station in St. Paul, Minn.

The Denver solar installation is part of Xcel Energy’s Solar*Rewards program, which provides incentives for customers to install solar panels on their home or business.

“Energy policy is an issue that both political parties should discuss at their conventions and beyond,” Kelly said. “We are ahead of the curve in our policies and actions because we are dedicated to reducing our impact on the environment and providing the leadership to make a difference in the communities we serve.”


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