It's the Prius of Power Plants -- a Solar/Fossil Fuel Hybrid

Apr 1, 2011 11:21 AM ET

Xcel Energy blog

Don’t you hate it when your power goes out? Truth be told, we hate it too. It makes customers unhappy, and I’ve never worked at a company where Customer Satisfaction is tracked so closely and given such a high priority on the corporate scorecard.

To ensure that we provide reliable power at a reasonable cost, our power generation mix includes coal-fired power plants because they produce steady, reliable “baseload” energy that’s not susceptible to the unpredictable nature of – well, nature. But they have their drawbacks.

Creativity at Work
We’re actively pursuing technologies to upgrade or replace older coal plants, but we still need coal in the fuel mix until newer and cheaper ways to generate electricity from other sources come along. So what can we do to make the best of the situation until those technologies are commercially viable?     Continue reading about a solar/coal hybrid…


Xcel Energy (NYSE: XEL) is focused on balancing the need for reliable, affordable energy while building a clean energy future for our customers and the communities we serve. Our commitment to the environment and our communities has been recognized by our inclusion on the Dow Jones Sustainability Index for North America in 2010-2011.
We’ve been reducing power plant emissions, promoting energy efficiency and using renewable energy for more than a decade. We’re the No. 1 wind power provider and the No. 5 solar utility in the United States. We offer our 3.4 million electricity and 1.9 million natural gas customers some of the largest conservation programs in the country and have helped our customers save enough energy since 1992 to enable us to avoid building more than 12 medium-size power plants.