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Xcel Energy targets 600MW of energy storage in Midwest US

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US utility Xcel Energy has revealed energy deployment plans for the Upper Midwest region, including 3.6GW of renewables and 600MW of energy storage by 2030.

While the utility did not specify where the projects would be built, or how the new capacity would be split between solar and wind projects, it noted that the initiative would reduce the company’s carbon emissions by 80-88% by 2030.

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A core component of the plan is the extension of work at the company’s two nuclear plants in Minnesota, the Monticello and Prairie Island plants, which have a combined capacity of 1.7GW.

The firm’s Upper Midwest region encompasses Minnesota, Wisconsin, North Dakota, South Dakota and Michigan.

The use of renewable power, BESS and nuclear will also enable the utility to contribute to Minnesota’s plans to meet 100% of its energy demand with what the state government calls “clean electricity” by 2040.

While the reliance on nuclear power alongside renewables, as opposed to investing exclusively in renewable power, has led to some criticism – including Xcel being fined US$14,000 last year by Minnesota regulators relating to leaks of radioactive tritium from the Monticello plant – the utility’s leadership is optimistic about Xcel’s direction amid the Minnesota energy transition.

Energy-Storage.news readers may know Xcel Energy for its relatively bullish approach to procuring novel, non-lithium long-duration energy storage (LDES) technologies. It is deploying two 100-hour duration 1GWh projects using Form Energy’s iron-air battery in Minnesota and Colorado, as well as a 300kWh pilot system using Ambri’s liquid metal battery.

See the full version of this article on PV Tech.

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