US-based Xcel Energy exploring RNG opportunities

Minneapolis, US-based company Xcel Energy is expanding into the renewable natural gas (RNG) sector,  exploring how it could deliver RNG to its customers.

The company’s plans form part of its initiative to reduce carbon emissions from the electricity it provides to customers by 80% by 2030, while pursuing a vision to offer 100% carbon-free electricity by 2050.

“Xcel Energy provides innovative ways for our customers to further reduce their environmental impact through renewable electricity programmes and new programmes for RNG would help further our commitment to our customers and the environment,” said Frank Prager, senior vice-president of planning, strategy and external affairs at Xcel Energy.

“We have been a national leader in renewable energy for more than a decade, and now we’ll expand that leadership to our natural gas operations.”

The company has used methane derived from landfills, wastewater treatment and agriculture, but this is the first time Xcel has investigated the fuel’s potential for use directly by customers for heating, cooking and other activities. Last year, Xcel 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, the company hopes to offer programmes where customers can choose RNG for their use. Xcel Energy has been working with the natural gas industry to reduce emissions associated with natural gas production and distribution. Luke Litteken, senior vice-president of natural gas at Xcel, said: “Since 2021, 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 RNG is another step we can take to help customers reduce their own emissions.”

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