Wind power, EVs help Xcel Energy ‘own the future’
In March 2000, the National Academy of Engineering declared electrification to be the greatest engineering achievement of the 20th century. According to Teresa Mogensen, senior vice president of energy supply for Xcel Energy, that is an accolade that energy sector leaders must earn every day.
“The task of our industry is to provide reliable, safe, low-cost energy to our millions of residential and business customers,” Mogensen said. “Our goal is to transform that energy into an instrument that produces a cleaner, healthier environment and a more satisfying way of life for our employees, customers and communities.”
Mogensen said she believes “clear vision, technology transformation and connection” lead to realizing that goal.
Speaking at the 22nd Annual ELECTRIC POWER Conference and Exhibition, Mogensen also said she believes it is imperative for leaders to “own the future in order to make a real difference.”
During the summer of 2020, Xcel Energy took steps to own its future by repowering older wind farms serving its customers in the upper Midwest.
“This stems from some of our efforts to work with state leaders and regulators to spur the economic recovery from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic,” she said.
These wind farm projects are expected to create hundreds of construction jobs by utilizing local and union labor and diverse suppliers, as well as to lower costs for customers while increasing the amount of carbon-free, renewable energy in the region.
“Our wind projects with updated technology can typically generate at least 10-percent more electricity annually,” Mogensen said.
Elaborating on technology transformation, Mogensen noted between May and July of this year, consumer spending on Amazon.com increased 60 percent over the same period last year, as the spread of COVID-19 forced many people to shop online.
“The experience people have on Amazon and other non-utility websites is setting the bar for their expectations on the utility sites,” Mogensen said. “We still have some distance to make up, but through Google Assistant and Alexa, customers can view and pay their bills, set due dates, obtain payment schedule information and can find ways to reduce their energy use.”