Xcel Energy will pursue environmental excellence and innovation in our corporate strategy and daily operations. We will set a cornerstone of outstanding environmental compliance and build upon that foundation to pursue industry-leading initiatives that enhance customer and shareholder value while demonstrating respect for our communities and concern for the environment.
Renewable, non-emitting sources of energy are a growing part of our energy mix. These sources can provide cost-effective energy to our customers and help hedge against more volatile fuel prices.Our renewable energy portfolio includes wind, hydro power, refuse-derived fuel and biomass.
Xcel Energy is the nation's leading supplier of wind energy to retail customers.
As of early 2006, we had about 1,100 megawatts of wind energy capacity in service, and expect to increase to more than 2,300 megawatts by the end of 2007. This includes more than 1,000 megawatts each in Colorado and Minnesota.
One of our primary resources is water, which we use for steam generation and cooling in electricity production. And protecting the environment in the semi-arid regions of Colorado and the Panhandle of Texas includes wise water use.
Our waste management efforts involve many materials that cannot be handled as common trash, such as chemicals, used oil, batteries, lighting and lamps, asbestos, oil contaminated media and scrap metal. Xcel Energy invests almost $1 million a year to properly manage and dispose of these wastes, reducing our impact on the environment.
A primary byproduct of electric generation is coal ash. Almost half of the 2.5 million tons of coal ash our plants produce annually goes to beneficial uses, such as concrete products, roadbed material and soil stabilization. A full 100% of coal ash from our power plants in Texas is put to beneficial use.
Using energy wisely is good for our customers' energy bills and helps us plan our resources while helping the environment. Reducing energy demand means less electricity has to be generated, which means less impact on the environment.