Home » Xcel Energy has been selected to get a $100 million award to provide solutions that mitigate the threat of wildfires

Xcel Energy has been selected to get a $100 million award to provide solutions that mitigate the threat of wildfires

Xcel Energy has announced it has gained a $100 million award to give solutions to reduce the threat of wildfires and ensure the grid resiliency through extreme weather. The award comes from the U.S. Department of Energy.

The funding has been provided by the Grid Resilience and Innovation Partnerships program, along with a $140 million cost share provided by Xcel Energy. The projects are planned in Colorado, Minnesota, New Mexico, Texas, and Wisconsin.

The funding will be for developing projects that increase the grid resiliency to overcome fires, severe storms, and other environmental conditions. This will assist Xcel Energy to better protect the lives, homes, and forests while reducing and preventing power outages.

With more environmental impact happening, an increase in its effect on the power grid has been observed, said the report. It stated, that some areas with seasonal fires have observed an increase in them into “year-round battles against rapidly changing and extreme weather conditions”, resulting into “larger, more intense and faster-moving wildfires.”

Bob Frenzel, chairman, president and CEO of Xcel Energy, said, “We recognize that the year-round risk of wildfires has grown, along with the severity of storms and other weather events that threaten the grid,” 

“This funding from the Department of Energy will enhance our ability to meet this rising challenge with decisive action while reducing carbon emissions and ensuring reliable affordable and clean power for our customers.”

Xcel Energy claims to be a clean energy transition company to reach net-zero carbon emissions responsibly. 

The company claims to have invested over $450 million in wildfire mitigation activities in Colorado from 2019 to make the system better and to protect nature and the society living there.

The projects will boost grid resiliency via – 

  • Adding fire-resistant coatings to 6,000 wood poles
  • Improving equipment safety features in power lines
  • Improving equipment safety features in electric vehicle chargers in high fire risk conditions
  • Moving high-risk distribution circuits underground
  • Enhance vegetation management

The company plans to build on running projects to utilize tech as the drones aided by artificial intelligence for – 

  • Inspecting power lines for safety
  • Wind strength testing
  • Satellite identification of trees prone to risk 
  • Modelling software to predict how fires would spread

The company plans to utilize the funding to “support greater resilience for communities of color.” The projects are expected to cover 5 years in making and completing.

Source: https://investors.xcelenergy.com/news-events/news-releases/news-details/2023/Xcel-Energy-receives-100-million-Department-of-Energy-grant-to-boost-wildfire-mitigation-and-grid-resiliency/default.aspx