City and Xcel Set Carbon-Free Goals
The City of Eau Claire and Xcel Energy signed an ambitious “Energy Future Collaboration” agreement earlier this month, jointly pledging to produce – and use – more clean energy. The memorandum of understanding is the first of its kind between Xcel and a Wisconsin community, although Xcel has signed similar documents with cities in other states, including Denver. According to the City of Eau Claire, the agreement will “further support clean energy goals through a program of innovation, customer service, economic development, and technology.”
In March 2018, the Eau Claire City Council set a goal of reaching municipal and community carbon neutrality by the year 2050, as well as obtaining 100% of the community’s energy from renewable sources by that year. Likewise, Xcel announced last December that it intended to produce 100% carbon-free electricity by 2050 as well. Now that the agreement is in place, the city and Xcel “will advance work plans such as energy conservation, renewables and electric vehicles, along with objectives, timelines, and resources required to met the goals of the community,” the city said in a press release.
Specifically, a committee is close to submitting a draft Renewable Energy Action Plan to the City Council for approval. The Renewable Energy Action Plan, in turn, will be used to develop a specific work plan between Xcel and the City of Eau Claire, likely in the first quarter of next year, said Ned Noel, an associate planner with the city.