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Xcel Energy plans to double renewable energy, reduce carbon dioxide emissions

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Xcel Energy is making a resolution to more than double its renewable energy sources, while reducing carbon emissions by 2030.

MPR reports the company has unveiled a plan to help it meet proposed federal regulations that address climate change.

The Star Tribune reports the company plans to increase the amount of electricity from its wind and solar sources. By expanding renewable energy in the next 15 years, Xcel Energy expects a 40 percent reduction in its greenhouse gas emissions by 2030.

Xcel doesn't plan to stop using coal anytime soon, though. Xcel says its Sherburne coal-fired power plant is reliable and providing affordable power, MPR states.

The plan also calls for upgrading two nuclear power plants in Monticello and Red Wing, at a cost of more than $1 billion, according to the Star Tribune. The cost could be passed onto consumers with higher utility bills.

Xcel Energy serves 1.2 million electric customers in Minnesota and boasts the most wind power of any U.S. utility, according to the Star Tribune.

“Customers certainly want cleaner, greener energy, so we are trying to be responsive,” Chris Clark, president of Xcel's Minnesota regional division, told the Star Tribune.

The investment in renewable energy investments could raise rates about 2 percent over what was expected.

Xcel projects demand for electricity will increase 0.4 percent each year, which is less than the 1 percent to 2 percent annual increases seen before the economy tanked, the Star Tribune reports.

Xcel Energy was one of several big Minnesota companies that saw a gain in its stock in 2014. The company saw a 29 percent increase last year.

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