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Renewable Electricity

Goal: 100% Renewable Electricity by 2030

Denver as an electricity consumer is nested within Xcel Energy and the broader Colorado electric system. Denver’s renewable vision is to enable a rapid and equitable transition to a 100% renewable electric system in Colorado. By 2030, 100% of Denver’s community-wide electricity use will contribute to this vision.​

The above vision and 2030 goal for Denver’s electricity use to “contribute to” a 100% renewable electricity system is unique compared to goals to be “powered by” 100% renewable electricity. This is due to accounting protocols for Renewable Energy Credits (RECs). RECs measure renewable energy production and are “retired” to meet renewable energy goals.​

Denver’s renewable electricity metrics adopt a holistic view of the electric system and Denver’s place in it. They include: ​

  • System Renewables: The RECs inherent in the electricity Xcel Energy delivers to all retail customers that are not created by, subscribed to, or sold to other customers.​

  • Distributed Solar: The RECs created by Denver customers with on-site solar arrays or subscriptions to community solar gardens that are transferred to Xcel Energy and retired towards system decarbonization.​

  • Utility-Scale RE Subscriptions: The RECs retired due to participation in Xcel Energy’s Renewable Connect and Windsource programs by Denver customers.​

Denver’s approach to counting renewable electricity contributions measures progress towards system-wide decarbonization. It places investments in local clean energy infrastructure and community co-benefits at the forefront of Denver’s energy transition. ​

Achieving this ambitious objective will require a variety of partnerships including with Denver’s electricity service provider, community-organizations, members of the public, and interdepartmental coordination across City agencies.

System Renewable Electricity



Xcel Energy projects it will retire RECs for approximately 60% renewable energy by 2030. Exceeding this requires collaboration with Xcel Energy and regulatory engagement.

Current: 20.7%

Goal: 60-80% by 2030


Distributed Solar in Denver



Denver has significant untapped distributed energy potential that can be increased by strengthening building codes, supporting CSG and rooftop solar programs, and regulatory engagement.

Current: 1.2%

Goal: 30-40% by 2030


Utility-Scale Subscriptions



Community engagement and education can help to increase subscriptions to Xcel Energy’s utility-scale renewable electricity options. These include Windsource and Renewable Connect programs.

Current: 0.8%

Goal: 10-15% by 2030


Overall Progress

We are currently at 23% of our goal of having Denver’s community-wide electricity use contribute to a 100% renewable electric system in Colorado by 2030.

Read Denver’s 100RE Plan to learn how we’ll get there.


Solar in Denver

Denver is situated in one of the most solar-friendly climates in the country and has a long history of support renewable energy initiatives. Explore solar options, understand how Denver's climate goals align with solar energy.

If you're considering solar, the wide variety of options in Denver today makes it easy to find the right choice.

Looking to attract tenants and improve the value of your commercial building by adding solar?

Denver's Solar History
  • Denver is awarded $1,000,000 to support the city’s Renewable Denver Initiative from the Colorado Department of Local Affairs (DOLA) Renewable Energy Challenge grant program. The city’s initiative will equitably accelerate Denver towards its goal of 100 percent renewable electricity by 2030 by hosting low-cost community solar gardens across municipal properties. Full press release here.
  • Denver ranks 9th nationwide for solar energy capacity (per capita), landing it among the nation’s leaders for installing clean energy according to the sixth edition of Shining Cities: the Top U.S. Cities for Solar Energy,.
  • Denver partners with Solar United Neighbors of Colorado to launch the Denver Solar Co-op. The Co-op model guides homeowners through the entire process of going solar and takes advantage of the group’s bulk-purchasing power to get discounted pricing and quality installations.
  • Denver and Xcel Energy establish the Energy Futures Collaboration to accelerate progress on climate and energy goals.
  • Denver announces its 80x50 Climate Action Plan with ambitious goals including 100% renewable electricity for municipal facilities by 2025 and citywide by 2030.
  • Xcel Energy’s new Renewable Connect program with local solar became available and the City subscribed.
  • Denver continues to see the rewards of its involvement in the 2016 Global Settlement Agreement with Xcel Energy and multiple other parties.
  • Denver’s advocates for an expansion of renewable programs including the first of its kind, stand-alone offering for 100% dedicated Low-Income Community Solar Gardens, which helps Denver residents and businesses sign up for more renewable electricity than at any other time.
  • Mayor Hancock Receives the “Public Official of the Year” Award from the Colorado Solar Energy Industries Association during the Clean Energy Business Buyers Summit.
  • Denver begins preparations for the 2017 Solar Decathlon and supports Xcel Energy's efforts to begin testing solar-powered battery storage.
  • Denver becomes a party to a Global Settlement Agreement with Xcel Energy and multiple other parties enabling a clear future for renewable projects in Xcel Energy's service territory.


  • An innovative Solar Group Buy program gives Denver and Boulder residents expanded solar and electric vehicle purchasing opportunities.



  • To make solar energy available to everyone, including people who don’t own their own homes, Denver partners with private developers to open the city’s first community-owned solar array at Hangar #2 in Lowry.



  • Denver International Airport commits to sustainability by installing its first solar array.




cover of report 


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