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 electric 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.
Xcel Energy projects it will retire RECs for approximately 60% renewable energy by 2030. Exceeding this requires collaboration with Xcel Energy and regulatory engagement.
Goal: 60-80% by 2030
Denver has significant untapped distributed energy potential that can be increased by strengthening building codes, supporting CSG and rooftop solar programs, and regulatory engagement.
Goal: 30-40% by 2030
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.
Goal: 10-15% by 2030
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.
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.