A Weather Analysis for Xcel Energy's 2030 Colorado Preferred Plan

Joshua Novacheck, Marty Schwarz, Grant Buster

Research output: NRELTechnical Report


The Public Service Company of Colorado (PSCo), a subsidiary of Xcel Energy (Xcel), plans to meet its target of an 80% reduction in CO2 emissions over 2005 levels by 2030 through its Preferred Plan that includes increasing the wind and solar energy on its system, reducing coal, and adjusting the operation and dispatch of new and existing thermal generation. The objective of our analysis reported here is to identify how the PSCo generation and transmission of its Preferred Plan might operate in the face of specific weather events. In our analysis, we exposed the 2030 PSCo Preferred Plan to a diversity of weather events including a series of winter storms, a large scale storm with freezing precipitation, a heat wave, and finally a mild weather period with large impact on the wind and solar generation potential. In all four weather events we modeled using a production cost model of the Western Interconnection, the 2030 PSCo Preferred Plan was able to reliably accommodate demand in all hours of the events we studied. Further, the events studied suggest there is unique weather resilience value in the 2030 PSCo Preferred Plan that the sensitivities that added import capability or more storage do not offer.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages45
StatePublished - 2024

Bibliographical note

Produced under direction of Xcel Energy by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) under a Technical Services Agreement

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/TP-5C00-79812


  • decarbonization
  • extreme weather
  • production cost modeling


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