Xcel Energy delivers power to homes and businesses in eight states in the Midwest and West. In this episode of Grid Talk, we hear from the Chairman and CEO of Xcel, Ben Fowke. Mr. Fowke discusses his company’s goal of being carbon-free by 2050 and what we need to invest in now to accomplish the last 20%.
“The technologies that I think about to get that last 20% out are things like the hydrogen-- development of hydrogen fuel as well as storage, advanced nuclear, carbon capture, dispatchable renewable generation, and of course additional storage and demand side management type opportunities.”
Mr. Fowke also predicts a more and more customer-centric grid.
“Customers want to understand more increasingly where their energy is coming from. They want different billing options. They want you to assist with them on electric vehicles. We have some great programs that basically allow for a more seamless transaction through customers that are electing to buy an EV and then giving them billing opportunities that help them save money and actually support the entire grid.”
Mr. Fowke has been Chairman and CEO of Xcel Energy since 2011. He has been with the company for more than 20 years. During that time, he has held a variety of executive positions including Chief Operating Officer (COO) vice president and chief financial officer (CFO) and vice president and CFO of Energy Markets.
He has a Bachelor of Science in accounting and finance from Towson University. He is the current Chairman of Chairman of Edison Electric Institute, the national association of investor-owned electric companies.
On investing in technologies to ensure grid reliability, while meeting carbon-free goals
“I think it's important that we preserve the existing nuclear fleet and seriously invest in what could be the next generation of nuclear.”