Utility Companies Focus on Opportunities Behind Energy Transition

CEOs of San Diego Gas & Electric and Xcel Energy discuss energy transition priorities

With decarbonization continuing to be a key consideration, utilities focus on the opportunities that energy transition can bring. In the June publication of Public Utilities Fortnightly (PUF), Guidehouse’s Chris Rogers joined PUF in discussion with Caroline Winn, CEO of San Diego Gas & Electric and Bob Frenzel, CEO of Xcel Energy. These two major utilities recently released studies looking into ways to achieve cleaner energy future in their service territories, states, and regions—and the discussion focused on these strategic issues and the future of clean energy.

Bob Frenzel discussed the current state of the utilities industry and what challenges it faces over the next few years, as well as Xcel Energy’s approach to balancing strategic initiatives like resilience, affordability, and infrastructure investment. The company’s recent ten-year capital forecast was the ­first time it provided that kind of visibility into needed investment for its electric energy transition across all business segments.

San Diego Gas & Electric issued a fi­rst-of-a-kind study aimed at developing a roadmap to decarbonize its state and region, while ensuring grid reliability. In the PUF interview, Caroline Winn discussed key takeaways from the study, how the company balances the need for significant climate adaptation investments while keeping the cost of energy affordable, as well as the role of hydrogen in energy transition, among other things.

This article is part of a series of interviews with Western states utility CEOs that Guidehouse is conducting with PUF. The interview with Portland General Electric CEO Maria Pope can be found here, and the interview with Southern California Edison CEO Steve Powell can be found here.

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