Richard C. Kelly

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Richard C. Kelly is president and chief executive officer of Xcel Energy. From October 2003 until June 2005, he was chief operating officer, prior to which he served as chief financial officer.[1]

Before New Century Energies (NCE) and Northern States Power Company merged to form Xcel Energy in 2000, Kelly served as NCE's chief financial officer. Previously he held a variety of finance-related positions at Public Service Company of Colorado, before it merged with Southwestern Public Service Company to form NCE.[1]


Richard Kelly has the following affiliations:[1]

  • Second vice-chairman of the Edison Electric Institute
  • Chairman of the board of trustees of the Science Museum of Minnesota
  • Board member of the Capital City Partnership
  • Board member of the Electric Power Research Institute
  • Board member of the Nuclear Energy Institute
  • Board member of Canadian Pacific Railway
  • Board member of Regis University
  • Director on the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce
  • Member of the Minnesota Business Partnership
  • Member of the National Petroleum Council
  • Member of Colorado Concern and Colorado Forum
  • Member of the National Advisory Council of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory


In May 2007, Forbes listed Kelly as receiving $6.31 million in total compensation for the latest fiscal year. He ranked 14th on the list of CEOs in the Utilities industry, and 254th among all CEOs in the United States.[2]

Death and disease attributable to fine particle pollution from Xcel Energy coal plants

In 2010, Abt Associates issued a study commissioned by the Clean Air Task Force, a nonprofit research and advocacy organization, quantifying the deaths and other health effects attributable to fine particle pollution from coal-fired power plants.[3] Fine particle pollution consists of a complex mixture of soot, heavy metals, sulfur dioxide, and nitrogen oxides. Among these particles, the most dangerous are those less than 2.5 microns in diameter, which are so tiny that they can evade the lung's natural defenses, enter the bloodstream, and be transported to vital organs. Impacts are especially severe among the elderly, children, and those with respiratory disease. The study found that over 13,000 deaths and tens of thousands of cases of chronic bronchitis, acute bronchitis, asthma, congestive heart failure, acute myocardial infarction, dysrhythmia, ischemic heart disease, chronic lung disease, and pneumonia each year are attributable to fine particle pollution from U.S. coal plant emissions. These deaths and illnesses are major examples of coal's external costs, i.e. uncompensated harms inflicted upon the public at large. Low-income and minority populations are disproportionately impacted as well, due to the tendency of companies to avoid locating power plants upwind of affluent communities. To monetize the health impact of fine particle pollution from each coal plant, Abt assigned a value of $7,300,000 to each 2010 mortality, based on a range of government and private studies. Valuations of illnesses ranged from $52 for an asthma episode to $440,000 for a case of chronic bronchitis.[4]

Table 1: Death and disease attributable to fine particle pollution from Xcel Energy coal plants

Type of Impact Annual Incidence Valuation
Deaths 440 $3.2 billion
Heart attacks 696 $76.1 million
Asthma attacks 7725 $401.7 thousand
Chronic bronchitis 279 $123.9 million
Asthma ER visits 429 $158.2 thousand
Hospital admissions 328 $7.63 million

Source: "Health Impacts - annual - of Existing Plants," Clean Air Task Force Excel worksheet, available under "Data Annex" at "Death and Disease from Power Plants," Clean Air Task Force.

Note: This data includes the following plants owned by Xcel Energy and its subsidiaries Northern States Power Company, NRG Energy, Public Service Company of Colorado and Southwestern Public Service Company. Northern States Power Company plants included were: Allen S. King Generating Plant, Bay Front Station, Black Dog Generating Station, High Bridge Generating Plant, NSP - Minnesota Valley, and Sherburne County Plant. NRG Energy plants included were: Big Cajun II Power Plant, Huntley Generating Station (existing), Dunkirk Steam Station, Indian River Power Station, Limestone Generating Station, Long Beach Generation LLC, Somerset Power Generating Station, Parish Generating Station. Public Service Company of Colorado plants included were: Arapahoe Station, Cameo Station, Cherokee Station, Comanche Generating Station, Hayden Station, Pawnee Station and Valmont Station. Southwestern Public Service Company plants included were:Harrington Station, and Tolk Station. Abt have included Celanese station. However, the status of that plant is unclear.

Proposed coal plants



Comanche 3 Plant

Xcel is currently moving ahead with plans to build the 750-MW Comanche Generating Station Unit 3 in Pueblo, Colorado. Clean Energy Action and Citizens for Clean Air and Water in Pueblo filed a legal challenge against the plant. [5] After witnessing the public opposition to its Comanche 3 plant, Xcel executives have admitted that “they may never build another” coal-fired power plant.[6]



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