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Xcel Energy Names New Chief Nuclear Officer

Xcel Energy’s board of directors today named Pete Gardner Chief Nuclear Officer, effective immediately. He succeeds Tim O’Connor who has held the role since 2013 and has been promoted to Chief Generating Officer of Xcel Energy, effective March 31.

"Pete has played an integral role in elevating the performance of our nuclear fleet to the best in the country," said Tim O’Connor. "Not only have we reduced operations and maintenance costs by 25% in just four years, but both Monticello and Prairie Island have earned the highest ratings from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and the Institute of Nuclear Power Operations."

The strong performance of Xcel Energy’s nuclear fleet is one of the key factors in helping the company cut carbon emissions a record 10% in 2019. It was the largest ever single-year drop in emissions since Xcel Energy began the clean energy transition in 2005. The plants provide about 30% of the power the company supplies to customers in the Upper Midwest.

Gardner joined Xcel Energy in 2013 and has served as vice president of Nuclear Operations since 2017. He has over 36 years of experience in the nuclear industry.

Effective March 16, Chris Church will move into the role of Vice President of Corporate Nuclear Operations at Xcel Energy, responsible for fleet governance and oversight replacing Pete Gardner. Tom Conboy will take over as Monticello Site Vice President replacing Chris Church.

About Xcel Energy
Xcel Energy (NASDAQ: XEL) provides the energy that powers millions of homes and businesses across eight Western and Midwestern states. Headquartered in Minneapolis, the company is an industry leader in responsibly reducing carbon emissions and producing and delivering clean energy solutions from a variety of renewable sources at competitive prices. For more information, visit or follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

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