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Form 10-K SOUTHWESTERN PUBLIC SERV For: Dec 31

February 21, 2024 3:45 PM EST
SOUTHWESTERN PUBLIC SERVICE 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UNITED STATES
SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Washington, D.C. 20549
FORM 10-K
(Mark One)
ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
For the fiscal year ended December 31, 2023 or
TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
For the transition period from _____ to _____
001-03789
(Commission File Number)
Southwestern Public Service Company
(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)
New Mexico
75-0575400
(State or Other Jurisdiction of Incorporation or Organization)(IRS Employer Identification No.)
790 South Buchanan Street,
Amarillo,Texas
79101
   (Address of Principal Executive Offices)(Zip Code)
(303)
571-7511
(Registrant’s Telephone Number, Including Area Code)
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:
Title of each classTrading Symbol(s)Name of each exchange on which registered
N/AN/AN/A
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act:  None
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act.   Yes  No
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or Section 15(d) of the Act.   Yes  No
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days.   Yes    No
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically every Interactive Data File required to be submitted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T (§232.405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit such files).   Yes   No
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, a smaller reporting company, or an emerging growth company.  See the definitions of “large accelerated filer”, “accelerated filer”, “smaller reporting company”, and “emerging growth company” in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act. Large accelerated filer  Accelerated filer  Non-accelerated filer Smaller reporting company Emerging growth company
If an emerging growth company, indicate by check mark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards provided pursuant to Section 13(a) of the Exchange Act.
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has filed a report on and attestation to its management’s assessment of the effectiveness of its internal control over financial reporting under Section 404(b) of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (15 U.S.C.7262(b)) by the registered public accounting firm that prepared or issued its audit report. 
If securities are registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act, indicate by check mark whether the financial statements of the registrant included in the filing reflect the correction of an error to previously issued financial statements.
Indicate by check mark whether any of those error corrections are restatements that required a recovery analysis of incentive-based compensation received by any of the registrant’s executive officers during the relevant recovery period pursuant to §240.10D-1(b). ☐
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Act).   Yes    No
As of Feb. 21, 2024, 100 shares of common stock, par value $1.00 per share, were outstanding, all of which were held by Xcel Energy Inc., a Minnesota corporation.
DOCUMENTS INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE
The information required by Item 14 of Form 10-K is set forth under the heading “Independent Registered Public Accounting Firm – Audit and Non-Audit Fees” in Xcel Energy Inc.’s definitive Proxy Statement for the 2024 Annual Meeting of Shareholders which definitive Proxy Statement is expected to be filed with the SEC on or about April 9, 2024. Such information set forth under such heading is incorporated herein by this reference hereto.
Southwestern Public Service Company meets the conditions set forth in General Instructions I(1)(a) and (b) of Form 10-K and is therefore filing this form with the reduced disclosure format permitted by General Instruction I(2).



TABLE OF CONTENTS
PART I
Item 1 —
Item 1A —
Item 1B —
Item 1C —
Item 2 —
Item 3 —
Item 4 —
PART II
Item 5 —
Item 6 —
Item 7 —
Item 7A —
Item 8 —
Item 9 —
Item 9A —
Item 9B —
Item 9C —
PART III
Item 10 —
Item 11 —
Item 12 —
Item 13 —
Item 14 —
PART IV
Item 15 —
Item 16 —

This Form 10-K is filed by SPS. SPS is a wholly owned subsidiary of Xcel Energy Inc. Additional information on Xcel Energy is available in various filings with the SEC. This report should be read in its entirety.
2

PART I
ITEM lBUSINESS
Definitions of Abbreviations
Xcel Energy Inc.’s Subsidiaries and Affiliates (current and former)
NSP-MinnesotaNorthern States Power Company, a Minnesota corporation
NSP-WisconsinNorthern States Power Company, a Wisconsin corporation
PSCoPublic Service Company of Colorado
SPSSouthwestern Public Service Company
Utility subsidiariesNSP-Minnesota, NSP-Wisconsin, PSCo and SPS
Xcel EnergyXcel Energy Inc. and its subsidiaries
Federal and State Regulatory Agencies
EPAUnited States Environmental Protection Agency
ERCOTElectric Reliability Council of Texas
FERCFederal Energy Regulatory Commission
IRSInternal Revenue Service
NERCNorth American Electric Reliability Corporation
NMPRCNew Mexico Public Regulation Commission
PHMSAPipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration
PUCTPublic Utility Commission of Texas
SECSecurities and Exchange Commission
Other
AFUDCAllowance for funds used during construction
AROAsset retirement obligation
BARTBest available retrofit technology
C&ICommercial and Industrial
CCN
Certificates of Convenience and Necessity
CEOChief executive officer
CFOChief financial officer
CWIPConstruction work in progress
D.C. CircuitUnited States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit
DSMDemand side management
ETREffective tax rate
FTRFinancial transmission right
GAAPGenerally accepted accounting principles
GHGGreenhouse gas
IPPIndependent power producing entity
ISOIndependent System Operator
ITCInvestment tax credit
LP&LLubbock Power and Light
MGPManufactured gas plant
Native loadCustomer demand of retail and wholesale customers whereby a utility has an obligation to serve under statute or long-term contract
NAVNet asset value
NOLNet operating loss
O&MOperating and maintenance
OATTOpen Access Transmission Tariff
PFAS
Per- and PolyFluoroAlkyl Substances
PPAPurchased power agreement
PTCProduction tax credit
RECRenewable energy credit
RFPRequest for Proposal
ROEReturn on equity
ROURight-of-use
RTORegional Transmission Organization
S&PStandard & Poor’s Global Ratings
SERPSupplemental executive retirement plan
SPPSouthwest Power Pool, Inc.
TCJA2017 federal tax reform enacted as Public Law No: 115-97, commonly referred to as the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act
VIEVariable interest entity
Measurements
KVKilovolts
KWhKilowatt hours
MMBtuMillion British thermal units
MWMegawatts
MWhMegawatt hours

Where to Find More Information
SPS is a wholly owned subsidiary of Xcel Energy Inc., and Xcel Energy’s website address is www.xcelenergy.com. Xcel Energy makes available, free of charge through its website, its annual report on Form 10-K, quarterly reports on Form 10-Q, current reports on Form 8-K and all amendments to those reports filed or furnished pursuant to Section 13(a) or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 as soon as reasonably practicable after the reports are electronically filed with or furnished to the SEC. The SEC maintains an internet site that contains reports, proxy and information statements, and other information regarding issuers that file electronically at http://www.sec.gov. The information on Xcel Energy’s website is not a part of, or incorporated by reference in, this annual report on Form 10-K.
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Forward-Looking Statements
Except for the historical statements contained in this report, the matters discussed herein are forward-looking statements that are subject to certain risks, uncertainties and assumptions. Such forward-looking statements, including those relating to future sales, future expenses, future tax rates, future operating performance, estimated base capital expenditures and financing plans, projected capital additions and forecasted annual revenue requirements with respect to rider filings, expected rate increases to customers, expectations and intentions regarding regulatory proceedings, and expected impact on our results of operations, financial condition and cash flows of resettlement calculations and credit losses relating to certain energy transactions, as well as assumptions and other statements are intended to be identified in this document by the words “anticipate,” “believe,” “could,” “estimate,” “expect,” “intend,” “may,” “objective,” “outlook,” “plan,” “project,” “possible,” “potential,” “should,” “will,” “would” and similar expressions. Actual results may vary materially. Forward-looking statements speak only as of the date they are made, and we expressly disclaim any obligation to update any forward-looking information. The following factors, in addition to those discussed elsewhere in this Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended Dec. 31, 2023 (including risk factors listed from time to time by SPS in reports filed with the SEC, including “Risk Factors” in Item 1A of this Annual Report on Form 10-K), could cause actual results to differ materially from management expectations as suggested by such forward-looking information: operational safety; successful long-term operational planning; commodity risks associated with energy markets and production; rising energy prices and fuel costs; qualified employee workforce and third-party contractor factors; violations of our Codes of Conduct; our ability to recover costs; changes in regulation; reductions in our credit ratings and the cost of maintaining certain contractual relationships; general economic conditions, including recessionary conditions, inflation rates, monetary fluctuations, supply chain constraints, and their impact on capital expenditures and/or the ability of SPS to obtain financing on favorable terms; availability or cost of capital; our customers’ and counterparties’ ability to pay their debts to us; assumptions and costs relating to funding our employee benefit plans and health care benefits; tax laws; uncertainty regarding epidemics, the duration and magnitude of business restrictions including shutdowns (domestically and globally), the potential impact on the workforce, including shortages of employees or third-party contractors due to quarantine policies, vaccination requirements or government restrictions, impacts on the transportation of goods and the generalized impact on the economy; effects of geopolitical events, including war and acts of terrorism; cybersecurity threats and data security breaches; seasonal weather patterns; changes in environmental laws and regulations; climate change and other weather events; natural disaster and resource depletion, including compliance with any accompanying legislative and regulatory changes; costs of potential regulatory penalties and wildfire damages in excess of liability insurance coverage; regulatory changes and/or limitations related to the use of natural gas as an energy source; challenging labor market conditions and our ability to attract and retain a qualified workforce; and our ability to execute on our strategies or achieve expectations related to environmental, social and governance matters including as a result of evolving legal, regulatory and other standards, processes, and assumptions, the pace of scientific and technological developments, increased costs, the availability of requisite financing, and changes in carbon markets.
Company Overview
spsstatea08.jpg
Electric customers0.4 million
SPS was incorporated in 1921 under the laws of New Mexico. SPS conducts business in Texas and New Mexico and generates, purchases, transmits, distributes and sells electricity.
Total assets$9.9 billion
Rate Base (estimated)$7.2 billion
GAAP ROE9.80%
Electric generating capacity5,100 MW
Electric transmission lines (conductor miles)41,000 miles
Electric distribution lines (conductor miles)24,000 miles
Electric Operations
Electric operations consist of energy supply, generation, transmission and distribution activities. SPS had electric sales volume of 29,478 (millions of KWh), 0.4 million customers and electric revenues of $2,152 million for 2023.
Electric Operations (percentage of total)Sales VolumeNumber of CustomersRevenues
Residential13 %79 %21 %
C&I65 %19 %51 %
Other22 %%28 %
Retail Sales/Revenue Statistics (a)
20232022
KWH sales per retail customer57,541 55,835 
Revenue per retail customer$3,914 $3,946 
Residential revenue per KWh11.86 ¢11.58 ¢
C&I revenue per KWh5.70 ¢6.04 ¢
Total retail revenue per KWh6.80 ¢7.07 ¢
(a)See Note 6 to the financial statements for further information.
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Owned and Purchased Energy Generation — 2023
370
Electric Energy Sources
Total electric energy generation by source for the year ended Dec. 31:
10K 2023 trimmed SPS.jpg
Carbon–Free
SPS’ carbon–free energy portfolio includes wind and solar power from both owned generating facilities and PPAs. Carbon–free percentages will vary year over year based on system additions, commodity costs, weather, system demand and transmission constraints.
See Item 2 — Properties for further information.
Wind
Wind Capacity is shown as net maximum capacity. Net maximum capacity is attainable only when wind conditions are sufficiently available
Owned — Owned and operated wind farms with corresponding capacity:
20232022
Wind FarmsCapacity (MW)Wind FarmsCapacity (MW)
985 984 
PPAs — Number of PPAs with capacity range:
20232022
PPAsRange (MW)PPAsRange (MW)
16 1 — 25017 1 — 250
Current contracted wind capacity for PPAs was 1,562 and 1,564 in 2023 and 2022, respectively.
In 2023, the average cost of wind energy was $6 per MWh for owned generation and $26 per MWh for existing PPAs. In 2022, the average cost of wind energy was $13 per MWh for owned generation and $27 per MWh for existing PPAs.
Solar
PPAs — Solar PPAs capacity by type:
TypeCapacity (MW)
Distributed Generation28 
Utility-Scale192 
Total 220 
The average cost of solar energy under existing PPAs was $67 per MWh and $62 per MWh in 2023 and 2022, respectively.
SPS currently has approximately 400 MW of owned solar and storage under development, pending regulatory approval (expected to be placed in service in 2026 and 2027).
Fossil Fuel
SPS’ fossil fuel energy portfolio includes coal and natural gas power from both owned generating facilities and PPAs.
See Item 2 — Properties for further information.
Coal
SPS owns and operates coal units with approximately 2,100 MW of total 2023 net summer dependable capacity, which provided 22% of the SPS energy mix in 2023.
Approved early coal plant retirements:
YearPlant UnitCapacity (MW)
2024
Harrington (a)
1,018
2034
Tolk 1 (b)
532
2034
Tolk 2 (b)
535
(a)Reflects conversion from coal to natural gas.
(b)Tolk Unit 1 and 2 are approved to be retired early in 2034. The NMPRC has approved a retirement date of 2028. SPS has filed a Texas rate case settlement agreement pending PUCT approval for a retirement date of 2028.
Coal Fuel Cost — Delivered cost per MMBtu of coal consumed for owned electric generation and the percentage of total fuel requirements (coal and natural gas):
Coal
CostPercent
2023$2.73 48 %
20222.37 59 
Natural Gas
SPS has eight natural gas plants with approximately 2,000 MW of total 2023 net summer dependable capacity, which provided 41% of the SPS energy mix in 2023.
Natural gas supplies, transportation and storage services for power plants are procured to provide an adequate supply of fuel. Remaining requirements are procured through a liquid spot market. Generally, natural gas supply contracts have variable pricing that is tied to natural gas indices. Natural gas supply and transportation agreements include obligations for the purchase and/or delivery of specified volumes or payments in lieu of delivery.
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Natural Gas Cost — Delivered cost per MMBtu of natural gas consumed for owned electric generation and the percentage of total fuel requirements (coal and natural gas):
Natural Gas
CostPercent
2023$2.35 52 %
20225.87 41 
Capacity and Demand
Uninterrupted system peak demand and occurrence date:
System Peak Demand (MW)
20232022
4,372 Aug. 174,280 July 19
Transmission
Transmission lines deliver electricity over long distances from power sources to substations closer to customers. A strong transmission system ensures continued reliable and affordable service, ability to meet state and regional energy policy goals, and support for a diverse generation mix, including renewable energy. SPS owns more than 40,000 conductor miles of transmission lines across its service territory.
See Item 2 - Properties for further information.
Distribution
Distribution lines allow electricity to travel at lower voltages from substations directly to customers. SPS has a vast distribution network, owning and operating approximately 24,000 conductor miles of distribution lines across our service territory.
See Item 2 - Properties for further information.
Governmental Regulations
Public Utility Regulation
See Item 7 for discussion of public utility regulation.
Environmental Regulation
Our facilities are regulated by federal and state agencies that have jurisdiction over air emissions, water quality, wastewater discharges, solid and hazardous wastes or substances. Certain SPS activities require registrations, permits, licenses, inspections and approvals from these agencies. SPS has received necessary authorizations for the construction and continued operation of its generation, transmission and distribution systems. Our facilities strive to operate in compliance with applicable environmental standards and related monitoring and reporting requirements.
However, it is not possible to determine what additional facilities or modifications to existing or planned facilities will be required as a result of changes to regulations, interpretations or enforcement policies or what effect future laws or regulations may have. We may be required to incur expenditures in the future for remediation of historic and current operating sites and other waste treatment, storage and disposal sites.
There are significant environmental regulations to encourage use of clean energy technologies and regulate emissions of GHGs. SPS has undertaken numerous initiatives to meet current requirements and prepare for potential future regulations, reduce GHG emissions and respond to state renewable and energy efficiency goals. Future environmental regulations may result in substantial costs.
Emerging Environmental Regulation
Power Plant Greenhouse Gas Regulations In May 2023, the EPA published proposed rules addressing control of CO2 emissions from the power sector. The rule proposed regulations for new natural gas generating units and emission guidelines for existing coal and certain natural gas generation. The proposed rules create subcategories of coal units based on planned retirement date and subcategories of natural gas combustion turbines and combined cycle units based on utilization. The CO2 control requirements vary by subcategory. Until final rules are issued, it is not certain what the impact will be on SPS. SPS believes that the cost of these initiatives or replacement generation would be recoverable through rates based on prior state commission practices.
Emerging Contaminants of Concern — PFAS are man-made chemicals that are widely used in consumer products and can persist and bio-accumulate in the environment. SPS does not manufacture PFAS but because PFAS are so ubiquitous in products and the environment, it may impact our operations.
In September 2022, the EPA proposed to designate two types of PFAS as “hazardous substances” under the CERCLA. In March 2023, the EPA published a proposed rule that would establish enforceable drinking water standards for certain PFAS chemicals. Final rules are expected in 2024. Costs are uncertain until a final rule is published.
The proposed rules could result in new obligations for investigation and cleanup. SPS is monitoring changes to state laws addressing PFAS. The impact of these proposed regulations is uncertain.
Other
Our operations are subject to workplace safety standards under the Federal Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 (“OSHA”) and comparable state laws that regulate the protection of worker health and safety. In addition, the Company is subject to other government regulations impacting such matters as labor, competition, data privacy, etc. Based on information to date and because our policies and business practices are designed to comply with all applicable laws, we do not believe the effects of compliance on our operations, financial condition or cash flows are material.
General
Seasonality
Demand for electric power is affected by seasonal differences in the weather. In general, peak sales of electricity occur in the summer months. As a result, the overall operating results may fluctuate substantially on a seasonal basis. Additionally, SPS’ operations have historically generated less revenues and income when weather conditions are warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer.
Competition
SPS is subject to public policies that promote competition and development of energy markets. SPS’ industrial and large commercial customers have the ability to generate their own electricity. In addition, customers may have the option of substituting other fuels or relocating their facilities to a lower cost region.
Customers have the opportunity to supply their own power with distributed generation including solar generation and can currently avoid paying for most of the fixed production, transmission and distribution costs incurred to serve them in most jurisdictions.
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Several states have incentives for the development of rooftop solar, community solar gardens and other distributed energy resources. Distributed generating resources are potential competitors to SPS’ electric service business with these incentives and federal tax subsidies.
The FERC has continued to promote competitive wholesale markets through open access transmission and other means. SPS’ wholesale customers can purchase energy from competing generation resources and transmission services from other service providers to serve their native load.
FERC Order No. 1000 established competition for ownership of certain new electric transmission facilities under Federal regulations. Some states have state laws that allow the incumbent a Right of First Refusal to own these transmission facilities.
FERC Order 2222 requires that RTO and ISO markets allow participation of aggregations of distributed energy resources. This order is expected to incentivize distributed energy resource adoption, however implementation is expected to vary by RTO/ISO and the near, medium, and long-term impacts of Order 2222 remain unclear.
SPS has franchise agreements with cities subject to periodic renewal; however, a city could seek alternative means to access electric power, such as municipalization. No municipalization activities are occurring presently.
While facing these challenges, SPS believes its rates and services are competitive with alternatives currently available.
Employees
As of Dec. 31, 2023, SPS had 1,115 full-time employees and nine part-time employees, of which 790 were covered under collective-bargaining agreements.
ITEM 1A — RISK FACTORS
Xcel Energy, which includes SPS, is subject to a variety of risks, many of which are beyond our control. Risks that may adversely affect the business, financial condition, results of operations or cash flows are described below. Although the risks are organized by heading, and each risk is described separately, many of the risks are interrelated. These risks should be carefully considered together with the other information set forth in this report and future reports that we file with the SEC.
While we believe we have identified and discussed below the key risk factors affecting our business, there may be additional risks and uncertainties that are not presently known or that are not currently believed to be significant that may adversely affect our business, financial condition, results of operations or cash flows in the future.
Oversight of Risk and Related Processes
SPS’ Board of Directors is responsible for the oversight of material risk and maintaining an effective risk monitoring process. Management and the Board of Directors have responsibility for overseeing the identification and mitigation of key risks.
SPS maintains a robust compliance program and promotes a culture of compliance beginning with the tone at the top. The risk mitigation process includes adherence to our Code of Conduct and compliance policies, operation of formal risk management structures and overall business management. SPS further mitigates inherent risks through formal risk committees and corporate functions such as internal audit, and internal controls over financial reporting and legal.
Management identifies and analyzes risks to determine materiality and other attributes such as timing, probability and controllability. Identification and risk analysis occurs formally through risk assessment conducted by senior management, the financial disclosure process, hazard risk procedures, internal audit and compliance with financial and operational controls.
Management also identifies and analyzes risk through the business planning process, development of goals and establishment of key performance indicators, including identification of barriers to implementing our strategy. The business planning process also identifies likelihood and mitigating factors to prevent the assumption of inappropriate risk to meet goals.
Management communicates regularly with the Board of Directors and its sole stockholder regarding risk. Senior management presents and communicates a periodic risk assessment to the Board of Directors, providing information on the risks that management believes are material, including financial impact, timing, likelihood and mitigating factors. The Board of Directors regularly reviews management’s key risk assessments, which includes areas of existing and future macroeconomic, financial, operational, policy, environmental, safety and security risks.
The oversight, management and mitigation of risk is an integral and continuous part of the Board of Directors’ governance of SPS. Processes are in place to confirm appropriate risk oversight, as well as identification and consideration of new risks.
Risks Associated with Our Business
Operational Risks
Our electric generation, transmission and distribution operations involve numerous risks that may result in accidents and other operating risks and costs.
Our electric generation, transmission and distribution activities include inherent hazards and operating risks such as contact, fire and outages. Our natural gas transmission activities include inherent hazards and operating risks, such as leaks, explosions, outages and mechanical problems.
These risks could result in loss of life, significant property damage, environmental pollution, impairment of our operations and substantial financial losses to employees, third-party contractors, customers or the public. We maintain insurance against most, but not all, of these risks and losses. The occurrence of these events, if not fully covered by insurance, could have a material effect on our financial condition, results of operations and cash flows as well as potential loss of reputation.
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Other uncertainties and risks inherent in operating and maintaining SPS’ facilities include, but are not limited to:
Risks associated with facility start-up operations, such as whether the facility will achieve projected operating performance on schedule and otherwise as planned.
Failures in the availability, acquisition or transportation of fuel or other supplies.
Impact of adverse weather conditions and natural disasters, including, tornadoes, icing events, floods, high winds and droughts.
Performance below expected or contracted levels of output or efficiency.
Availability of replacement equipment.
Availability of adequate water resources and ability to satisfy water intake and discharge requirements.
Availability or changes to wind patterns.
Inability to identify, manage properly or mitigate equipment defects.
Use of new or unproven technology.
Risks associated with dependence on a specific type of fuel or fuel source, such as commodity price risk, availability of adequate fuel supply and transportation and lack of available alternative fuel sources.
Increased competition due to, among other factors, new facilities, excess supply, shifting demand and regulatory changes.
Additionally, compliance with existing and potential new regulations related to the operation and maintenance of our natural gas infrastructure could result in significant costs. The PHMSA is responsible for administering the Department of Transportation’s national regulatory program to assure the safe transportation of natural gas, petroleum and other hazardous materials by pipelines. The PHMSA continues to develop regulations and other approaches to risk management to assure safety in design, construction, testing, operation, maintenance and emergency response of natural gas pipeline infrastructure. We have programs in place to comply with these regulations and systematically monitor and renew infrastructure over time, however, a significant incident or material finding of non-compliance could result in penalties and higher costs of operations.
Our electric transmission and distribution operations and natural gas transmission operations are dependent upon complex information technology systems and network infrastructure, the failure of which could disrupt our normal business operations, which could have a material adverse effect on our ability to process transactions and provide services.
Our utility operations are subject to long-term planning and project risks.
Most utility investments are planned to be used for decades. Transmission and generation investments typically have long lead times and are planned well in advance of in-service dates and typically subject to long-term resource plans. These plans are based on numerous assumptions such as: sales growth, customer usage, commodity prices, economic activity, costs, regulatory mechanisms, customer behavior, available technology and public policy. Our long-term resource plan is dependent on our ability to obtain required approvals (including regulatory approval in jurisdictions where SPS operates), develop necessary technical expertise, allocate and coordinate sufficient resources and adhere to budgets and timelines.
In addition, the long-term nature of both our planning processes and our asset lives are subject to risk. The utility sector is undergoing significant change (e.g., increases in energy efficiency, wider adoption of distributed generation and shifts away from fossil fuel generation to renewable generation). Customer adoption of these technologies and increased energy efficiency could result in excess transmission and generation
resources, downward pressure on sales growth, and potentially stranded costs if we are not able to fully recover costs and investments.
The magnitude and timing of resource additions and changes in customer demand may not coincide with evolving customer preference for generation resources and end-uses, which introduces further uncertainty into long-term planning. Efforts to electrify the transportation and building sectors to reduce GHG emissions may result in higher electric demand and lower natural gas demand over time. New data centers and crypto mining facilities could generate significant increase in demand. Higher electric demand may require us to adopt new technologies and make significant transmission and distribution investments including advanced grid infrastructure, which increases exposure to overall grid instability and technology obsolescence. Evolving stakeholder preference for lower emissions from generation sources and end-uses, like heating, may impact our resource mix and put pressure on our ability to recover capital investments in natural gas generation and delivery. Multiple states may not agree as to the appropriate resource mix, which may lead to costs to comply with one jurisdiction that are not recoverable across all jurisdictions served by the same assets.
We require inputs such as coal, natural gas and water. Lack of availability of these resources could jeopardize long-term operations of our facilities or make them uneconomic to operate.
Our utility operations are highly dependent on suppliers to deliver components in accordance with short and long-term project schedules.
Our products contain components that are globally sourced from suppliers. A shortage of key components in which an alternative supplier is not identified could significantly impact operations and project plans for SPS and our customers. Such impacts could include timing of projects and the potential for project cancellation. Failure to adhere to project budgets and timelines could adversely impact our results of operations, financial condition or cash flows.
We are subject to commodity risks and other risks associated with energy markets and energy production.
A significant increase in fuel costs could cause a decline in customer demand, adverse regulatory outcomes and an increase in bad debt expense which may have a material impact on our results of operations. Despite existing fuel cost recovery mechanisms, higher fuel costs could significantly impact our results of operations if costs are not recovered. Delays in the timing of the collection of fuel cost recoveries could impact our cash flows and liquidity.
A significant disruption in supply could cause us to seek alternatives at potentially higher costs. Additionally, supply shortages may not be fully resolved, which negatively impacts our ability to provide services to our customers. Failure to provide service due to disruptions may also result in fines, penalties or cost disallowances through the regulatory process. Also, significantly higher energy or fuel costs relative to sales commitments negatively impacts our cash flows and results of operations.
We also engage in wholesale sales and purchases of electric capacity, energy and energy-related products as well as natural gas. In many markets, emission allowances and/or RECs are also needed to comply with various statutes and commission rulings. As a result, we are subject to market supply and commodity price risk.
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Commodity price changes can affect the value of our commodity trading derivatives. We mark certain derivatives to estimated fair market value on a daily basis. Settlements can vary significantly from estimated fair values recorded and significant changes from the assumptions underlying our fair value estimates could cause earnings variability. The management of risks associated with hedging and trading is based, in part, on programs and procedures which utilize historical prices and trends.
Public perception often does not distinguish between pass through commodity costs and base rates. High commodity prices that are passed through to customer bills could impact our ability to recover costs for other improvements and operations.
Due to the uncertainty involved in price movements and potential deviation from historical pricing, SPS is unable to fully assure that its risk management programs and procedures would be effective to protect against all significant adverse market deviations. In addition, SPS cannot fully assure that its controls will be effective against all potential risks. If such programs and procedures are not effective, SPS’ results of operations, financial condition or cash flows could be materially impacted.
Failure to attract and retain a qualified workforce could have an adverse effect on operations.
The competition for talent has become increasingly prevalent, and we have experienced increased employee turnover due to the condition of the labor market and decisions related to strategic workforce planning. In addition, specialized knowledge and skills are required for many of our positions, which may pose additional difficulty for us as we work to recruit, retain and motivate employees in this climate.
Failure to hire, adequately train replacement employees, transfer knowledge/expertise or future availability and cost of contract labor may adversely affect the ability to manage and operate our business. Inability to attract and retain these employees could adversely impact our results of operations, financial condition or cash flows.
Our businesses have collective bargaining agreements with labor unions. Failure to renew or renegotiate these contracts could lead to labor disruptions, including strikes or boycotts. Such disruptions or any negotiated wage or benefit increases could have a material adverse impact to our results of operations, financial condition or cash flows.
National unionization efforts could affect our business, as an increase in unionized workers could challenge our operational efficiency and increase costs.
Our operations use third-party contractors in addition to employees to perform periodic and ongoing work.
We rely on third-party contractors to perform operations, maintenance and construction work. Our contractual arrangements with these contractors typically include performance and safety standards, progress payments, insurance requirements and security for performance. Poor vendor performance or contractor unavailability could impact ongoing operations, restoration operations, regulatory recovery, our reputation and could introduce financial risk or risks of fines.
Our employees, directors, third-party contractors, or suppliers may violate or be perceived to violate our Codes of Conduct, which could have an adverse effect on our reputation.
We are exposed to risk of employee or third-party contractor fraud or misconduct. All employees and members of the Board of Directors are subject to compliance with our Code of Conduct and are required to participate in annual training. Additionally, suppliers are subject to
compliance with our Supplier Code of Conduct. SPS does not tolerate discrimination, violations of our Code of Conduct or other unacceptable behaviors. However, it is not always possible to identify and deter misconduct by employees and other third-parties, which may result in governmental investigations, other actions or lawsuits. If such actions are taken against us we may suffer loss of reputation and such actions could have a material effect on our financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.
We are a wholly owned subsidiary of Xcel Energy Inc. Xcel Energy Inc. can exercise substantial control over our dividend policy and business and operations and may exercise that control in a manner that may be perceived to be adverse to our interests.
All of the members of our Board of Directors, as well as many of our executive officers, are officers of Xcel Energy Inc. Our Board or Directors makes determinations with respect to a number of significant corporate events, including the payment of our dividends.
We have historically paid quarterly dividends to Xcel Energy Inc. If Xcel Energy Inc.’s cash requirements increase, our Board of Directors could decide to increase the dividends we pay to Xcel Energy Inc. to help support Xcel Energy Inc.’s cash needs. This could adversely affect our liquidity. The most restrictive dividend limitation for SPS is imposed by its state regulatory commissions. State regulatory commissions indirectly limit the amount of dividends that SPS can pay Xcel Energy Inc., by requiring a minimum equity-to-total capitalization ratio.
See Note 5 to the financial statements for further information.
Financial Risks
Our profitability depends on our ability to recover costs and changes in regulation may impair our ability to recover costs from our customers.
We are subject to comprehensive regulation by federal and state utility regulatory agencies, including siting and construction of facilities, customer service and the rates that we can charge customers.
The profitability of our operations is dependent on our ability to recover the costs of providing energy and utility services and earn a return on capital investment. Our rates are generally regulated and are based on an analysis of our costs incurred in a test year. We are subject to both future and historical test years depending upon the regulatory jurisdiction. Thus, the rates we are allowed to charge may or may not match our costs at any given time. Rate regulation is premised on providing an opportunity to earn a reasonable rate of return on invested capital.
There can also be no assurance that our regulatory commissions will judge all our costs to be prudent, which could result in disallowances, or that the regulatory process will always result in rates that will produce full recovery.
Overall, management believes prudently incurred costs are recoverable given the existing regulatory framework. However, there may be changes in the regulatory environment that could impair our ability to recover costs historically collected from our customers, or we could exceed caps on capital costs required by commissions and result in less than full recovery.
Changes in the long-term cost-effectiveness or to the operating conditions of our assets may result in early retirements of utility facilities. While regulation typically provides cost recovery for these types of changes, there is no assurance that regulators would allow full recovery of all remaining costs.
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Higher than expected inflation or tariffs may increase costs of construction and operations. Also, rising fuel costs could increase the risk that we will not be able to fully recover our fuel costs from our customers.
Adverse regulatory rulings (including changes in recovery mechanisms) or the imposition of additional regulations could have an adverse impact on our results of operations and materially affect our ability to meet our financial obligations, including debt payments and the payment of dividends on common stock.
Any reductions in our credit ratings could increase our financing costs and the cost of maintaining certain contractual relationships.
Our credit ratings are subject to change and our credit ratings may be lowered or withdrawn by a rating agency. Significant events including disallowance of costs, use of historic test years, elimination of riders or interim rates, increasing depreciation lives, lower returns on equity, changes to equity ratios and impacts of tax policy may impact our cash flows and credit metrics, potentially resulting in a change in our credit ratings. In addition, our credit ratings may change as a result of the differing methodologies or change in the methodologies used by the various rating agencies.
Any credit ratings downgrade could lead to higher borrowing costs or lower proceeds from equity issuances. It could also impact our ability to access capital markets. Also, we may enter into contracts that require posting of collateral or settlement if credit ratings fall below investment grade.
We are subject to capital market and interest rate risks.
Utility operations require significant capital investment. As a result, we frequently need to access capital markets. Any disruption in capital markets could have a material impact on our ability to fund our operations. Capital market disruption and financial market distress could prevent us from issuing commercial paper, issuing new securities or cause us to issue securities with unfavorable terms and conditions, such as higher interest rates or lower proceeds from equity issuances. Higher interest rates on short-term borrowings with variable interest rates could also have an adverse effect on our operating results.
We are subject to credit risks.
Credit risk includes the risk that our customers will not pay their bills, which may lead to a reduction in our cash flow and liquidity and an increase in bad debt expense. Credit risk is comprised of numerous factors including the price of products and services provided, the economy and unemployment rates.
Credit risk also includes the risk that counterparties that owe us money or product will become insolvent and may breach their obligations. Should the counterparties fail to perform, we may be forced to enter into alternative arrangements. In that event, our financial results could be adversely affected and incur losses.
We may have direct credit exposure in our short-term wholesale and commodity trading activity to financial institutions trading for their own accounts or issuing collateral support on behalf of other counterparties. We may also have some indirect credit exposure due to participation in organized markets, (e.g., SPP, Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc., ERCOT and California ISO), in which any credit losses are socialized to all market participants.
We have additional indirect credit exposure to financial institutions from letters of credit provided as security by power suppliers under various purchased power contracts. If any of the credit ratings of the letter of credit issuers were to drop below investment grade, the supplier would need to replace that security with an acceptable substitute. If the security were not replaced, the party could be in default under the contract.
As we are a subsidiary of Xcel Energy Inc. we may be negatively affected by events impacting the credit or liquidity of Xcel Energy Inc. and its affiliates.
If either S&P or Moody’s Investor Services were to downgrade Xcel Energy Inc.’s debt securities below investment grade, it would increase Xcel Energy Inc.’s cost of capital and restrict its access to the capital markets. This could limit Xcel Energy Inc.’s ability to contribute equity or make loans to us, or may cause Xcel Energy Inc. to seek additional or accelerated funding from us in the form of dividends. If such event were to occur, we may need to seek alternative sources of funds to meet our cash needs.
As of Dec. 31, 2023, Xcel Energy Inc. and its utility subsidiaries had approximately $24.9 billion of long-term debt and $1.3 billion of short-term debt and current maturities. Xcel Energy Inc. provides various guarantees and bond indemnities supporting some of its subsidiaries by guaranteeing the payment or performance by these subsidiaries for specified agreements or transactions.
Xcel Energy also has other contingent liabilities resulting from various tax disputes and other matters. Xcel Energy Inc.’s exposure under the guarantees is based upon the net liability of the relevant subsidiary under the specified agreements or transactions. The majority of Xcel Energy Inc.’s guarantees limit its exposure to a maximum amount that is stated in the guarantees.
As of Dec. 31, 2023, Xcel Energy had the following guarantees outstanding:
$951 million for performance and payment of Capital Services, LLC contracts for wind and solar generating equipment, with immaterial exposure.
$100 million for performance on tax credit sale agreements of its subsidiaries, with immaterial exposure.
$75 million for performance and payment of surety bonds for the benefit of itself and its subsidiaries, with total exposure that cannot be estimated at this time.
If Xcel Energy Inc. were to become obligated to make payments under these guarantees and bond indemnities or become obligated to fund other contingent liabilities, it could limit Xcel Energy Inc.’s ability to contribute equity or make loans to us, or may cause Xcel Energy Inc. to seek additional or accelerated funding from us in the form of dividends. If such event were to occur, we may need to seek alternative sources of funds to meet our cash needs.
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Increasing costs of our defined benefit retirement plans and employee benefits may adversely affect our results of operations, financial condition or cash flows.
We have defined benefit pension and postretirement plans that cover most of our employees. Assumptions related to future costs, return on investments, interest rates and other actuarial assumptions have a significant impact on our funding requirements of these plans. Estimates and assumptions may change. In addition, the Pension Protection Act sets the minimum funding requirements for defined benefit pension plans. Therefore, our funding requirements and contributions may change in the future. Also, the payout of a significant percentage of pension plan liabilities in a single year due to high numbers of retirements or employees leaving would trigger settlement accounting and could require SPS to recognize incremental pension expense related to unrecognized plan losses in the year liabilities are paid. Changes in industry standards utilized in key assumptions (e.g., mortality tables) could have a significant impact on future obligations and benefit costs.
Increasing costs associated with health care plans may adversely affect our results of operations.
Increasing levels of large individual health care claims and overall health care claims could have an adverse impact on our results of operations, financial condition or cash flows. Health care legislation could also significantly impact our benefit programs and costs.
Federal tax law may significantly impact our business.
SPS collects estimated federal, state and local tax payments through their regulated rates. Changes to federal tax law may benefit or adversely affect our earnings and customer costs. Tax depreciable lives and the value/availability of various tax credits or the timeliness of their utilization may impact the economics or selection of resources. If tax rates are increased, there could be timing delays before regulated rates provide for recovery of such tax increases in revenues. In addition, certain IRS tax policies such as tax normalization may impact our ability to economically deliver certain types of resources relative to market prices.
Macroeconomic Risks
Economic conditions impact our business.
Our operations are affected by economic conditions, which correlates to customers/sales growth (decline). Economic conditions may be impacted by recessionary factors, rising interest rates and insufficient financial sector liquidity leading to potential increased unemployment, which may impact customers’ ability to pay their bills which could lead to additional bad debt expense.
Additionally, SPS faces competitive factors, which could have an adverse impact on our financial condition, results of operations and cash flows. Further, worldwide economic activity impacts the demand for basic commodities necessary for utility infrastructure, which may inhibit our ability to acquire sufficient supplies.
We operate in a capital intensive industry and federal trade policy could significantly impact the cost of materials we use. There may be delays before these additional material costs can be recovered in rates.
The oil and gas industry represents our largest commercial and industrial customer base. Oil and natural gas prices are sensitive to market risk factors which may impact demand.
We face risks related to health epidemics and other outbreaks, which may have a material effect on our financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.
Health epidemics impact countries, communities, supply chains and markets. Uncertainty continues to exist regarding epidemics; the duration and magnitude of business restrictions including shutdowns (domestically and globally); the potential impact on the workforce including shortages of employees and third-party contractors due to quarantine policies, vaccination requirements or government restrictions; impacts on the transportation of goods, and the generalized impact on the economy.
We cannot ultimately predict whether an epidemic will have a material impact on our future liquidity, financial condition or results of operations. Nor can we predict the impact on the health of our employees, our supply chain or our ability to recover higher costs associated with managing an outbreak.
Operations could be impacted by war, terrorism or other events.
Our generation plants, fuel storage facilities, transmission and distribution facilities and information and control systems may be targets of terrorist activities. Any disruption could impact operations or result in a decrease in revenues and additional costs to repair and insure our assets. These disruptions could have a material impact on our financial condition, results of operations or cash flows.
The potential for terrorism has subjected our operations to increased risks and could have a material effect on our business. We have incurred increased costs for security and capital expenditures in response to these risks. The insurance industry has also been affected by these events and the availability of insurance may decrease. In addition, insurance may have higher deductibles, higher premiums and more restrictive policy terms.
A disruption of the regional electric transmission grid, interstate natural gas pipeline infrastructure or other fuel sources, could negatively impact our business, brand and reputation. Because our facilities are part of an interconnected system, we face the risk of possible loss of business due to a disruption caused by the actions of a neighboring utility.
We also face the risks of possible loss of business due to significant events such as severe storms, temperature extremes, wildfires, widespread pandemic, generator or transmission facility outage, pipeline rupture, railroad disruption, operator error, sudden and significant increase or decrease in wind generation or a workforce disruption.
In addition, major catastrophic events throughout the world may disrupt our business. While we have business continuity plans in place, our ability to recover may be prolonged due to the type and extent of the event. SPS participates in a global supply chain, which includes materials and components that are globally sourced. A prolonged disruption could result in the delay of equipment and materials that may impact our ability to connect, restore and reliably serve our customers.
A major disruption could result in a significant decrease in revenues, additional costs to repair assets, and an adverse impact on the cost and availability of insurance, which could have a material impact on our results of operations, financial condition or cash flows.
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A cybersecurity incident or security breach could have a material effect on our business.
We operate in an industry that requires the continued operation of sophisticated information technology, control systems and network infrastructure. In addition, we use our systems and infrastructure to create, collect, use, disclose, store, dispose of and otherwise process sensitive information, including Company data, customer energy usage data, and personal information regarding customers, employees and their dependents, contractors and other individuals.
Our generation, transmission, distribution and fuel storage facilities, information technology systems and other infrastructure or physical assets, as well as information processed in our systems (e.g., information regarding our customers, employees, operations, infrastructure and assets) could be affected by cybersecurity incidents, including those caused by human error.
The utility industry has been the target of several attacks on operational systems and has seen an increased volume and sophistication of cybersecurity incidents from international activist organizations, other countries and individuals. We expect to continue to experience attempts to compromise our information technology and control systems, network infrastructure and other assets. To date, no cybersecurity incident or attack has had a material impact on our business or results of operations.
Cybersecurity incidents could harm our businesses by limiting our generation, transmission and distribution capabilities, delaying our development and construction of new facilities or capital improvement projects to existing facilities, disrupting our customer operations or causing the release of customer information, all of which would likely receive state and federal regulatory scrutiny and could expose us to liability.
Our generation, transmission systems and natural gas pipelines are part of an interconnected system. Therefore, a disruption caused by the impact of a cybersecurity incident on the regional electric transmission grid, natural gas pipeline infrastructure or other fuel sources of our third-party service providers’ operations, could also negatively impact our business.
Generative Artificial Intelligence, such as large language models like ChatGPT, present a range of challenges and potential risks as we consider impacts to the business. These challenges involve navigating the complexities of creating and deploying AI models that generate content autonomously. Data privacy, legal concerns, and security issues are all risks as this technology continues to be adopted.
Our supply chain for procurement of digital equipment and services may expose software or hardware to these risks and could result in a breach or significant costs of remediation. We are unable to quantify the potential impact of cybersecurity threats or subsequent related actions. Cybersecurity incidents and regulatory action could result in a material decrease in revenues and may cause significant additional costs (e.g., penalties, third-party claims, repairs, insurance or compliance) and potentially disrupt our supply and markets for natural gas, oil and other fuels.
We maintain security measures to protect our information technology and control systems, network infrastructure and other assets. However, these assets and the information they process may be vulnerable to cybersecurity incidents, including asset failure or unauthorized access to assets or information. A failure or breach of our technology systems or those of our third-party service providers could disrupt critical business functions and may negatively impact our business, our brand, and our reputation. The cybersecurity threat is dynamic and evolves continually, and our efforts to prioritize network protection may not be effective given the constant changes to threat vulnerability.
While the Company maintains insurance relating to cybersecurity events, such insurance is subject to a number of exclusions and may be insufficient to offset any losses, costs or damages experienced. Also, the market for cybersecurity insurance is relatively new and coverage available for cybersecurity events is evolving as the industry matures.
Our operating results may fluctuate on a seasonal and quarterly basis and can be adversely affected by milder weather.
Our electric utility business is seasonal and weather patterns can have a material impact on our operating performance. Demand for electricity is often greater in the summer and winter months associated with cooling and heating. Accordingly, our operations have historically generated less revenues and income when weather conditions are milder in the winter and cooler in the summer. Unusually mild winters and summers could have an adverse effect on our financial condition, results of operations, or cash flows.
Public Policy Risks
Increased risks of regulatory penalties could negatively impact our business.
The Energy Act increased civil penalty authority for violation of FERC statutes, rules and orders. FERC can impose penalties of up to $1.5 million per violation per day, particularly as it relates to energy trading activities for both electricity and natural gas. In addition, NERC electric reliability standards and critical infrastructure protection requirements are mandatory and subject to potential financial penalties. Also, the PHMSA, Occupational Safety and Health Administration and other federal agencies have the authority to assess penalties. In the event of serious incidents, these agencies may pursue penalties. In addition, certain states have the authority to impose substantial penalties. If a serious reliability, cybersecurity or safety incident did occur, it could have a material effect on our results of operations, financial condition or cash flows.
The continued use of natural gas for power generation has increasingly become a public policy advocacy target. These efforts may result in a limitation of natural gas as an energy source for power generation, which could impact our ability to reliably and affordably serve our customers.
In recent years, there have been various local and state agency proposals within and outside our service territories that would attempt to restrict the use and availability of natural gas. If such policies were to prevail, we may be forced to make new resource investment decisions which could potentially result in stranded costs if we are not able to fully recover costs and investments and impact the overall reliability of our service.
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Environmental Policy Risks
We may be subject to legislative and regulatory responses to climate change, with which compliance could be difficult and costly.
Legislative and regulatory responses related to climate change may create financial risk as our facilities may be subject to additional regulation at either the state or federal level in the future. International agreements could additionally lead to future federal or state regulations.
In 2015, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change reached consensus among 190 nations on an agreement (the Paris Agreement) that establishes a framework for GHG mitigation actions by all countries, with a goal of holding the increase in global average temperature to below 2º Celsius above pre-industrial levels and an aspiration to limit the increase to 1.5º Celsius.
International commitments and agreements could result in future additional GHG reductions in the United States. In addition, in 2023 the EPA intends to publish draft regulations for GHG emissions from the power sector consistent with the agency’s Clean Air Act authorities.
Many states and localities continue to pursue their own climate policies. The steps SPS has taken to date to reduce GHG emissions, including energy efficiency measures, adding renewable generation and retiring or converting coal plants to natural gas, occurred under state-endorsed resource plans, renewable energy standards and other state policies.
We may be subject to climate change lawsuits. An adverse outcome could require substantial capital expenditures and possibly require payment of substantial penalties or damages. Defense costs associated with such litigation can also be significant and could affect results of operations, financial condition or cash flows if such costs are not recovered through regulated rates.
If our regulators do not allow us to recover all or a part of the cost of capital investment or the O&M costs incurred to comply with the mandates, it could have a material effect on our results of operations, financial condition or cash flows.
We are subject to environmental laws and regulations, with which compliance could be difficult and costly.
We are subject to environmental laws and regulations that affect many aspects of our operations, including air emissions, water quality, wastewater discharges and the generation, transport and disposal of solid wastes and hazardous substances. Laws and regulations require us to obtain permits, licenses, and approvals and to comply with a variety of environmental requirements.
Environmental laws and regulations can also require us to restrict or limit the output of facilities or the use of certain fuels, shift generation to lower-emitting facilities, install pollution control equipment, clean up spills and other contamination and correct environmental hazards. Failure to meet requirements of environmental mandates may result in fines or penalties. We may be required to pay all or a portion of the cost to remediate sites where our past activities, or the activities of other parties, caused environmental contamination.
Changes in environmental policies and regulations or regulatory decisions may result in early retirements of our generation facilities. While regulation typically provides relief for these types of changes, there is no assurance that regulators would allow full recovery of all remaining costs.
We are subject to mandates to provide customers with clean energy, renewable energy and energy conservation offerings. It could have a material effect on our results of operations, financial condition or cash flows if our regulators do not allow us to recover the cost of capital investment or O&M costs incurred to comply with the requirements.
In addition, existing environmental laws or regulations may be revised and new laws or regulations may be adopted. We may also incur additional unanticipated obligations or liabilities under existing environmental laws and regulations.
We are subject to physical and financial risks associated with climate change and other weather, natural disaster and resource depletion impacts.
Climate change can create physical and financial risk. Physical risks include changes in weather conditions and extreme weather events.
Our customers’ energy needs vary with weather. To the extent weather conditions are affected by climate change, customers’ energy use could increase or decrease. Increased energy use due to weather changes may require us to invest in generating assets, transmission and infrastructure. Decreased energy use due to weather changes may result in decreased revenues.
Climate change may impact the economy, which could impact our sales and revenues. The price of energy has an impact on the economic health of our communities. The cost of additional regulatory requirements, such as regulation of GHG, could impact the availability of goods and prices charged by our suppliers, which would normally be borne by consumers through higher prices for energy and purchased goods. To the extent financial markets view climate change and emissions of GHGs as a financial risk, this could negatively affect our ability to access capital markets or cause us to receive less than ideal terms and conditions.
We establish strategies and expectations related to climate change and other environmental matters. Our ability to achieve any such strategies or expectations is subject to numerous factors and conditions, many of which are outside of our control. Examples of such factors include, but are not limited to, evolving legal, regulatory, and other standards, processes, and assumptions, the pace of scientific and technological developments, increased costs, the availability of requisite financing, and changes in carbon markets. Failures or delays (whether actual or perceived) in achieving our strategies or expectations related to climate change and other environmental matters could adversely affect our business, operations, and reputation, and increase risk of litigation.
Severe weather impacts our service territories, primarily when thunderstorms, flooding, tornadoes, wildfires and snow or ice storms or extreme temperatures (high heating/cooling days) occur. Extreme weather conditions in general require system backup and can contribute to increased system stress, including service interruptions. Extreme weather conditions creating high energy demand may raise electricity prices, increasing the cost of energy we provide to our customers.
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To the extent the frequency of extreme weather events increases, this could increase our cost of providing service and result in more frequent service interruptions. Periods of extreme temperatures could also impact our ability to meet demand.
More frequent and severe drought conditions, extreme swings in amount and timing of precipitation, changes in vegetation, unseasonably warm temperatures, very low humidity, stronger winds and other factors have increased the duration of the wildfire season and the potential impact of an event. Also, the expansion of the wildland urban interface increases the wildfire risk to surrounding communities and SPS' electric infrastructure.
Other potential risks associated with wildfires and other climate events include the inability to secure sufficient insurance coverage, or increased costs of insurance, regulatory recovery risk, and the potential for a credit downgrade and subsequent additional costs to access capital markets.
While we carry liability insurance, given an extreme event, if SPS was found to be liable for wildfire damages, amounts that potentially exceed our coverage could negatively impact our results of operations, financial condition or cash flows.
Drought or water depletion could adversely impact our ability to provide electricity to customers, cause early retirement of power plants and increase the cost for energy. Adverse events may result in increased insurance costs and/or decreased insurance availability. We may not recover all costs related to mitigating these physical and financial risks.
ITEM 1B — UNRESOLVED STAFF COMMENTS
None.
ITEM 1C — CYBERSECURITY
SPS is a wholly owned subsidiary of Xcel Energy. As such, its cybersecurity processes are maintained by Xcel Energy management and governed by its Board of Directors.
As described in Item 1A – Risk Factors, Xcel Energy operates in an industry that requires the continued operation of sophisticated information technology, control systems and network infrastructure, as such, our business is subject to the risk of interruption by cybersecurity incidents that range from attacks common to most industries, such as phishing and denial-of-service, to attacks from more sophisticated adversaries, including nation state actors, that target the critical infrastructure used in the operation of our business.
Xcel Energy has a security risk program in place to identify, assess, manage and report material risks from cybersecurity incidents. As a utility provider, Xcel Energy complies with reliability standards imposed by NERC, including critical infrastructure protection standards related to both cybersecurity and physical security. These standards imposed by NERC, in alignment with the NIST Cybersecurity Framework, are the basis for which Xcel Energy has designed the cybersecurity control framework within its security risk program.
Annually, as part of Xcel Energy’s enterprise risk program, an integrated cybersecurity risk identification and assessment is completed across Xcel Energy’s business, including generation, transmission, distribution and fuel storage facilities, information technology systems and other infrastructure or physical assets as well as information processed in our systems (including systems hosted by third parties) that could be affected by cybersecurity incidents. This analysis includes the impact, likelihood, timeframe and controllability of cybersecurity risks and is presented to the Board of Directors. Management monitors and reviews the results of this
analysis, integrating them into the enterprise risk assessment processes and implements appropriate mitigating actions as needed.
Xcel Energy’s cybersecurity policies, standards, practices and readiness are regularly assessed by third-party consultants. These partners are engaged to perform independent penetration testing and other security related services to assist in the prevention, detection, monitoring, mitigation and remediation of cybersecurity incidents and risks. The results of these assessments are communicated to management and the Board of Directors by the Chief Security Officer.
Xcel Energy employs a comprehensive risk based approach to assess the magnitude and significance of a vendor’s risk to Xcel Energy. Certain third-party service providers are subject to vendor security risk assessments at the time of integration, contract execution/renewal, and upon detection of any increase in risk profile. Xcel Energy uses a variety of inputs in such risk assessments, including information supplied by providers and third parties (including information analysis centers that share daily threat intelligence and improve organizational agility associated with management of cybersecurity risks). In addition, Xcel Energy requires certain third-party service providers to meet appropriate security requirements, controls and responsibilities. Xcel Energy deploys periodic monitoring activities to assess compliance with our cybersecurity control framework and investigates security incidents that have impacted our third-party service providers as appropriate.
Management has assigned responsibility for the security risk program to the Chief Security Officer who has extensive experience in critical infrastructure protection, including multiple years of experience with the Department of Defense. The Chief Security Officer is informed about and monitors prevention, detection, mitigation and remediation efforts through a team of security professionals, many of whom are Certified Information Systems Security Professionals, Certified Information Security Managers or have received other cybersecurity certifications. The team has extensive experience selecting, deploying and operating cybersecurity technologies, initiatives and processes that aid in preventing, remediating and mitigating known and unknown cybersecurity threats.
The Chief Security Officer or members of management brief the Board on routine and regular cybersecurity risk and threat updates, typically on a quarterly basis. In the event of a significant threat or incident, management and the Chief Security Officer leverage Xcel Energy’s incident response processes to assess impacts and resolve incidents. When a significant cybersecurity incident occurs, management communicates with the Board of Directors and relevant committees.
The Board of Directors oversees the risks associated with cybersecurity and the physical security of our assets, with information security matters being discussed at each regular board meeting as well as at the ONES and Audit Committee meetings throughout the year.
While the ONES Committee has primary committee responsibility for cybersecurity due to the operational issues involved, the Board of Directors has determined that the topic is of sufficient importance to warrant this comprehensive oversight approach. Augmenting such oversight efforts, the Board conducts drills to practice its response in a possible emergency situation to ensure it is well prepared and positioned to perform in a possible crisis.
Cybersecurity risks are a part of Xcel Energy’s normal course of business. To date, no cybersecurity incident or attack has had a material impact on our business or results of operations. As of Feb. 21, 2024 there have been no material cybersecurity incidents to report.
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ITEM 2 — PROPERTIES
Virtually all of the utility plant property of SPS is subject to the lien of its first mortgage bond indenture.
Station, Location and Unit at Dec. 31, 2023FuelInstalled
MW (a)
Steam:
Cunningham-Hobbs, NM, 1 UnitNatural Gas1957 - 1965183 
(b)
Harrington-Amarillo, TX, 3 UnitsCoal1976 - 19801,018 
Jones-Lubbock, TX, 2 UnitsNatural Gas1971 - 1974486 
Maddox-Hobbs, NM, 1 UnitNatural Gas1967112 
Nichols-Amarillo, TX, 3 UnitsNatural Gas1960 - 1968457 
Plant X-Earth, TX, 1 UnitNatural Gas1952 - 1964190 
(b)
Tolk-Muleshoe, TX, 2 UnitsCoal1982 - 19851,067 
Combustion Turbine:
Cunningham-Hobbs, NM, 2 UnitsNatural Gas1997207 
Jones-Lubbock, TX, 2 UnitsNatural Gas2011 - 2013334 
Maddox-Hobbs, NM, 1 UnitNatural Gas1963 - 197661 
Wind:
Hale-Plainview, TX, 239 UnitsWind2019478 
(c)
Sagamore-Dora, NM, 240 UnitsWind2020507 
(c)
Total5,100 
(a)Summer 2023 net dependable capacity. Wind is presented as net maximum capacity.
(b)Retired unit(s) in 2023.
(c)Net maximum capacity is attainable only when wind conditions are sufficiently available. Typical average capacity factors are 35-50% for wind facilities. For the year ended Dec. 31, 2023 SPS’ wind facilities had a weighted-average capacity factors of 48%.

Electric utility overhead and underground transmission and distribution lines (measured in conductor miles) at Dec. 31, 2023:
Conductor Miles
Transmission
345 KV11,701 
230 KV9,854 
115 KV14,896 
Less than 115 KV4,494 
Total Transmission40,945 
Distribution
Less than 115 KV23,965 
Total64,910 
SPS had 454 electric utility transmission and distribution substations at Dec. 31, 2023.
SPS had 20 miles of natural gas utility transmission mains at Dec. 31, 2023.
ITEM 3 — LEGAL PROCEEDINGS
SPS is involved in various litigation matters in the ordinary course of business. The assessment of whether a loss is probable or is a reasonable possibility, and whether the loss or a range of loss is estimable, often involves a series of complex judgments about future events. Management maintains accruals for losses probable of being incurred and subject to reasonable estimation.
Management is sometimes unable to estimate an amount or range of a reasonably possible loss in certain situations, including but not limited to, when (1) the damages sought are indeterminate, (2) the proceedings are in the early stages or (3) the matters involve novel or unsettled legal theories. In such cases, there is considerable uncertainty regarding the timing or ultimate resolution of such matters, including a possible eventual loss.
For current proceedings not specifically reported herein, management does not anticipate that the ultimate liabilities, if any, would have a material effect on SPS’ financial statements. Legal fees are generally expensed as incurred.
See Note 10 to the financial statements, Item 1 and Item 7 for further information.
ITEM 4MINE SAFETY DISCLOSURES
None.
PART II
ITEM 5 — MARKET FOR REGISTRANT’S COMMON EQUITY, RELATED STOCKHOLDER MATTERS AND ISSUER PURCHASES OF EQUITY SECURITIES
SPS is a wholly owned subsidiary of Xcel Energy Inc. and there is no market for its common equity securities.
See Note 5 to the financial statements for further information.
The dividends declared during 2023 and 2022 were as follows:
(Millions of Dollars)20232022
First quarter$66 $53 
Second quarter102 58 
Third quarter70 150 
Fourth quarter69 61 
ITEM 6 — [RESERVED]
ITEM 7 — MANAGEMENT’S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS OF FINANCIAL CONDITION AND RESULTS OF OPERATIONS
Discussion of financial condition and liquidity for SPS is omitted per conditions set forth in general instructions I(1)(a) and (b) of Form 10-K for wholly owned subsidiaries. It is replaced with management’s narrative analysis and the results of operations for the current year as set forth in general instructions I(2)(a) of Form 10-K for wholly owned subsidiaries (reduced disclosure format).
Non-GAAP Financial Measures
The following discussion includes financial information prepared in accordance with GAAP, as well as certain non-GAAP financial measures such as ongoing earnings. Generally, a non-GAAP financial measure is a measure of a company’s financial performance, financial position or cash flows that is adjusted from measures calculated and presented in accordance with GAAP.
SPS’ management uses non-GAAP measures for financial planning and analysis, for reporting of results to the Board of Directors, in determining performance-based compensation and communicating its earnings outlook to analysts and investors.
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Non-GAAP financial measures are intended to supplement investors’ understanding of our performance and should not be considered alternatives for financial measures presented in accordance with GAAP. These measures are discussed in more detail below and may not be comparable to other companies’ similarly titled non-GAAP financial measures.
Earnings Adjusted for Certain Items (Ongoing Earnings)
Ongoing earnings reflect adjustments to GAAP earnings (net income) for certain items.
We use this non-GAAP financial measure to evaluate and provide details of SPS’ core earnings and underlying performance. For instance, to present ongoing earnings, we may adjust the related GAAP amounts for certain items that are non-recurring in nature. We believe this measurement is useful to investors to evaluate the actual and projected financial performance and contribution of our subsidiaries. This non-GAAP financial measure should not be considered as an alternative to measures calculated and reported in accordance with GAAP.
The following table provides a reconciliation of GAAP earnings (net income) to ongoing earnings:
(Millions of Dollars)20232022
GAAP net income$384 $349 
Workforce reduction expenses— 
Less: tax effect of adjustment(2)— 
Ongoing earnings$391 $349 
Workforce Reduction — In 2023, Xcel Energy implemented workforce actions to align resources and investments with our evolving business and customer needs, and streamline the organization for long-term success. Xcel Energy initiated a voluntary retirement program, under which approximately 400 eligible non-bargaining employees retired. Xcel Energy also eliminated approximately 150 non-bargaining employees through an involuntary severance program.
Total Xcel Energy workforce reduction expenses of $72 million were recorded in the fourth quarter of 2023, of which $9 million was attributable to SPS. Given the non-recurring nature of this item, it has been excluded from ongoing earnings.
Results of Operations
2023 Comparison with 2022
SPS’ GAAP net income was $384 million for 2023, compared with GAAP net income of $349 million for 2022. Ongoing net income was $391 million for 2023, compared to $349 million for 2022. Ongoing earnings were largely impacted by regulatory rate outcomes and sales growth, partially offset by increased depreciation, interest charges and unfavorable weather.
Electric Margin
Electric margin is presented as electric revenues less electric fuel and purchased power expenses. Expenses incurred for electric fuel and purchased power are generally recovered through various regulatory recovery mechanisms. As a result, changes in these expenses are generally offset in operating revenues.
Electric revenues and fuel and purchased power expenses are impacted by fluctuations in the price of natural gas and coal. However, these price fluctuations generally have minimal impact on earnings impact due to fuel recovery mechanisms. In addition, electric customers receive a credit for PTCs generated, which reduce electric revenue and income taxes.
Electric Revenues, Fuel and Purchased Power and Electric Margin
(Millions of Dollars)20232022
Electric revenues$2,152 $2,426 
Electric fuel and purchased power(910)(1,157)
Electric margin$1,242 $1,269 
Changes in Electric Margin
(Millions of Dollars)2023 vs. 2022
Revenue recognition for the Texas rate case surcharge (a)
$(85)
PTCs flowed back to customers (offset by lower ETR)(15)
Estimated impact of weather(13)
Firm wholesale(11)
Sales and demand39 
Regulatory rate outcomes (New Mexico and Texas)30 
Wholesale transmission (net)30 
Other (net)(2)
Total decrease$(27)
(a)Recognition of revenue from the Texas rate case outcome is largely offset by recognition of previously deferred costs, see Public Utility Regulation and Other for additional information.
Non-Fuel Operating Expense and Other Items
O&M Expenses — O&M expenses decreased $38 million in 2023. The decrease was primarily due to change in deferred costs associated with the Texas rate cases (offset in electric revenues).
Depreciation and Amortization — Depreciation and amortization decreased $20 million for 2023. The decrease is primarily due to the change in deferred depreciation costs associated with the Texas rate cases, partially offset by system expansion.
Interest Charges — Interest charges were flat for 2023, primarily due to recognition of previously deferred costs associated with the Texas Electric Rate Case (offset in Electric revenues), offset by higher interest rates and increased long-term debt levels.
Public Utility Regulation and Other
The FERC and state and local regulatory commissions regulate SPS. SPS is subject to rate regulation by state utility regulatory agencies, which have jurisdiction with respect to the rates of electric distribution companies in New Mexico and Texas.
Rates are designed to recover plant investment, operating costs and an allowed return on investment. SPS requests changes in utility rates through commission filings. Changes in operating costs can affect SPS’ financial results, depending on the timing of rate cases and implementation of final rates. Other factors affecting rate filings are new investments, sales, conservation and DSM efforts, and the cost of capital.
In addition, the regulatory commissions authorize the ROE, capital structure and depreciation rates in rate proceedings. Decisions by these regulators can significantly impact SPS’ results of operations and credit quality.
See Rate Matters within Note 10 to the financial statements for further information.
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Summary of Regulatory Agencies / RTO and Areas of Jurisdiction
Regulatory Body / RTO
Additional Information
PUCT
Retail electric operations, rates, services, construction of transmission or generation and other aspects of SPS’ electric operations.
The municipalities in which SPS operates in Texas have original jurisdiction over rates in those communities. The municipalities’ rate setting decisions are subject to PUCT review.
NMPRC
Retail electric operations, retail rates and services and the construction of transmission or generation.
Reviews Integrated Resource Plans for meeting future energy needs.
FERC
Wholesale electric operations, accounting practices, wholesale sales for resale, the transmission of electricity in interstate commerce, compliance with NERC electric reliability standards, asset transactions and mergers, and natural gas transactions in interstate commerce.
SPP RTO and SPP Integrated and Wholesale Markets
SPS is a transmission owning member of the SPP RTO and operates within the SPP RTO and SPP integrated and wholesale markets. SPS is authorized to make wholesale electric sales at market-based prices.
DOTPipeline safety compliance.
Recovery Mechanisms
Mechanism
Additional Information
Advanced Metering System SurchargeRecovers costs incurred in deployment of the Advanced Metering System in Texas.
Consulting Fee RiderRecovers consulting fees and carrying charges incurred by SPS on behalf of the PUCT.
Distribution Cost Recovery Factor
Recovers distribution costs not included in rates in Texas.
Electric Vehicle RiderRecovers costs of the Transportation Electrification Plan in New Mexico.
Energy Efficiency Cost Recovery Factor
Recovers costs for energy efficiency programs in Texas.
Energy Efficiency Rider
Recovers costs for energy efficiency programs in New Mexico.
Fixed Fuel and Purchased Recovery Factor
Provides for the over- or under-recovery of energy expenses in Texas. Regulations require refunding or surcharging over- or under- recovery amounts, including interest, when they exceed 4% of the utility’s annual fuel and purchased energy costs on a rolling 12-month basis, if this condition is expected to continue.
Fuel and Purchased Power Cost Adjustment Clause
Adjusts monthly to recover actual fuel and purchased power costs in New Mexico.
Generation Cost Recovery RiderAllows recovery of investment in power generation facilities outside of a base rate case proceeding.
Purchased Power Capacity Cost Recovery Factor
Allows recovery of purchased power capacity costs not included in Texas rates.
Renewable Portfolio Standards
Recovers deferred costs for renewable energy programs in New Mexico.
Transmission Cost Recovery Factor
Recovers certain transmission infrastructure improvement costs and changes in wholesale transmission charges not included in Texas base rates.
Wholesale Fuel and Purchased Energy Cost Adjustment
SPS recovers fuel and purchased energy costs from its wholesale customers through a monthly wholesale fuel and purchased energy cost adjustment clause accepted by the FERC. Wholesale customers also pay the jurisdictional allocation of production costs.
Pending and Recently Concluded Regulatory Proceedings
2022 New Mexico Electric Rate Case — In 2022, SPS filed a New Mexico electric rate case seeking a revised revenue increase of $75 million. The request was based on a ROE of 10.75%, an equity ratio of 54.7%, a future test year ending June 30, 2024 and rate base of $2.4 billion.
In October 2023, the NMPRC approved a settlement between SPS, NMPRC Staff, and various parties, which included the following terms:
Base rate revenue increase of $33 million, based on the filed future test year.
ROE of 9.5%.
Equity ratio of 54.7%.
The reflection in rates of the retirement of Tolk Generation Station from 2034 to 2028.
Rates went into effect in October 2023.
2023 Texas Electric Rate Case — In 2023, SPS filed a Texas electric rate case seeking an increase in base rate revenue of $158 million (14%). The request was based on a ROE of 10.65%, an equity ratio of 54.6% and rate base of $3.6 billion. SPS requested a surcharge from July 13, 2023 through the effective date of new base rates.
In December 2023, SPS, PUCT Staff and intervenors filed a black box settlement. Key terms include:
A base rate increase of $65 million effective back to July 13, 2023.
A 9.55% ROE, a 54.51% equity ratio and a 7.11% WACC for purposes of calculating SPS’ allowance for funds used during construction.
The reflection in rates of the retirement of Tolk Generation Station from 2034 to 2028.
A PUCT decision is expected in the first half of 2024.
SPS and LP&L Termination — SPS and LP&L were parties to a 25-year, 170 MW partial requirements contract serving LP&L. In May 2021, SPS and LP&L finalized a settlement which terminated the contract upon LP&L’s move from the SPP to the ERCOT. Based on the approved de-escalation clause, LP&L paid SPS $66 million in January 2024 to the benefit of SPS’ remaining customers.
2022 All-Source RFP — In July 2023, SPS filed for approval of CCN for a recommended generation portfolio, which includes 418 MW of self-build solar projects and a 36 MW battery. A decision from PUCT and NMPRC is expected in mid-2024.
The second portion of the portfolio includes a November 2023 filing for the approval of PPAs including 48 MW of battery energy storage and 230 MW of existing gas generation. Regulatory decisions on these PPA agreements are expected in Q3 2024.
New Mexico Resource Plan — In October 2023, SPS filed its IRP with the NMPRC, which supports projected load growth and secures replacement energy and capacity for retiring resources. Based on load forecast scenarios, SPS’ initial IRP modeling projects a total resource need ranging from approximately 5,300 MW to 10,200 MW by 2030. Upon acceptance of the IRP, SPS expects to issue an RFP for new generation in mid-2024. The RFP will be evaluated in the latter half of 2024 with portfolio selection expected in early 2025.
Purchased Power Arrangements and Transmission Service Providers
SPS expects to use electric generating stations, power purchases, DSM and new generation options to meet its system capacity requirements.
Purchased Power — SPS purchases power from other utilities and IPPs. Long-term purchased power contracts typically require periodic capacity and energy charges. SPS also makes short-term purchases to meet system load and energy requirements to replace owned generation, meet operating reserve obligations or obtain energy at a lower cost.
Purchased Transmission Services — SPS has contractual arrangements with SPP and regional transmission service providers to deliver power and energy to its native load customers.
Natural Gas
SPS does not provide retail natural gas service, but purchases and transports natural gas for its generation facilities and operates limited natural gas pipeline facilities connecting the generation facilities to
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interstate natural gas pipelines. SPS is subject to the jurisdiction of the FERC with respect to natural gas transactions in interstate commerce and the PHMSA, DOT and PUCT for pipeline safety compliance.
Wholesale and Commodity Marketing Operations
SPS conducts various wholesale marketing operations, including the purchase and sale of electric capacity, energy, ancillary services and energy related products. SPS uses physical and financial instruments to minimize commodity price risk and to hedge sales and purchases. Sharing of any margin is determined through state regulatory proceedings as well as the operation of the FERC approved joint operating agreement.
Other
Supply Chain
SPS’ ability to meet customer energy requirements, respond to storm-related disruptions, and execute our capital expenditure program are dependent on maintaining an efficient supply chain. Manufacturing processes have experienced disruptions related to the scarcity of certain raw materials and interruptions in production and shipping. Inflationary pressures, labor shortages, and the impact of geopolitical events have further exacerbated these disruptions. SPS continues to monitor the situation as it remains fluid and seeks to mitigate the impacts by securing alternative suppliers, modifying design standards, and adjusting the timing of work.
Additionally, certain products, components, and equipment, particularly in renewables categories, originate in countries that could face tariffs, fines, or restrictions from government or other regulatory bodies and present a cost and supply risk until there is sufficient capacity and supply base with adequate capacity to meet US needs.
Electric Meters and Transformers
Supply chain issues associated with semiconductors delayed the availability of AMI meters, which led to a reduced number of meters deployed in 2022. SPS saw significant improvement in meter availability in 2023 and we expect normal conditions in 2024 and going forward. SPS expects to complete AMI meter deployment in 2025.
Additionally, the availability of certain transformers is an industry-wide issue that has significantly impacted and in some cases resulted in delays to projects and new customer connections. Proposed governmental actions related to transformer efficiency standards may compound these delays in the future. SPS continues to seek alternative suppliers and prioritize work plans to mitigate the impacts of supply constraints.
Solar Resources
In August 2023, the U.S. Department of Commerce completed its anti-circumvention investigation. It concluded that CSPV solar panels and cells imported from Malaysia, Vietnam, Thailand, and Cambodia would be subject to incremental tariffs ranging from 50% to 250%. These countries account for more than 80% of CSPV panel imports.
An interim stay on tariffs remains in effect until June 2024. Further policy action, a change in the interim stay of tariffs, or other restrictions on solar imports (e.g., due to implementation of the Uyghur Forced Labor Protection Act) or disruptions in solar imports from key suppliers could impact project timelines and costs.
ITEM 7A — QUANTITATIVE AND QUALITATIVE DISCLOSURES ABOUT MARKET RISK
Derivatives, Risk Management and Market Risk
SPS is exposed to a variety of market risks in the normal course of business. Market risk is the potential loss that may occur as a result of adverse changes in the market or fair value for a particular instrument or commodity. All financial and commodity-related instruments, including derivatives, are subject to market risk.
SPS is exposed to the impact of adverse changes in price for energy and energy-related products, which is partially mitigated by the use of commodity derivatives. In addition to ongoing monitoring and maintaining credit policies intended to minimize overall credit risk, management takes steps to mitigate changes in credit and concentration risks associated with its derivatives and other contracts, including parental guarantees and requests of collateral. While SPS expects that the counterparties will perform on the contracts underlying its derivatives, the contracts expose SPS to credit and non-performance risk.
Distress in the financial markets may impact counterparty risk and the fair value of the securities in the pension fund.
Commodity Price Risk — We are exposed to commodity price risk in our electric operations. Commodity price risk is managed by entering into long and short-term physical purchase and sales contracts for electric capacity, energy and energy-related products.
Commodity price risk is also managed through the use of financial derivative instruments. Our risk management policy allows us to manage commodity price risk within each rate-regulated operation per commission approved hedge plans.
Wholesale and Commodity Trading Risk — SPS conducts various wholesale and commodity trading activities, including the purchase and sale of electric capacity, energy and energy-related instruments, including derivatives. SPS’ risk management policy allows management to conduct these activities within guidelines and limitations as approved by its risk management committee.
Interest Rate Risk — SPS is subject to interest rate risk. SPS’ risk management policy allows interest rate risk to be managed through the use of fixed rate debt, floating rate debt and interest rate derivatives.
A 100-basis-point change in the benchmark rate on SPS’ variable rate debt would impact pretax interest expense annually by an immaterial amount in 2023 and 2022.
The value of pension and postretirement plan assets and benefit costs are impacted by changes in discount rates and expected return on plan assets. SPS’ ongoing pension and postretirement investment strategy is based on plan-specific investment recommendations that seek to optimize potential investment risk and minimize interest rate risk associated with changes in the obligations as a plan’s funded status increases over time. The impacts of fluctuations in interest rates on pension and postretirement costs are mitigated by pension cost calculation methodologies and regulatory mechanisms that minimize the earnings impacts of such changes.


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Credit Risk — SPS is also exposed to credit risk. Credit risk relates to the risk of loss resulting from counterparties’ nonperformance on their contractual obligations. SPS maintains credit policies intended to minimize overall credit risk and actively monitors these policies to reflect changes and scope of operations.
At Dec. 31, 2023, a 10% increase in commodity prices would have resulted in an increase in credit exposure of $4 million, while a decrease in prices of 10% would have resulted in a decrease in credit exposure of $4 million. At Dec. 31, 2022, a 10% increase in commodity prices would have resulted in an increase in credit exposure of $12 million, while a decrease in prices of 10% would have resulted in a decrease in credit exposure of $12 million.
SPS conducts credit reviews for all wholesale, trading and non-trading commodity counterparties and employs credit risk controls, such as letters of credit, parental guarantees, master netting agreements and termination provisions. Credit exposure is monitored and, when necessary, the activity with a specific counterparty is limited until credit enhancement is provided. Distress in the financial markets could increase SPS’ credit risk.
Fair Value Measurements
Derivative contracts, with the exception of those designated as normal purchases and normal sales, are reported at fair value. SPS’ investments held in pension and other postretirement funds are also subject to fair value accounting. See Note 8 and 9 to the financial statements for further information.
ITEM 8 — FINANCIAL STATEMENTS AND SUPPLEMENTARY DATA
See Item 15-1 for an index of financial statements included herein.
See Note 12 to the financial statements for further information.

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Management Report on Internal Control Over Financial Reporting
The management of SPS is responsible for establishing and maintaining adequate internal control over financial reporting. SPS’ internal control system was designed to provide reasonable assurance to Xcel Energy Inc.’s and SPS’ management and board of directors regarding the preparation and fair presentation of published financial statements.
All internal control systems, no matter how well designed, have inherent limitations. Therefore, even those systems determined to be effective can provide only reasonable assurance with respect to financial statement preparation and presentation.
SPS management assessed the effectiveness of SPS’ internal control over financial reporting as of Dec. 31, 2023. In making this assessment, it used the criteria set forth by the Committee of Sponsoring Organizations of the Treadway Commission (COSO) in Internal Control — Integrated Framework (2013). Based on our assessment, we believe that, as of Dec. 31, 2023, SPS’ internal control over financial reporting is effective at the reasonable assurance level based on those criteria.
/s/ ROBERT C. FRENZEL/s/ BRIAN J. VAN ABEL
Robert C. FrenzelBrian J. Van Abel
Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and DirectorExecutive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer and Director
Feb. 21, 2024Feb. 21, 2024

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REPORT OF INDEPENDENT REGISTERED PUBLIC ACCOUNTING FIRM
To the stockholder and the Board of Directors of Southwestern Public Service Company
Opinion on the Financial Statements
We have audited the accompanying balance sheets of Southwestern Public Service Company (the "Company") as of December 31, 2023 and 2022, the related statements of income, common stockholder’s equity, and cash flows for each of the three years in the period ended December 31, 2023, and the related notes and the schedule listed in the Index at Item 15 (collectively referred to as the "financial statements"). In our opinion, the financial statements present fairly, in all material respects, the financial position of the Company as of December 31, 2023 and 2022, and the results of its operations and its cash flows for each of the three years in the period ended December 31, 2023, in conformity with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America.
Basis for Opinion
These financial statements are the responsibility of the Company's management. Our responsibility is to express an opinion on the Company's financial statements based on our audits. We are a public accounting firm registered with the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (United States) (PCAOB) and are required to be independent with respect to the Company in accordance with the U.S. federal securities laws and the applicable rules and regulations of the Securities and Exchange Commission and the PCAOB.
We conducted our audits in accordance with the standards of the PCAOB. Those standards require that we plan and perform the audit to obtain reasonable assurance about whether the financial statements are free of material misstatement, whether due to error or fraud. The Company is not required to have, nor were we engaged to perform, an audit of its internal control over financial reporting. As part of our audits, we are required to obtain an understanding of internal control over financial reporting but not for the purpose of expressing an opinion on the effectiveness of the Company’s internal control over financial reporting. Accordingly, we express no such opinion.
Our audits included performing procedures to assess the risks of material misstatement of the financial statements, whether due to error or fraud, and performing procedures that respond to those risks. Such procedures included examining, on a test basis, evidence regarding the amounts and disclosures in the financial statements. Our audits also included evaluating the accounting principles used and significant estimates made by management, as well as evaluating the overall presentation of the financial statements. We believe that our audits provide a reasonable basis for our opinion.
Critical Audit Matter
The critical audit matter communicated below is a matter arising from the current-period audit of the financial statements that was communicated or required to be communicated to the audit committee and that (1) relates to accounts or disclosures that are material to the financial statements and (2) involved our especially challenging, subjective, or complex judgments. The communication of critical audit matters does not alter in any way our opinion on the financial statements, taken as a whole, and we are not, by communicating the critical audit matter below, providing a separate opinion on the critical audit matter or on the accounts or disclosures to which it relates.
Regulatory Assets and Liabilities - Impact of Rate Regulation on the Financial Statements — Refer to Notes 4 and 10 to the financial statements.
Critical Audit Matter Description
The Company is subject to rate regulation by state utility regulatory agencies, which have jurisdiction with respect to the rates of electric transmission and distribution companies in New Mexico and Texas. The Company is also subject to the jurisdiction of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission for its wholesale electric operations, accounting practices, wholesale sales for resale, transmission of electricity in interstate commerce, compliance with North American Electric Reliability Corporation standards, asset transactions and mergers and natural gas transactions in interstate commerce, (collectively with state utility regulatory agencies, the “Commissions”). Management has determined it meets the requirements under accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America to prepare its financial statements applying the specialized rules to account for the effects of cost-based rate regulation. Accounting for the economics of rate regulation affects multiple financial statement line items and disclosures, including property, plant and equipment, regulatory assets and liabilities, operating revenues and expenses, and income taxes.
The Company is subject to regulatory rate setting processes. Rates are determined and approved in regulatory proceedings based on an analysis of the Company’s costs to provide utility service and a return on, and recovery of, the Company’s investment in assets required to deliver services to customers. Accounting for the Company’s regulated operations provides that rate-regulated entities report assets and liabilities consistent with the recovery of those incurred costs in rates, if it is probable that such rates will be charged and collected. The Commissions’ regulation of rates is premised on the full recovery of incurred costs and a reasonable rate of return on invested capital. Decisions by the Commissions in the future will impact the accounting for regulated operations, including decisions about the amount of allowable costs and return on invested capital included in rates and any refunds that may be required. In the rate setting process, the Company’s rates result in the recording of regulatory assets and liabilities based on the probability of future cash flows. Regulatory assets generally represent incurred or accrued costs that have been deferred because future recovery from customers is probable. Regulatory liabilities generally represent amounts that are expected to be refunded to customers in future rates or amounts collected in current rates for future costs.
We identified the impact of rate regulation as a critical audit matter due to the significant judgments made by management to support its assertions about impacted account balances and disclosures and the high degree of subjectivity involved in assessing the impact of future regulatory orders on the financial statements. Management judgments include assessing the likelihood of recovery in future rates of incurred costs and refunds due to customers. Given that management’s accounting judgments are based on assumptions about the outcome of future decisions by the Commissions, auditing these judgments required specialized knowledge of accounting for rate regulation and the rate setting process due to its inherent complexities.
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How the Critical Audit Matter Was Addressed in the Audit
Our audit procedures related to the uncertainty of future decisions by the Commissions included the following, among others:
We tested the effectiveness of management’s controls over the evaluation of the likelihood of (1) the recovery in future rates of costs deferred as regulatory assets, and (2) a refund or a future reduction in rates that should be reported as regulatory liabilities. We also tested the effectiveness of management’s controls over the recognition of regulatory assets or liabilities and the monitoring and evaluation of regulatory developments that may affect the likelihood of recovering costs in future rates or of a future reduction in rates.
We evaluated the Company’s disclosures related to the impacts of rate regulation, including the balances recorded and regulatory developments.
We read relevant regulatory orders issued by the Commissions for the Company, other regulatory filings, legal decisions and recommendations being evaluated by the Commissions, and other publicly available information to assess the likelihood of recovery in future rates or of a future reduction in rates. We evaluated historic orders for precedents of the Commissions’ treatment of similar costs under similar circumstances. We compared the regulatory orders, filings and other publicly available information to the Company’s recorded regulatory assets and liabilities for completeness.
We obtained management’s analysis and correspondence from counsel, as appropriate, regarding regulatory assets or liabilities not yet addressed in a regulatory order to assess management’s assertion that amounts are probable of recovery or a future reduction in rates.
/s/ DELOITTE & TOUCHE LLP
Minneapolis, Minnesota
February 21, 2024
We have served as the Company’s auditor since 2002.

22

SOUTHWESTERN PUBLIC SERVICE CO.
STATEMENTS OF INCOME
(amounts in millions)
Year Ended Dec. 31
202320222021
Operating revenues$2,152 $2,426 $2,465 
Operating expenses
Electric fuel and purchased power910 1,157 1,432 
Operating and maintenance expenses279 317 271 
Demand side management expenses20 23 17 
Depreciation and amortization368 388 300 
Taxes (other than income taxes)100 107 79 
Workforce reduction expense9   
Total operating expenses1,686 1,992 2,099 
Operating income466 434 366 
Other income, net2  1 
Allowance for funds used during construction — equity734
Interest charges and financing costs
Interest charges — includes other financing costs of $4, $4 and $4, respectively
143 143 114 
Allowance for funds used during construction — debt(7)(2)(2)
Total interest charges and financing costs136141112
Income before income taxes339 296 259 
Income tax benefit(45)(53)(59)
Net income$384 $349 $318 
See Notes to Financial Statements

23

SOUTHWESTERN PUBLIC SERVICE CO.
STATEMENTS OF CASH FLOWS
(amounts in millions)
Year Ended Dec. 31
202320222021
Operating activities
Net income$384 $349 $318 
Adjustments to reconcile net income to cash provided by operating activities:
Depreciation and amortization373 391 303 
Deferred income taxes(133)17 (47)
Allowance for equity funds used during construction(7)(3)(4)
Provision for bad debts11 9 6 
Changes in operating assets and liabilities:
Accounts receivable(67)(67)(29)
Accrued unbilled revenues1 (16)(10)
Inventories(51)(19)(21)
Prepayments and other39 (50)16 
Accounts payable(37)22 4 
Net regulatory assets and liabilities307 (5)(154)
Other current liabilities5 52 (1)
Pension and other employee benefit obligations3 1 (18)
Other, net(18)(5)(4)
Net cash provided by operating activities810 676 359 
Investing activities
Utility capital/construction expenditures(714)(578)(580)
Investments in utility money pool arrangement (176)(83)
Receipts from utility money pool arrangement 176 83 
Net cash used in investing activities(714)(578)(580)
Financing activities
Proceeds from (repayments of) short-term borrowings, net41 (103)(113)
Proceeds from issuance of long-term debt, net98 196 247 
Borrowings under utility money pool arrangement371 336 539 
Repayments under utility money pool arrangement(344)(427)(448)
Capital contributions from parent48 220 301 
Dividends paid to parent(309)(319)(310)
Net cash (used in) provided by financing activities(95)(97)216 
Net change in cash and cash equivalents1 1 (5)
Cash, cash equivalents and restricted cash at beginning of period2 1 6 
Cash, cash equivalents and restricted cash at end of period$3 $2 $1 
Supplemental disclosure of cash flow information:
Cash paid for interest (net of amounts capitalized)$(127)$(137)$(108)
Cash (paid) received for income taxes, net(80)81 21 
Supplemental disclosure of non-cash investing and financing transactions:
Accrued property, plant and equipment additions$56 $86 $37 
Inventory transfers to property, plant and equipment43 10 6 
Allowance for equity funds used during construction7 3 4 
See Notes to Financial Statements
24

SOUTHWESTERN PUBLIC SERVICE CO.
BALANCE SHEETS
(amounts in millions, except share and per share data)
Dec. 31
20232022
Assets
Current assets
Cash and cash equivalents$3 $2 
Accounts receivable, net222 167 
Accounts receivable from affiliates26 15 
Accrued unbilled revenues139 140 
Inventories69 61 
Regulatory assets30 217 
Derivative instruments42 122 
Prepaid taxes2 5 
Prepayments and other32 68 
Total current assets565 797 
Property, plant and equipment, net8,536 8,129 
Other assets
Regulatory assets349 359 
Derivative instruments 3 
Operating lease right-of-use assets403 434 
Other28 26 
Total other assets780 822 
Total assets$9,881 $9,748 
Liabilities and Equity
Current liabilities
Current portion of long-term debt$350 $ 
Short-term debt75 34 
Borrowings under utility money pool arrangement27  
Accounts payable188 209 
Accounts payable to affiliates7 23 
Regulatory liabilities116 148 
Taxes accrued77 61 
Accrued interest33 31 
Dividends payable to parent59 61 
Derivative instruments2 4 
Operating lease liabilities32 31 
Other42 58 
Total current liabilities1,008 660 
Deferred credits and other liabilities
Deferred income taxes622 739 
Regulatory liabilities761 715 
Asset retirement obligations153 147 
Derivative instruments 2 
Pension and employee benefit obligations12 12 
Operating lease liabilities371 403 
Other7 9 
Total deferred credits and other liabilities1,926 2,027 
Commitments and contingencies
Capitalization
Long-term debt2,961 3,211 
Common stock — 200 shares authorized of $1.00 par value; 100 shares outstanding at Dec. 31, 2023 and Dec. 31, 2022, respectively
  
Additional paid in capital3,370 3,311 
Retained earnings617 540 
Accumulated other comprehensive loss(1)(1)
Total common stockholder's equity3,986 3,850 
Total liabilities and equity$9,881 $9,748 
See Notes to Financial Statements
25

SOUTHWESTERN PUBLIC SERVICE CO.
STATEMENTS OF COMMON STOCKHOLDER’S EQUITY
(amounts in millions, except share data)
Common Stock IssuedAccumulated
Other
Comprehensive
Loss
Total
Common
Stockholder’s
Equity
SharesPar Value
Additional
Paid In
Capital
Retained
Earnings
Balance at Dec. 31, 2020100 $ $2,790 $509 $(1)$3,298 
Net income318 318 
Common dividends declared to parent(314)(314)
Contribution of capital by parent301 301 
Balance at Dec. 31, 2021100 $ $3,091 $513 $(1)$3,603 
Net income349 349 
Common dividends declared to parent(322)(322)
Contribution of capital by parent220 220 
Balance at Dec. 31, 2022100 $ $3,311 $540 $(1)$3,850 
Net income384 384 
Common dividends declared to parent(307)(307)
Contribution of capital by parent59 59 
Balance at Dec. 31, 2023100 $ $3,370 $617 $(1)$3,986 
See Notes to Financial Statements

26

SOUTHWESTERN PUBLIC SERVICE COMPANY
Notes to Financial Statements
1. Summary of Significant Accounting Policies
General — SPS is engaged in the regulated generation, purchase, transmission, distribution and sale of electricity.
SPS’ financial statements are presented in accordance with GAAP. All of SPS’ underlying accounting records also conform to the FERC uniform system of accounts or to systems required by various state regulatory commissions. Certain amounts in the financial statements or notes have been reclassified for comparative purposes; however, such reclassifications did not affect net income, total assets, liabilities, equity or cash flows.
SPS has evaluated events occurring after Dec. 31, 2023 up to the date of issuance of these financial statements. These statements contain all necessary adjustments and disclosures resulting from that evaluation.
Use of Estimates — SPS uses estimates based on the best information available to record transactions and balances resulting from business operations.
Estimates are used for items such as plant depreciable lives or potential disallowances, AROs, certain regulatory assets and liabilities, tax provisions, uncollectible amounts, environmental costs, unbilled revenues, jurisdictional fuel and energy cost allocations and actuarially determined benefit costs. Recorded estimates are revised when better information becomes available or actual amounts can be determined. Revisions can affect operating results.
Regulatory Accounting — SPS accounts for income and expense items in accordance with accounting guidance for regulated operations. Under this guidance:
Certain costs, which would otherwise be charged to expense or other comprehensive income, are deferred as regulatory assets based on the expected ability to recover the costs in future rates.
Certain credits, which would otherwise be reflected as income or other comprehensive income, are deferred as regulatory liabilities based on the expectation the amounts will be returned to customers in future rates or because the amounts were collected in rates prior to the costs being incurred.
Estimates and assumptions for recovery of deferred costs and refund of deferred credits are based on specific ratemaking decisions, precedent or other available information. Regulatory assets and liabilities are amortized consistent with the treatment in the rate setting process.
If changes in the regulatory environment occur, SPS may no longer be eligible to apply this accounting treatment and may be required to eliminate regulatory assets and liabilities. Such changes could have a material effect on SPS’ results of operations, financial condition and cash flows.
See Note 4 for further information.
Income Taxes — SPS accounts for income taxes using the asset and liability method, which requires recognition of deferred tax assets and liabilities for the expected future tax consequences of events that have been included in the financial statements. Income taxes are deferred for all temporary differences between pretax financial and taxable income and between the book and tax bases of assets and liabilities utilizing rates that are scheduled to be in effect when the temporary differences are expected to reverse. The effect of a change in tax rates on deferred tax assets and liabilities is recognized in the period that includes the enactment date.
Utility rate regulation has resulted in the recognition of regulatory assets and liabilities related to income taxes. The effects of SPS’ tax rate changes are generally subject to a normalization method of accounting. Therefore, the revaluation of most of its net deferred taxes upon a tax rate reduction results in the establishment of a net regulatory liability, refundable to utility customers over the remaining life of the related assets. SPS anticipates that a tax rate increase would predominantly result in the establishment of a regulatory asset, subject to an evaluation of whether future recovery is expected.
Tax credits are recorded when earned unless there is a requirement to defer the benefit and amortize over the book depreciable lives of related property. The requirement to defer and amortize these credits specifically applies to certain federal ITCs, as determined by tax regulations and SPS tax elections. For tax credits otherwise eligible to be recognized when earned, SPS considers the impact of rate regulation to determine if these credits and related adjustments should be deferred as regulatory assets or liabilities.
Deferred tax assets are reduced by a valuation allowance if it is more likely than not that some portion or all of the deferred tax asset will not be realized. This evaluation includes consideration of whether tax credits are expected to be sold at a discount and impact the realization of amounts presented as deferred tax assets. Transferable tax credits are accounted for under ASC 740 Income Taxes, and valuation allowances and any adjustments for discounts incurred on sales transactions are recorded to deferred tax expense.
SPS measures and discloses uncertain tax positions that it has taken or expects to take in its income tax returns. A tax position is recognized in the financial statements when it is more likely than not that the position will be sustained upon examination based on the technical merits of the position. Recognition of changes in uncertain tax positions are reflected as a component of income tax expense.
Interest and penalties related to income taxes are reported within Other income, net or interest charges in the statements of income.
Xcel Energy Inc. and its subsidiaries, including SPS file consolidated federal income tax returns as well as consolidated or separate state income tax returns. Federal income taxes paid by Xcel Energy Inc. are allocated to its subsidiaries based on separate company computations. A similar allocation is made for state income taxes paid by Xcel Energy Inc. in connection with consolidated state filings. Xcel Energy Inc. also allocates its own income tax benefits to its direct subsidiaries.
See Note 7 for further information.
Property, Plant and Equipment and Depreciation in Regulated Operations — Property, plant and equipment is stated at original cost. The cost of plant includes direct labor and materials, contracted work, overhead costs and AFUDC. The cost of plant retired is charged to accumulated depreciation and amortization. Amounts recovered in rates for future removal costs are recorded as regulatory liabilities. Significant additions or improvements extending asset lives are capitalized, while repairs and maintenance costs and replacement of items determined to be less than a unit of property are charged to expense as incurred.
27

Property, plant and equipment is tested for impairment when it is determined that the carrying value of the assets may not be recoverable. A loss is recognized in the current period if it becomes probable that part of a cost of a plant under construction or recently completed plant will be disallowed for recovery from customers and a reasonable estimate of the disallowance can be made. For investments in property, plant and equipment that are abandoned and not expected to go into service, incurred costs and related deferred tax amounts are compared to the discounted estimated future rate recovery, and a loss is recognized, if necessary.
Depreciation expense is recorded using the straight-line method over the plant’s commission approved useful life. Actuarial life studies are performed and submitted to the state and federal commissions for review. Upon acceptance by the various commissions, the resulting lives and net salvage rates are used to calculate depreciation. Plant removal costs are typically recognized at the amounts recovered in rates as authorized by the applicable regulator. Accumulated removal costs are reflected in the balance sheet as a regulatory liability. Depreciation expense, expressed as a percentage of average depreciable property, was 3.4% in 2023, 3.4% in 2022 and 3.3% in 2021.
See Note 3 for further information.
AROs — SPS records AROs as a liability in the period incurred (if fair value can be reasonably estimated), with the offsetting/associated costs capitalized as a long-lived asset. The liability is generally increased over time by applying the effective interest method of accretion and the capitalized costs are typically depreciated over the useful life of the long-lived asset. Changes resulting from revisions to timing or amounts of expected asset retirement cash flows are recognized as an increase or a decrease in the ARO.
See Note 10 for further information.
Benefit Plans and Other Postretirement Benefits — SPS maintains pension and postretirement benefit plans for eligible employees. Recognizing the cost of providing benefits and measuring the projected benefit obligation of these plans requires management to make various assumptions and estimates.
Certain unrecognized actuarial gains and losses and unrecognized prior service costs or credits are deferred as regulatory assets and liabilities, rather than recorded as other comprehensive income, based on regulatory recovery mechanisms.
See Note 9 for further information.
Environmental Costs — Environmental costs are recorded when it is probable SPS is liable for remediation costs and the amount can be reasonably estimated. Costs are deferred as a regulatory asset if it is probable the costs will be recovered from customers in future rates. Otherwise, the costs are expensed. For certain environmental costs related to facilities currently in use, such as for emission-control equipment, the cost is capitalized and depreciated over the life of the plant.
Estimated remediation costs are regularly adjusted as estimates are revised and remediation is performed. If other participating potentially responsible parties exist and acknowledge their potential involvement with a site, costs are estimated and recorded only for SPS’ expected share of the cost.
Estimated future expenditures to restore sites are treated as a capitalized cost of plant retirement. The depreciation expense levels recoverable in rates include a provision for removal expenses. Removal costs recovered in rates before the related costs are incurred are classified as a regulatory liability.
See Note 10 for further information.
Revenue from Contracts with Customers — Performance obligations related to the sale of energy are satisfied as energy is delivered to customers. SPS recognizes revenue that corresponds to the price of the energy delivered to the customer. The measurement of energy sales to customers is generally based on the reading of their meters, which occurs systematically throughout the month. At the end of each month, amounts of energy delivered to customers since the date of the last meter reading are estimated and the corresponding unbilled revenue is recognized.
A separate financing component of collections from customers is not recognized as contract terms are short-term in nature. Revenues are net of any excise or sales taxes or fees.
SPS participates in SPP. SPS recognizes physical sales to customers (native load and wholesale) on a gross basis in electric revenues and cost of sales. Revenues and charges for short-term physical wholesale sales of excess energy transacted through RTOs are also recorded on a gross basis. Other revenues and charges settled/facilitated through an RTO are recorded on a net basis in cost of sales.
See Note 6 for further information.
Cash and Cash Equivalents — SPS considers investments in instruments with a remaining maturity of 3 months or less at the time of purchase to be cash equivalents.
Accounts Receivable and Allowance for Bad Debts — Accounts receivable are stated at the actual billed amount net of an allowance for bad debts. SPS establishes an allowance for uncollectible receivables based on a policy that reflects its expected exposure to the credit risk of customers.
As of Dec. 31, 2023 and 2022, the allowance for bad debts was $15 million and $13 million, respectively.
Inventory — Inventory is recorded at the lower of average cost or net realizable value and consisted of the following:
(Millions of Dollars)Dec. 31, 2023Dec. 31, 2022
Inventories
Materials and supplies$56 $42 
Fuel13 19 
Total inventories$69 $61 
Fair Value Measurements — SPS presents cash equivalents, interest rate derivatives and commodity derivatives at estimated fair values in its financial statements.
For interest rate derivatives, quoted prices based primarily on observable market interest rate curves are used to estimate fair value. For commodity derivatives, the most observable inputs available are generally used to determine the fair value of each contract. In the absence of a quoted price, quoted prices for similar contracts or internally prepared valuation models may be used to determine fair value.
For the pension and postretirement plan assets and nuclear decommissioning fund, published trading data and pricing models, generally using the most observable inputs available, are utilized to determine fair value for each security.
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See Notes 8 and 9 for further information.
Derivative Instruments — SPS uses derivative instruments in connection with its commodity trading activities, and to manage risk associated with changes in interest rates and utility commodity prices, including forward contracts, futures, swaps and options. Derivatives not qualifying for the normal purchases and normal sales exception are recorded on the balance sheets at fair value as derivative instruments. Classification of changes in fair value for those derivative instruments is dependent on the designation of a qualifying hedging relationship.
Changes in fair value of derivative instruments not designated in a qualifying hedging relationship are reflected in current earnings or as a regulatory asset or liability. Classification as a regulatory asset or liability is based on commission approved regulatory recovery mechanisms.
Gains or losses on commodity trading transactions are recorded as a component of electric operating revenues.
Normal Purchases and Normal Sales — SPS enters into contracts for purchases and sales of commodities for use in its operations. At inception, contracts are evaluated to determine whether they contain a derivative, and if so, whether they may be exempted from derivative accounting if designated as normal purchases or normal sales.
See Note 8 for further information.
Other Utility Items
AFUDC — AFUDC represents the cost of capital used to finance utility construction activity and is computed by applying a composite financing rate to qualified CWIP. The amount of AFUDC capitalized as a utility construction cost is credited to other nonoperating income (for equity capital) and interest charges (for debt capital). AFUDC amounts capitalized are included in SPS’ rate base.
Alternative Revenue — Certain rate rider mechanisms (including DSM programs) qualify as alternative revenue programs. These mechanisms arise from instances in which the regulator authorizes a future surcharge in response to past activities or completed events. When certain criteria are met, including expected collection within 24 months, revenue is recognized equal to the revenue requirement, which may include incentives and return on rate base items. Billing amounts are revised periodically for differences between total amount collected and revenue earned, which may increase or decrease the level of revenue collected from customers. Alternative revenues arising from these programs are presented on a gross basis and disclosed separately from revenue from contracts with customers.
See Note 6 for further information.
Conservation Programs — SPS has implemented programs in its jurisdictions to assist customers in conserving energy and reducing peak demand on the electric system. These programs include commercial motor, air conditioner and lighting upgrades, as well as residential rebates for participation in air conditioner interruption and home weatherization.
The costs incurred for some DSM programs are deferred as permitted by the applicable regulatory jurisdiction. For those programs, costs are deferred if it is probable future revenue will be provided to permit recovery of the incurred cost. Revenues recognized for incentive programs designed for recovery of lost margins and/or conservation performance incentives are limited to amounts expected to be collected within 24 months from the annual period in which they are earned. SPS recovers approved conservation program costs in base rate revenue or through a rider.

Emissions Allowances — Emissions allowances are recorded at cost, including broker commission fees. The inventory accounting model is utilized for all emission allowances and sales of these allowances are included in electric revenues.
RECs — Cost of RECs that are utilized for compliance is recorded as electric fuel and purchased power expense. SPS reduces recoverable fuel and purchased power costs for the cost of RECs received.
An inventory accounting model is used to account for RECs, however these assets are classified as regulatory assets if amounts are recoverable in future rates.
Segment Information — SPS has only one reportable segment. SPS is a wholly owned subsidiary of Xcel Energy Inc. and operates in the regulated electric utility industry providing wholesale and retail electric service in the states of Texas and New Mexico.
2. Accounting Pronouncement
Recently Issued
Segment Reporting In November 2023, the FASB issued ASU 2023-07 – Segment Reporting (Topic 280) – Improvements to Reportable Segment Disclosures, which extends the existing requirements for annual disclosures to quarterly periods, and requires that both annual and quarterly disclosures present segment expenses using line items consistent with information regularly provided to the chief operating decision maker. The ASU is effective for annual periods beginning after Dec. 15, 2023 and quarterly periods beginning after Dec. 15, 2024, and SPS does not expect implementation of the new disclosure guidance to have a material impact to its financial statements.
Income Taxes In December 2023, the FASB issued ASU 2023-09 Income Taxes (Topic 740) – Improvements to Income Tax Disclosures, with new disclosure requirements including presentation of prescribed line items in the effective tax rate reconciliation and disclosures regarding state and local tax payments. The ASU is effective for annual periods beginning after Dec. 15, 2024, and SPS does not expect implementation of the new disclosure guidance to have a material impact to its financial statements. .
3. Property, Plant and Equipment
Major classes of property, plant and equipment
(Millions of Dollars)Dec. 31, 2023Dec. 31, 2022
Property, plant and equipment, net
Electric plant$10,752 $10,182 
Plant to be retired (a)
248 266 
CWIP226 167 
Total property, plant and equipment11,226 10,615 
Less accumulated depreciation(2,690)(2,486)
Property, plant and equipment, net$8,536 $8,129 
(a)Amounts include Tolk Unit 1 and 2 and coal generation assets at Harrington pending facility gas conversion. Amounts are reported net of accumulated depreciation.
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4. Regulatory Assets and Liabilities
Regulatory assets and liabilities are created for amounts that regulators may allow to be collected or may require to be paid back to customers in future electric rates. SPS would be required to recognize the write-off of regulatory assets and liabilities in net income or other comprehensive income if changes in the utility industry no longer allow for the application of regulatory accounting guidance under GAAP.
Components of regulatory assets:
(Millions of Dollars)See Note(s)Remaining Amortization PeriodDec. 31, 2023
Dec. 31, 2022 (a)
Regulatory AssetsCurrentNoncurrentCurrentNoncurrent
Pension and retiree medical obligations9Various$2 $147 $2 $146 
Net AROs (b)
1, 10Various 59  48 
Excess deferred taxes — TCJA 7Various1 47 1 48 
Recoverable deferred taxes on AFUDCPlant lives 44  40 
Losses on reacquired debtTerm of related debt1 18 1 19 
Deferred electric energy/fuel costsN/A  136 34 
OtherVarious26 34 77 24 
Total regulatory assets$30 $349 $217 $359 
(a)Prior period amounts have been restated to conform with current year presentation.
(b)Includes amounts recorded for future recovery of AROs.
Components of regulatory liabilities:
(Millions of Dollars)See Note(s)Remaining Amortization PeriodDec. 31, 2023
Dec. 31, 2022 (a)
Regulatory LiabilitiesCurrentNoncurrentCurrentNoncurrent
Deferred income tax adjustments and TCJA refunds