Published on August 1st, 2013 | by Joshua S Hill0
Xcel Energy To Grow Wind Power By 30%
Xcel Energy, billed as America’s top wind energy company, has announced that it proposes to “significantly expand its wind power production to reduce customer costs, protect against rising and volatile fuel prices, and benefit the environment.”
The move is set to expand their overall wind capacity by 30% and is made possible by the extended federal Production Tax Credit, in conjunction with what Xcel Energy describe as “extremely competitive prices”.
“Wind energy is a valuable, low-cost substitute for natural gas and other fuels right now,” said Ben Fowke, chairman, president and CEO. “These projects will lower customer costs by at least $800 million over their lives and will provide a valuable hedge to rising and volatile fuel prices for well into the future.”
“These projects demonstrate how to do environmental leadership the right way,” Fowke continued. “Both economic and environmental benefits can and should be achieved.”
Xcel have submitted proposals to purchase at minimum 1,500 MW of wind resources throughout its existing service areas, and hope that the approval of these projects will see more than 20% of its total energy mix supplied by wind, with all projects set to be completed before the end of 2016.
Xcel Energy is seeking approval of the following projects from state regulators throughout its service territories:
- Upper Midwest: Three 200-megawatt projects in Minnesota and North Dakota, increasing the total to 2,400 megawatts. The additions will save Upper Midwest customers more than $180 million in fuel costs over 20 years.
- Texas/New Mexico: Three projects totaling almost 700 megawatts located in New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas, increasing the total to more than 2,200 megawatts. The additions will save Texas-New Mexico customers up to $590 million in fuel costs over 20 years.
- Colorado: One project totaling approximately 200 megawatts, increasing the total to nearly 2,400 megawatts. The addition will save Colorado customers more than $142 million in fuel costs over 20 years. The Colorado Public Utilities Commission will decide this fall on whether to approve another 350 megawatts of wind power.