More wind development coming...news release from Xcel:
Xcel Energy to seek bids for Upper Midwest wind resources
Production Tax Credit extension may improve wind project value
MINNEAPOLIS – Xcel Energy today notified state regulators that it plans to issue a request for proposals for up to 200 megawatts of wind resources to come on line in time to qualify for the newly extended federal Production Tax Credit.
“Although Xcel Energy is well ahead of meeting our states’ renewable energy requirements, we are open to adding cost-effective wind projects that could provide long-term value to our customers,” said Judy Poferl, president and CEO of Northern States Power Co.-Minnesota, an Xcel Energy company. “The extension of the federal renewable electricity Production Tax Credit may make cost-effective projects available to serve our customers.”
The new federal law replaced the PTC requirement that a wind project be placed in service by the end of 2012 with a requirement that a wind project begin significant construction activities by the end of 2013.
“Given the recent extension, we want to see if there are any projects that present a good deal for our customers,” Poferl said. “We have positioned ourselves to be able to take a good project if available, but not having to take one if either timing or costs make it less desirable for our customers.”
Xcel Energy recently started a competitive acquisition process for additional generation in the 2017-2019 timeframe to acquire peaking and intermediate generation. Today’s announcement will not alter in any way the competitive acquisition process already under way.
“Assessing opportunities to add cost-effective wind now is consistent with the approach we have taken in the past,” Poferl said. “This strategy has served our customers well. We look forward to a robust process and hope it results in many strong projects for us to evaluate.”
Xcel Energy intends to issue the wind RFP as soon as Feb. 15 to ensure there is time for any new project to begin construction in 2013.
Additional details about the request and timeline are available in the notice filing, which will be available on the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission’s website at www.puc.state.mn.us, on the North Dakota Public Service Commission’s website at www.psc.nd.gov, and at www.xcelenergy.com. Xcel Energy also notified regulators in South Dakota and Wisconsin of its plans.
Xcel Energy (NYSE: XEL) is a major U.S. electricity and natural gas company that provides a comprehensive portfolio of energy-related products and services to 3.4 million electricity customers and 1.9 million natural gas customers through its regulated operating companies in eight Western and Midwestern states. Company headquarters are located in Minneapolis. More information is available at www.xcelenergy.com.