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Company announces results of its early wind energy request for proposal
DENVER – Xcel Energy will seek to add approximately 550 megawatts of new wind generation in Colorado between now and 2016, taking the installed level of this resource on the company’s Colorado system to more than 2,700 megawatts.
In announcing the results of its wind request for proposal (RFP) to the Colorado Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) today, Xcel Energy noted that the winning bids will provide additional, low-cost energy for the company’s customers.
“Xcel Energy set out earlier this year to determine if we could add wind capacity in an economically beneficial way, and the results of this RFP show that we can. The price for this additional wind generation is as low as any wind power currently operating on our Colorado system,” said David Eves, president and CEO of Public Service Co. of Colorado, an Xcel Energy company.
“These projects meet our customers’ interest in a clean, reliable and diverse energy supply, and do so at prices that would make sense for our customers regardless of any environmental regulations,” Eves added.
The additions are the result of the company’s wind request for proposal issued in March of this year, which sought to take advantage of a recent extension of federal tax credits for developers of new wind projects. The CPUC must still review and approve these proposed additional wind projects, and developers will have a compressed timeframe for project development by the end of the year.
In mid-February, Xcel Energy announced plans to accelerate components of its 2013 All-Source Solicitation, which included a wind bid RFP. The company and the CPUC agreed to an accelerated schedule for soliciting and evaluating new wind proposals, through a transparent and fair process, that would enable winning projects to qualify for federal Production Tax Credits (PTCs).
If approved, the company would begin negotiating power purchase agreements (PPAs) with selected bidders in June and would expect final CPUC approval to come sometime in October 2013.
By completing the process under this time frame, it is anticipated that developers would have adequate time to develop and begin construction of any new Colorado wind projects, in order to take advantage of the PTC extension.
The additional 550 megawatts will result in a reduction of 1.4 million tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions each year and will put the company on a track to achieve a 35 percent reduction in total CO2 emissions by 2020, when compared to 2005 levels.
Xcel Energy is seeking wind proposals in other parts of its service territory, in addition to these Colorado selections. These efforts stem from Congress’s adoption of the American Taxpayer Relief Act, which was later signed by President Obama. The new law included an extension of the PTCs for wind developers, requiring that projects be started at a certain level of construction by the end of the year.
Xcel Energy supported the extension of the PTC last year. The company is also a supporter of the Consumer Renewable Credit, a proposed tax credit that would provide low¬cost federal support of continued, cost¬effective wind development like the projects under consideration in Colorado today.
As a result of the extension of the PTC, the company issued RFPs for potential wind projects in Colorado, and in its Upper Midwest and its Texas/New Mexico service territories.
“Today’s announcement for Colorado shows that Xcel Energy can continue to advance a strong environmental agenda, without increasing costs for our customers,” said Ben Fowke, chairman, president and CEO of Xcel Energy. “We are pleased to have reached this stage of the process and look forward to bringing additional clean, affordable energy to our customers.”
Xcel Energy (NYSE: XEL) is a major U.S. electricity and natural gas company with regulated operations in eight Western and Midwestern states. Xcel Energy 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. Company headquarters are located in Minneapolis. More information is available at www.xcelenergy.com.
This news release includes forward-looking statements that are subject to certain risks, uncertainties and assumptions. Such forward-looking statements are intended to be identified in this document by the words “anticipate,” “estimate,” “expect,” “projected,” “objective,” “outlook,” “possible,” “potential” and similar expressions. Actual results may vary materially. Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially include, but are not limited to: general economic conditions, including their impact on capital expenditures; business conditions in the energy industry; competitive conditions in the marketplace, etc.
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