Colorado has excellent wind resources, and Xcel Energy is capitalizing on this wind to deliver clean, affordable renewable energy to customers. We built Colorado's first commercial wind farm in the late 1990s, the Ponnequin Wind Farm in northern Colorado. Since then, Xcel Energy has expanded the use of wind power in Colorado to nearly 2,200 megawatts. And we plan to add more, as wind power today is our most affordable renewable resource.
In 2013, Xcel Energy announced plans and received utility commission approval to purchase power from two new projects totaling about 450 megawatts, increasing our system total to about 2,600 megawatts over the next several years. The additions are expected to save Colorado customers about $231 million in fuel costs over 20 years.
Managing wind power on the electric system can be challenging because it is notoriously difficult to predict. Xcel Energy has worked with Global Weather Corp., an affiliate company of the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), to develop WindWX, the most advanced wind-production forecasting system in the world. Through improved wind forecasting, we continue to save customers money and set national records for the amount of wind energy on our system. One early morning hour in May 2013, wind energy provided more than 60 percent of Xcel Energy’s electricity supply on its Colorado system, which is a national record. We also estimate it has saved our Colorado customers $20.7 million in fuel costs since working to improve wind forecasting in 2009.
|Ponnequin||Weld County (just south of the Wyoming border)||26 MW||1998|
|Foot Creek III||Wyoming||25 MW||1999|
|Ridgecrest||Peetz, Colorado||30 MW||2001|
|Colorado Green||Lamar, Colorado||162 MW||2004|
|Cedar Creek||Grover, Colorado||300 MW||2007|
|Logan Wind||Peetz, Colorado||201 MW||2007|
|Peetz Table||Peetz, Colorado||200 MW||2007|
|Twin Buttes||Lamar, Colorado||75 MW||2007|
|Northern Colorado Wind||Peetz, Colorado||174 MW||2009|
|NREL/National Wind Testing Center||Golden, Colorado||10 MW||2010|
|Cedar Creek II||Weld County, Colorado||251 MW||2011|
|Cedar Point Wind||Lincoln & Elbert Counties, Colorado||252 MW||2011|
|Limon Wind I||Lincoln & Elbert Counties, Colorado||200 MW||2012|
|Limon Wind II||Lincoln County, Colorado||200 MW||2012|
Energy efficient appliances and light bulbs may cost a bit more up front, but they can save big money over the life of the product. Plus, some energy efficient equipment may be eligible for rebates to offset the initial cost.