Xcel Energy wants to add wind power after tax credits extended

  • Article by: DAVID SHAFFER , Star Tribune
  • Updated: February 5, 2013 - 10:52 AM

The utility said it’s well ahead of meeting state goals for wind power but will add capacity if it gets a good deal.

Xcel Energy Inc. said Monday that it may add wind power to its system in the Upper Midwest to take advantage of recently extended federal tax credits.

“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,” Judy Poferl, CEO of Xcel’s Minnesota regional operations, said in a statement.

Congress recently extended the production tax credit for wind farms that begin construction in 2013.

Xcel, which already has the most wind power of any U.S. utility, said it will ask renewable energy developers to propose an additional 200 megawatts of wind power. A megawatt is 1 million watts, and one wind turbine typically generates 1.5 megawatts to 2.5 megawatts.

The Minneapolis-based utility did not specify where the wind turbines would be built. It said it would consider any proposals that serve its customers in Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin.

It also left open whether it would own the turbines outright or purchase the power under long-term contracts.

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