Xcel Energy announced three large new wind power plants this week, with two slated for Texas and one for New Mexico.

The new projects come a week after Minneapolis-based Xcel unveiled three new wind farms for the Upper Midwest, including its largest yet for the region.

The southwest projects include a 522-megawatt wind farm in southeastern New Mexico, along with 478- megawatt and 230-megawatt wind plants in northwest Texas. A megawatt is a million watts, and by comparison, one of Xcel’s large Minnesota coal generators churns out 680 megawatts.

Energy production at wind farms is variable, though, due to the weather.

Xcel, already the nation’s largest wind-producing utility, has been on a wind spree of late, taking advantage of federal tax credits for wind power before they are phased out.

The company last week announced a 600-megawatt wind project in Codington County, S.D., which would be equal in size to Xcel’s largest planned wind farm, its Rush Creek development in Colorado.  Rush Creek has already been approved by Colorado regulators.

While Minnesota and Colorado are Xcel’s largest service territories, the company also provides power in parts of Wisconsin, Michigan, New Mexico, Texas and the Dakotas.

Xcel Energy photo
Xcel plans to build more wind farms like this one in Courtenay, S.D.

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