Project Development, Wind Power

Xcel Energy to Acquire 775 MW Wind Power in Colorado

Xcel Energy will acquire 775 MW of new wind power capacity for its Colorado system by 2007, in response to a process designed to address the state’s growing energy demand. The additional capacity is said to make Xcel Energy the nation’s largest utility user of wind power.

The company intends to acquire up to 30 MW of energy efficiency supplied by bidders, known as Demand-Side Management (DSM). Xcel Energy has committed $196 million in company-sponsored initiatives for the remainder of the DSM program, which would be an additional 290 MW. Xcel Energy also intends to acquire approximately 1,300 MW of natural gas-fired generation from new and existing facilities between 2007 and 2012. “Xcel Energy has taken the leadership position among all electric utilities in support of renewable energy — both in Colorado and throughout the country,” said Pat Vincent, Xcel Energy’s president and chief executive officer for Colorado. “We are working to ensure that wind power is an integral part of our nation’s future energy supply.” Xcel Energy — which currently has 282 MW of wind in-service or under-construction in Colorado — would increase its overall wind capacity in the state by 275 percent. Xcel Energy estimates that it also would meet the non-solar mandates of the voter-approved Renewable Energy Standard through 2014, essentially meeting the standard seven years earlier than required. Xcel Energy cautioned that while it is aggressively seeking to add more wind power in Colorado, the ultimate success of permitting, constructing and placing new wind farms into commercial operation remains in the hands of independent wind developers.