Xcel Energy Plans Significant Increase in Wind Purchases


Xcel Energy’s Southwestern Public Service Company is seeking approval in New Mexico to purchase almost 700MW of additional wind energy through three purchase agreements, deals that will save Texas-New Mexico customers more than $590 million in fuel costs over 20 years.

The wind purchases will come from three facilities to be located in Oklahoma, Texas and New Mexico:

• 199MW from NextEra Energy Resources/Mammoth Plains Wind Energy Center, located in Dewey and Blaine counties, Okla.
• 249MW from NextEra Energy Resources/Palo Duro Wind Energy Center, located in Hansford and Ochiltree counties, Texas.
• 250MW from Infinity Wind Resources/Roosevelt Wind Ranch in Roosevelt County, N.M., between the towns of Dora and Elida.

The price per MWh of energy generated at these wind facilities will be less than the per-MWh price of most of the company’s natural gas-fueled generation, according to Riley Hill, president and CEO of Southwestern Public Service Company, an Xcel Energy company. Over the 20-year terms of these agreements, Xcel Energy expects to save $590.4 million in fuel costs, Hill said.

“We started shopping for more wind energy in March after seeing some very good prices on the market,” Hill said. “We are making these acquisitions purely on economics and the savings we can deliver to our customers.”

Hill pointed out that the favorable pricing is partly the result of a federal production tax credit that Congress extended for one year, applicable to facilities that begin construction before the end of 2013.

Xcel Energy currently has close to 1,500MW of wind energy capacity connected to its Texas-New Mexico transmission and distribution network, which spans the Panhandle and South Plains regions of Texas, six eastern and southeastern counties in New Mexico and portions of Oklahoma and Kansas. Xcel Energy purchases more than 600MW through long-term contracts.

The three additional contracts will more than double the company’s contract wind resources, and will push the total Texas-New Mexico wind capacity beyond 2,200MW.

The company solicited additional wind resources through a request for proposals process that opened in March. This process generated more than 75 proposals that included the winning bidders. The deals are for energy only, and do not include the purchase of renewable energy certificates (RECs).

For more information, visit www.xcelenergy.com.