Xcel Energy receives approval to buy 698MW wind power

18 November 2013 (Last Updated November 18th, 2013 18:30)

Xcel Energy has received approval from the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission for its power purchase agreements with developers for 698MW of wind energy for its Texas-New Mexico system.

Xcel Energy has received approval from the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission for its power purchase agreements with developers for 698MW of wind energy for its Texas-New Mexico system.

The company can now buy the wind power from projects planned for Roosevelt County, New Mexico; Hansford and Ochiltree counties, Texas, and Dewey and Blaine counties, Oklahoma.

The company claims these agreements will save customers in Texas and New Mexico approximately $590m in fuel costs over 20 years.

Earlier in July 2013, Southwestern Public Service Company, a subsidiary of Xcel Energy, had sought approval for 20-year power purchase agreements with three wind power plants, which are expected to be operational by the end of December 2014.

"The company claims these agreements will save customers in Texas and New Mexico approximately $590m in fuel costs over 20 years."

The company signed two agreements with NextEra Energy Resources's 199MW Mammoth Plains Wind Energy Center in Oklahoma and 249MW Palo Duro Wind Energy Center in Texas.

The company had signed the third agreement with Infinity Wind Resources to buy 250MW from Roosevelt Wind Ranch in Roosevelt County, New Mexico.

Mammoth Plains will feature 117 1.7MW wind turbines and will produce an estimated annual wind power of 996,000MWh, while Palo Duro will include 147 1.7MW turbines and generate an estimated annual wind power of 1,180,000MWh.

The developer has not finalised the type and number of turbines for Roosevelt Wind Ranch, which is estimated to produce 1,060,000MWh of power annually. However, the project may include: 108 2.3MW turbines (248.4MW), or 147 1.7MW turbines (249.9MW), or 125 2MW turbines (250MW).

Southwestern Public Service Company president and CEO Riley Hill said the company has already exceeded requirements of renewable portfolio standards in both New Mexico and Texas and the additional capacity it purchased is primarily for economic reasons.

Hill said: "The energy purchased from these facilities has been contracted at a price that is less than the price of power generated at some older natural gas-fueled power plants.

"Additionally, the expected output of the facilities will displace power generated by fossil fuels, which helps us control emissions, lower fuel costs, save water and lower the cost of environmental compliance over time."


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