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United States

Xcel Energy wind capacity could rise by 30%

UNITED STATES: Xcel has identified the extended production tax credit (PTC) as a key factor in its decision to expand its wind power production by 30%.

Xcel Energy said a combination of the PTC extension and ‘extremely competitive prices’ had led the company to submit proposals for at least 1.5GW of new wind resources.

If built this would mean 20% of Xcel’s energy mix would be supplied by wind.

Xcel is awaiting approval from state regulators on three major proposals: three 200MW projects in Minnesota and North Dakota; three projects totalling almost 700MW in New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas; and a project of nearly 200MW in Colorado.

If approved by regulators, construction on all proposals will begin immediately to qualify for the federal renewable energy tax credits, and all are due to come on stream by the beginning of 2016.

Xcel chairman, president and CEO, Ben Fowke, said the developments would provide a valuable hedge to rising and volatile fuel prices well into the future.

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