Acting on a solicitation for 1000 MW from all sources of generation issued in December 2001, Minnesota's Xcel Energy has pared down the 47 bids it received in February to 22 proposals from 18 power producers. On the short list are 950 MW of wind energy and 8860 MW of coal, natural gas and system sales. Although wind energy makes up about 10% of the short-listed proposals, it accounted for nearly one quarter of total bids with more than 3700 MW worth of proposed projects. Wind generation bids on the short list, most located in Minnesota, include a 500 MW EnXco project at Chandler, two FPL Energy projects totalling 100 MW at Mower County and Hancock County, Iowa, a 150 MW PacifiCorp Power Marketing project in Lincoln County and a 200 MW Zilkha Renewable Energy project in Mower County. The power is needed to supply electricity for Xcel customers in Minnesota between May 1, 2005 and May 1, 2009, and the utility has developed a plan for evaluating competitive bids among all fuel types, assuring intermittent resources like wind will be assessed fairly when competing with other fuel sources. Although Xcel had originally intended to award contracts by the end of 2002, that likely will be delayed until the first quarter of 2003.
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