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Wind mandate suspense at Northern States Power

Minnesota utility Northern States Power (NSP) has pushed back its decision on who will be included in a short list for developing 1200 MW of future generating resources. NSP is using this request for proposals (RFP) from all energy sources to see whether wind could be the least cost option. If it is, the utility is mandated to develop another 400 MW of wind power; if it is not, the utility argues the mandate will not be in the public interest. David Zuck of NSP says the selection delay is due to "more creativity" in the bidding process this time around, requiring more time. "In general, our last bidding process had a rigid template that the bidder just filled out," Zuck said. "This time, we wanted to allow the market to be more creative. But to do an appropriate evaluation on these new bids is requiring us to go back to the bidders for more clarification than usual." Zuck will not comment on any other details. A final list is not expected until January.

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