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Colorado 162 MW expected to get go-ahead

Colorado's Public Utilities Commission is expected to approve a long awaited 162 MW project near Lamar this month. Xcel Energy, the electric utility that provides power to many of the state's residents, had suspended negotiations with Enron Wind due to uncertainties surrounding the future of both its parent corporation and wind's federal production tax credit (PTC) (Windpower Monthly, April 2002). The parties restarted negotiations after General Electric bought Enron Wind, forming GE Wind Energy. Once the project is completed in October 2003, with time to spare to take advantage of the PTC, AEP Energy Services will likely take over ownership of the Golden Prairie Wind Farm and GE Wind Energy will continue its operations and maintenance. Negotiations between the two appear to be on track. Last year, the commission ordered Xcel to include the project in its five-year resource supply portfolio because it was the lowest bidder, something Xcel had contested based on its assertion that future natural gas prices would be low. The wind industry claimed the victory as proof of its ability to compete with conventional sources.

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