United States

United States

Lamar talks back on again

Minnesota utility Xcel Energy has reopened its negotiations with Enron Wind concerning the 160 MW Lamar wind farm in south east Colorado and may complete an agreement in early April, according to Xcel's Mark Stutz. The utility 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).

Now that the PTC has been extended another two years and GE Power Systems has announced a buyout of most of Enron Wind's assets, "That changes the dynamics for us," says Stutz. He also says a third factor has some influence on the decision -- the upward bump on gas prices. They had earlier dropped to as low as $1.80 for 1000 cubic feet, and are now almost $4. "When gas prices were in the $2 range, wind was not as competitive," Stutz says. If the parties reach an agreement early this month, the first stop will be the state's Public Service Commission for approval.

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