Xcel to Add Up to 250MW in Wind Power

The company hopes to expand its current wind production as it takes steps to meet federal standards that require electric utilities to derive 12 percent of energy for Minnesota consumers from renewable sources by 2012.

Xcel Energy, Inc., announced Friday that it plans to expand its wind production portfolio by up to 250 megawatts of generation in the Upper Midwest.

The Minneapolis-based power utility said that it is seeking proposals and is interested in either purchasing the energy output of new projects or directly buying wind energy-generation assets. The company is accepting proposals for projects that can be operational by the end of 2012.

The Minnesota Renewable Energy Standard requires electric utilities to supply 12 percent of energy for Minnesota consumers from renewable sources by 2012, 20 percent by 2020, and 25 percent by 2025.

“Xcel Energy is on-track to meet mandated renewable energy requirements, and a key component of our strategy is the development of new sources of wind energy,” Judy Poferl, president and CEO of Xcel subsidiary Northern States Power, said in a statement. “Because the federal production tax credit is scheduled to expire at the end of 2012, we believe it is prudent to explore additional wind power acquisition in order to capture those tax-credit savings for our customers.”

Xcel has a goal of producing 30 percent of its energy from renewable sources by 2020-primarily from wind.

Company spokeswoman Patti Nystuen said Friday that Xcel expects to produce 1,280 megawatts of wind power by the end of this year. She said that about 14 percent of Xcel's energy currently comes from renewable sources.

Xcel is Minnesota's 10th-largest company based on its 2008 revenue, which totaled $11.2 billion. The company reported revenue of $9.6 billion in 2009.