The New Mexico Public Regulation Commission has approved Xcel Energy's plan to purchase 698 MW of additional wind energy for its Texas-New Mexico system. According to Xcel, area customers are poised to save an estimated $590 million in fuel costs over the 20-year life of the contracts.
The plan to purchase the additional wind power was announced in July, but it required final approval from the New Mexico regulators. The company was not required to seek approval in Texas. New wind facilities planned for Roosevelt County, N.M.; Hansford and Ochiltree counties, Texas; and Dewey and Blaine counties, Okla., will supply the power.
Riley Hill – president and CEO of Southwestern Public Service Co., an Xcel Energy company – says XcelÂ Energy has already met and exceeded requirements of renewable portfolio standards in both New Mexico and Texas. The additional purchases are being made primarily for economic reasons, but the new wind resources also support the company's vision of providing clean energy at a reasonable cost, Hill adds.
"The energy purchased from these facilities has been contracted at a price that is less than the price of power generated at some older natural-gas-fueled power plants," he explains, later adding, "We will continue to make wind purchases when it makes economic sense for our customers."