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Xcel Energy will seek to add approximately 550 MW of new wind generation in Colorado between now and 2016, taking the installed level of the company's Colorado system to more than 2,700 MW.

The potential additions are the result of the company's request for proposal (RFP) issued in March, which sought to take advantage of the recent extension of federal tax credits for developers of new wind projects. The Colorado Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) must still review and approve these proposed additional wind projects.

In mid-February, Xcel Energy announced plans to accelerate components of its 2013 All-Source Solicitation, which included the RFP. The company and CPUC agreed to an accelerated schedule for soliciting and evaluating new wind proposals that would enable winning projects to qualify for production tax credits (PTCs).

If approved, the company would begin negotiating power purchase agreements with selected bidders in June and expect final CPUC approval to come sometime in October.

By completing the process under this time frame, it is anticipated that developers would have adequate time to develop and begin construction of any new Colorado wind projects in order to take advantage of the PTC extension.

According to the company, the additional 550 MW will result in a reduction of 1.4 million tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions each year and will put the company on track to achieve a 35% reduction in total CO2 emissions by 2020, when compared to 2005 levels.

The company has also issued RFPs for potential wind projects in its Upper Midwest and Texas/New Mexico service territories.

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