Xcel Energy has formalized an agreement with an affiliate of Cielo Wind Power to purchase the output of the planned 161 MW Spinning Spur Wind Ranch to be built west of Amarillo in the Texas Panhandle.
According to Cielo Wind Power, Spinning Spur will be sited west of Vega, Texas, in Oldham County, and adjacent to the existing Wildorado Wind Ranch.Â
Xcel Energy will purchase the output and receive the renewable energy credits generated by production at Spinning Spur through a 15-year purchased energy agreement. The facility is expected to generate 650,000 MWh of electricity annually, enough to power more than 54,000 households per year.Â
‘Our modeling shows this purchase is economically beneficial to our customers, and it also decreases our reliance on traditional generating resources,’ says Riley Hill, president and CEO of Southwestern Public Service Co., an Xcel Energy company.Â
Xcel Energy currently has more than 900 MW of wind capacity connected to its Texas-New Mexico system, a figure that includes both long-term contract and short-term contract purchases made from facilities in eastern New Mexico and the central and northern Texas Panhandle.Â
Cielo plans to select the turbine manufacturer for the project and start construction by July 2011. The company estimates 150 to 200 jobs will be created on site during the peak of construction in 2011 and 2012.Â
‘Tax incentive agreements with the Oldham County and Vega Independent School District are key reasons the project is planned to be located in Oldham County,’ says Walt Hornaday, Cielo's president.Â Â