28 March 2017 2017 09:15 AM GMT

Xcel Files 1,230 MW Wind Proposal Claiming $2.8Bn Customer Savings Over 30 Years

USA – Xcel Energy has filed a proposal this week, with the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission (NMPRC) and the Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUCT) that the utility company forecasts will save customers located in both states approximately $2.8 billion over a 30-year period. The company had recently announced plans to add 1,230 megawatts of wind energy to its New Mexico and Texas energy generation mix, most of which would come from facilities it owned, and had constructed.

Xcel is seeking approval from the NMPRC and PUCT to construct the 522-megawatt Sagamore wind facility in New Mexico and the 478 megawatt Hale wind facility in Texas as well as a long-term purchase power agreement in Texas for 230 megawatts supplied by the Bonita wind facility.

The company also requests regulators approve allowing the company to amend the Certificate of Convenience & Necessity (CCN) to allow construction and inclusion of these projects, and approval of certain rate-making principles. The three wind projects are contingent on regulatory approval.

Xcel estimates $2.8 billion in customer savings over 30 years would be borne from integrating the lower-cost wind energy resources into the company’s energy portfolio. The additional 1,230 megawatts of wind energy is enough electricity to power more than 440,000 typical homes, according to figures provided by Xcel.

“Our Texas and New Mexico customers expect us to deliver on our pledge to support longterm economic growth in our communities while ensuring reliable and affordable energy,” said David Hudson, President of Xcel Energy’s Texas & New Mexico Region. “The decision to add additional wind generation is purely in the economic interest of our customers. By taking advantage of tax credits before they expire, these projects will allow us to produce wind energy at a cost lower than energy produced from our coal and natural gas-fueled plants, and pass those savings directly to our customers.”

This wind initiative is part of an overall corporate strategy to invest in infrastructure projects that lower the cost of energy production. Energy production in the south-west is often affected by volatility in the natural gas markets. In New Mexico and Texas, natural gas is used to generate close to 40 percent of the energy delivered to Xcel Energy customers.

Xcel Energy has been the top utility wind energy provider nationally for 12 years and is ranked fourth nationwide for delivering renewable energy. Currently, the company has close to 1600 megawatts of wind energy available in its Texas-New Mexico generation mix, which contributes to more than 22 percent of the carbon-free electricity for customers.

In Roosevelt County, New Mexico, approximately 20 miles south of Portales, Xcel Energy has entered into an agreement to purchase the Sagamore Wind Project from Invenergy LLC. This facility will be capable of generating 522 megawatts, enough to power about 194,000 homes. The Sagamore project is expected to be in service by the end of 2020. Total project cost is $865 million.

NextEra Energy Resources has developed wind projects for Xcel Energy outside of Texas and New Mexico, and in 2016, Xcel Energy began purchasing solar energy from a NextEra Energy Resources-developed project near Roswell, N.M.

The finalisation of the agreements for the new wind facilities is conditional upon the approval of utility commissions in both New Mexico and Texas, a process which could take up to a year to be completed.

January 10th 2018
US: Doubling Of Wind & Solar Capacity Possible By 2020 as Coal & Nuclear Drop

In the latest issue of its “Energy Infrastructure Update” (with data through November 30, 2017), the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) notes that proposed net additions to generating capacity by utility-scale wind and solar could total 115,984 megawatts (MW) by December 2020 – effectively doubling their current installed capacity of 115,520 MW.  The numbers were released as FERC prepares for a January 10 meeting to consider U.S. Department of Energy Secretary Rick Perry’s proposal for a bailout of the coal and nuclear industries.

February 5th 2018
Chinese Solar Surge Fuels Overall Global Growth In Clean Energy Investment

World clean energy investment totalled $333.5 billion last year, up 3% from 2016 and the second highest annual figure ever, taking cumulative investment since 2010 to $2.5 trillion. An extraordinary boom in photovoltaic installations made 2017 a record year for China’s investment in clean energy. This outpaced changes elsewhere, including jumps in investment in Australia and Mexico, and declines in Japan, the U.K. and Germany. The figures up 3% from a revised $324.6 billion in 2016, and only 7% short of the record figure of $360.3 billion, in 2015.

January 8th 2018
Vestas Sets 10.6 GW Record In 2017 After Year-End Surge; Ups Cashflow Guidance

Vestas has received a firm and unconditional order for 190 MW of 4 MW platform turbines in the U.S. taking the global order intake for the company in 2017 to 10.6 GW, surpassing 2016’s record order intake of 10.5 GW. The surge of orders at the end of the year has resulted in the company revising its guidance for free cashflow upwards. It now expects the free cashflow for 2017 to be €1.15bn-€1.25bn, as compared with the previous guidance of €450m-€900m. Markets have reacted favourably with the company share price experiencing an increase of 5%. 

February 5th 2018
European Parliament Gives A Resounding Vote In Favour Of Clean Energy In Europe

European lawmakers have called for a renewable energy target of 35% for 2030 – rather than the 27% which the European Commission proposed in 2016. The MEPs have now backed measures substantially raising the European Union’s clean-energy ambitions. By 2030, more than one-third of energy consumed in the EU should be from renewable sources such as wind and solar power. The measures are intended to help cut carbon dioxide emissions. The EU is the world’s third-largest emitter of greenhouse gases after China and the United States, releasing about 10% of global emissions. 

January 5th 2018
Nordex Benefiting Increasingly From Renaissance Of Spanish Wind Energy Market

The Nordex Group is benefiting increasingly from the renaissance of the Spanish wind power market: utility Gas Natural Fenosa Renovables (GNFR) has now ordered 58 AW132/3300 from the company in December. The contract covers the installation of six wind farms as well as multi-year services for the turbines. Construction of the first turbines will commence in the summer of 2018 and all the projects are located in regions of Spain where the Nordex Group has manufacturing facilities. In addition, the towers will be produced locally using the process developed by the company.



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