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.

June 20th 2017
EDF, Canadian Solar Join Forces For One Of The Largest Solar Projects In LATAM

EDF Energies Nouvelles has acquired an 80% interest in the Pirapora II PV project (115 MWp) from Canadian Solar Inc., which is retaining a 20% stake and manufacturing the PV panels locally. It marks the latest step by EDF in Brazil’s renewable energy sector. With this addition, it now has 489 MW under construction, consisting of 183 MW (wind) and 306 MWp (solar). The project is located close to Pirapora I (191 MWp), also jointly owned by both companies. With a total installed capacity of over 300 MWp, the energy generated by both projects will cover the annual electricity consumption of 323,000 Brazilian homes.

June 23rd 2017
Indian Firm Wins 1.8GW Sweihan Order; The Largest Solar PV Project In The World

Indian company Sterling and Wilson has won the contract for the world’s largest single location solar PV project. The Sweihan project in Abu Dhabi is for turnkey EPC as well as O&M; and is jointly developed by Japanese investment firm Marubeni, Chinese solar company Jinko Solar, and Abu Dhabi Water and Electricity Authority (ADWEA). It will deliver a capacity of 1177 MWp, surpassing the current largest 850 MWp single location plant in China. In March 2017, Marubeni and Jinko had signed a 25-year PPA with ADWEA on a tariff of $0.0242/kWh, making Sweihan also the plant with the lowest electricity price so far.

June 16th 2017
New BNEF Report Highlights A Massive Shift to Wind And Solar, While Coal Fades

A new independent report from Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) states that clean energy such as wind and solar will account for almost 75% of investment in power generation worldwide, between now and 2014. New Energy Outlook 2017 estimates that overall $10.2 trillion will be spent on power generation technology in the next 22 years, with $7.4 trillion being spent on renewables. This year’s forecast sees solar energy costs dropping a further 66% by 2040, and onshore wind by 47%, with renewables undercutting the majority of existing fossil power stations by 2030.

June 7th 2017
Solar Power Exceeds Wind Installations; Can Surpass 80GW In 2017, 1TW In 2021

SolarPower Europe (SPE) has launched the ‘Global Market Outlook for Solar Power 2017-2021.’ The report confirms 2016 as another record year for solar, with global annual additions for solar growing by 50% with 76.6 GW installed. There’s now a total worldwide solar power generation capacity of 306.5 GW. James Watson, CEO of SPE said: “When looking at solar, the cost reductions experienced and predicted outstrip all other power generation technologies. Today, utility-scale solar is already cheaper than new gas, coal and nuclear power plants.”

June 23rd 2017
Wind Power Can Provide Energy On Coldest Days: Met Office, Imperial College

A new study by climate scientists has advanced the understanding of the potential for wind power to provide energy during the coldest spells of winter weather. The team, which involved scientists from the Met Office Hadley Centre, Imperial College London and the University of Reading, compared wind power availability with electricity demand in winter and they found an interesting result. The team found that during the highest 5% of energy demand days, one-third produce more wind power than the winter average. “The very coldest days are associated with a mix of different weather patterns, some of which produce high winds in parts of the UK.