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Xcel to Buy 700 Megawatts of NextEra, Infinity Wind Power

Xcel Energy Inc., the biggest U.S. provider of wind power, plans to boost its wind capacity by about 14 percent to reduce fuel costs.

Xcel’s Southwestern Public Service unit is asking regulators for permission to buy power from almost 700 megawatts of wind farms in Oklahoma, Texas and New Mexico, the Minneapolis-based company said yesterday in a statement on its website.

The deal will save customers $590 million in fuel expenses over 20 years and the wind farms will generate power at costs lower than most of Xcel’s natural gas plants, according to Riley Hill, president and chief executive officer of Southwestern Public Service.

“We are making these acquisitions purely on economics and the savings we can deliver to our customers,” Hill said in the statement.

Xcel is planning to buy power from NextEra Energy Inc.’s 199-megawatt Mammoth Plains Wind Energy Center in Oklahoma and 249-megawatt Palo Duro Wind Energy Center in Texas, and Infinity Wind Power Inc.’s 250-megawatt Roosevelt Wind Ranch in New Mexico. The utility currently has almost 4,900 megawatts of wind capacity.

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