Xcel Energy Seeks Approval to Increase Wind-Power Capacity 31%

Xcel Energy Inc., the largest U.S. provider of wind power, plans to boost its wind capacity by about 31 percent to reduce fuel costs and emissions.

Xcel is asking regulators to approve the purchase of 1,500 megawatts of U.S. wind power, including 700 megawatts in Oklahoma, Texas and New Mexico announced earlier this month, the Minneapolis-based utility said today in a statement.

Xcel, which has about 4,900 megawatts of wind capacity, is seeking to add to its system three 200-megawatt projects in the Upper Midwest and a 200-megawatt wind farm in Colorado.

These projects “provide a valuable hedge to rising and volatile fuel prices for well into the future” and will save customers at least $800 million over 20 years, Chief Executive Officer Ben Fowke said in the statement.

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