Electricity supplier Xcel Energy has announced plans to increase the wind power supply at its Texas-New Mexico Service area, an undertaking that could result in 40% of the region’s electricity supply being powered by the renewable energy source.
The company already supplies 20% of the regions annual energy using wind farms, however, the proposed additional contracts would double this, providing over 1000MW of wind energy.
Xcel’s plans have been announced at a time when many companies are investing into renewable energy, with capital costs falling and incentives such as tax benefits becoming ever-present.
“The new wind projects we are proposing will generate electricity as cheaply as our coal-fueled power plants without using precious groundwater or producing air emissions,” said David Hudson, President of Xcel Energy for the Texas-New Mexico region.
“Because of these and other factors, we will save $2.8 billion on energy production costs over 30 years, and those savings will flow directly back to our customers through lower fuel costs.”
Further, the ability to add more wind power is much more feasible due to the significant investments that the company has made into the region’s high voltage transmission network.
“We have to invest wisely in our energy future, which means we may have to bear higher upfront costs to achieve long-term savings,” Hudson continues.
“Our wind energy expansion will pay for itself and return nearly 40 percent in savings over time, and that’s not something we’d want to pass up.”
If the regional utility regulators approve the projects, construction will begin on the 478MW Hale Wind Project and the 522MW Sagamore Wind Project, with expected completion dates of 2019 and 2020.