State ulilities buy more renewable power

MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA - Xcel Energy is looking to buy an additional 200 megawatts energy from Minnesota-owned wind projects.

The Minneapolis-based utility hopes to add the electricity onto its grid by the end of 2008, the Pioneer Press reported. The company says it will save ratepayers about $10 million a year. Pacific Gas & Electric Co. and San Diego Gas & Electric also recently called for more renewable electricity purchases.

Community-Based Energy Development, or C-BED, developers were asked to submit proposals by April 20 to take part in the deal with Xcel. There's state legislation created in 2005 that promotes locally owned alternative energy.

About 1,100 megawatts of energy from wind-powered turbines is expected in Xcel's grid by the end of this year. That's the equivalent of about 11 percent of Xcel's output.

In addition to the power purchase agreements, there are plans for a $210 million, 100-megawatt wind farm to be built by 2009. Xcel must get 30 percent of its energy from renewable resources by 2020 under a state mandate signed by Gov. Tim Pawlenty.

In order to receive rebates, plans for renewable energy projects must be finalized by the end of 2008. Local ownership would mean more of the money generated by wind projects stays in the state.


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