This is an excerpt from EERE Network News, a weekly electronic newsletter.

May 12, 2004

Colorado Utility Plans to Add 500 Megawatts of Renewables

Photo of the Ponnequin wind farm

Xcel Energy's Ponnequin Wind Farm in northern Colorado may be a sign of things to come.
Credit: Warren Gretz, NREL

Xcel Energy filed its least-cost resource plan with the Colorado Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) in late April, and the plan includes up to 500 megawatts of renewable energy capacity, predominantly from wind power. The utility also plans an all-source bid process (that is, requesting bids from all types of power sources) that could yield more renewable energy projects. Altogether, Xcel Energy plans to acquire 3,600 megawatts of new generating capacity in Colorado by 2013, much of which will consist of power plants fueled with coal or natural gas. But the utility plans to pursue its renewable energy plans first, and has asked the CPUC for approval to request proposals for 500 megawatts of renewable energy in July 2004. See the Xcel Energy press release.

Xcel Energy's request for proposals for renewable energy should do well, if the results from a similar request by PacifiCorp are any indication. PacifiCorp, which serves customers in six western states, recently requested proposals for 1,100 megawatts of renewable energy and received 42 bids for 54 projects totaling 5,600 megawatts. Wind power comprised 85 percent of the proposed capacity, and geothermal and hydropower split the remainder. See the PacifiCorp press release.