A plan to build a 522-megawatt wind farm in eastern New Mexico has overcome a series of challenges that could have stopped the big project.
Xcel Energy, Inc., based in Minneapolis, announced earlier this year that it wanted to build the New Mexico facility about 20 miles to the south of Portales.
At the same time, the company said it would construct a 478-megawatt farm some 105 miles to the southwest, just above Lubbock, Texas.
The company planned to invest upwards of $1.6 billion to build the two wind farms which, together, could generate enough power for around 440,000 homes every year.
Xcel also hoped that, after winning the approval of the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission and the Public Utility Commission of Texas, work on the two facilities could begin in 2018.
The proposal, however, was challenged by a Public Regulation Commission report saying that the company’s projected savings for ratepayers was anything but certain, and that there should be a guarantee that money would be sent back to customers if savings from the wind farms weren’t realized.
Now, Xcel subsidiary, the Southwest Public Service Company, has agreed to guarantee that the two wind farms will produce at least 48 percent of its capacity every year, with customers getting a full 100 percent federal tax credit once the facilities are up and running.
The project must still see a final agreement between the Southwest Public Service Company and Next Era Energy in Texas in order to proceed.
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