Xcel Energy Hit Wind Milestones in 2012

And the company's Colorado operations set a one-hour record for wind on its system Jan. 16, 2013, when overall demand for electricity was met by 1,960 megawatts of wind power.

Xcel Energy achieved several significant wind energy milestones in Colorado during 2012, the company reported Feb. 11. The state added 496 megawatts of new capacity wind power during the year, placing it tenth among U.S. states as a total of 13,124 megawatts of wind capaity were added nationwide, according to the American Wind Energy Association. Most of the Colorado added capacity is attributable to the addition of 400 megawatts of production by NextEra Energy Resources near Limon, Colo. That wind farm's output is purchased exclusively for Xcel Energy customers "and helped maintain Xcel Energy’s standing as the number one utility wind provider in the U.S.," according to its announcement.

"Our wind resources have proven to be invaluable for our customers in Colorado and have led to very balanced portfolio of generating resources for Xcel Energy," said David Eves, president and CEO of Public Service Co. of Colorado, an Xcel Energy company. "The costs associated with the acquisition of renewables in 2012 were right for our customers."

Xcel Energy in Colorado set an all-time, one-hour record for wind on its system at 1 a.m. Jan. 16, 2013, when its overall demand for electricity was met by 1,960 megawatts of wind power. At the end of 2012, wind farms serving Xcel Energy customers generated 5.75 million megawatt-hours of electricity, or more than 16 percent of the approximately 35.9 million megawatt-hours sold during 2012. "This was a record for the company in Colorado and puts Xcel Energy squarely on the path of meeting its state mandates of 30 percent for wind generation sales by 2020," the company announced.

Wind energy on Xcel Energy's system in 2012 helped reduce carbon dioxide emission by an estimated 4,197,500 tons, equivalent to the emissions for the year of more than 793,000 vehicles, and nitrogen oxide emissions by 4,310 tons.

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