Xcel Energy outlined a fast-track timetable on Friday for wind-power producers to submit bids to supply electricity to the utility for its Colorado customers.
The company will accept bids from producers incorporating the federal production tax credit on wind power through April 30. Xcel estimated it would begin negotiating wind-power purchase agreements in mid-June. A Colorado Public Utilities Commission decision on the bids is proposed for Oct. 9.
An expedited schedule was needed because the tax credit is set to expire at the end of the year. Wind developers must have spent a certain percent of their projects total cost – as yet to be determined at the federal level – by the end of the year, to qualify for the tax credit.
The timetable was part of an Xcel request for proposals for 250 megawatts of electric generation capacity of all types, including fossil fuel and renewable, for the Colorado market between now and 2018.
The company said it would evaluate whether any of the proposals can serve as alternatives to the planned switch of its Arapahoe 4 and Cherokee 4 plants to natural gas fuel from coal.
Also Friday, Xcel filed its proposed quarterly price estimates for electricity and natural gas customers.
Electricity rates are expected to fall slightly from the first quarter to the second, with an average residential monthly bill dropping 35 cents to $68.86.
A typical monthly residential gas bill is expected to rise $4.20 a month to $30.04 in the second quarter compared to the same period last year. The rise resulted primarily from historically low gas prices last year, Xcel said.
The PUC will review the proposed price adjustments later this month.
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