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Xcel Energy will only buy wind power in 2013 if price is right

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MINNEAPOLIS (WTAQ) - Xcel Energy does not need to buy wind power this year – but the utility says it will do so if the price is right.

A federal tax credit for wind energy was extended through 2013 until the deal that avoided the fiscal cliff. So Xcel Energy hopes to use that tax break by asking wind farm developers to submit proposals for new wind farms by April 1st.

Xcel – which is based in Minneapolis – has told state officials in Wisconsin, Minnesota, and the Dakotas that it’s seeking proposals that would create up to 200 megawatts of wind power.

Xcel is required to get 30 percent of its electricity through renewable sources by 2020 – but at the moment, it does not to buy more wind power until at least 2017.

This year’s tax credit can be used for projects that have significant construction this year, even if they don’t start operating until later.

Xcel regional vice president Laura McCarten tells the St. Paul Pioneer Press that it will look for a good project – and the utility will be under no obligation to buy anything unless it gets a good price. 

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