Xcel sets wind power generation record for upper Midwest

Xcel Energy (NYSE: XEL) announced this week it set a record for wind generation in the upper Midwest by generating 1,713 MW from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Feb. 17, an amount representing nearly 33 percent of the company’s upper Midwest customer needs.

Xcel used wind farms to produce around 12 percent of the energy used by its upper Midwest customers in 2012. That percentage puts the company ahead of the milestones established by Minnesota’s Next Generation Energy Act, which requires that Xcel Energy generates 30 percent of its energy from renewable sources, of which 25 percent must be from wind power sources,  by 2020.

That standard is more aggressive than the level set for other Minnesota utilities, according to a statement from Xcel.

According to Xcel, the company is currently considering adding more wind resources in Minnesota and issued a request for proposals for up to 200 MW of wind resources to come on line in time to qualify for the federal Production Tax Credit that expires at the end of this year.

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