Cielo, Xcel Energy enter 15-year, 161MW wind power deal

December 28th, 2010  |  Published in In the News, Articles, Top Stories

By Richard A. Kessler

“Our modeling shows this purchase is economically beneficial to our customers, and it also decreases our reliance on traditional generating resources,” says Riley Hill, chief executive of Southwestern Public Service Company, an Xcel Energy company.

“This purchase further supports economic development in rural parts of our service area that are benefitting greatly from wind energy development,” he adds.

Privately-held Cielo plans to select the turbine manufacturer for the project and start construction by July 2011, with completion in 2012.

Cielo obtained property tax breaks from both the county and local school district where the project will be located. It also is expected to benefit from the US Treasury cash grant programme that covers 30% of eligible renewable energy project costs.

Xcel Energy currently has more than 900MW of wind capacity connected to its Texas-New Mexico system. The holding company’s utilities have been the nation’s leading provider of wind energy for the past six years, according to the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA).

Cielo, based in Austin, Texas, bills itself as the largest independently-owned wind company in the US