Xcel Energy signs 161-megawatt deal for wind energy from Spinning Spur facility west of Amarillo

December 28th, 2010  |  Published in Press Releases, Articles, Top Stories

xcel EnergyXcel Energy Media Relations
600 S. Tyler St.
Amarillo, TX 79101
(806) 679-7773 – Wes Reeves


cielo-logo-bestCielo Wind Power, LP
823 Congress Ave # 500
Austin, TX 78701-2459
(512) 440-0305 – Walt Hornaday



AMARILLO – Xcel Energy has formalized an agreement with a Cielo Wind Power, LP (Cielo) affiliate to purchase the output of the planned Spinning Spur Wind Ranch to be built west of Amarillo in the Texas Panhandle.

Spinning Spur Wind Ranch will be sited west of Vega, Texas in Oldham County, north of Interstate 40 and west of U.S. Highway 385 adjacent to the existing Wildorado Wind Ranch. The facility will have a total capacity of 161 megawatts.

Xcel Energy will purchase the output and receive the Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) generated by production at Spinning Spur through a 15-year purchased energy agreement. The facility is expected to generate 650,000 megawatt-hours of electricity annually, enough to power more than 54,000 households per year.

“Our modeling shows this purchase is economically beneficial to our customers, and it also decreases our reliance on traditional generating resources,” said Riley Hill, president and CEO 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.”

Xcel Energy currently has more than 900 megawatts of wind capacity connected to its Texas-New Mexico system, a figure that includes both long-term contract and short-term contract purchases made from facilities in eastern New Mexico and the central and northern Texas Panhandle. For six years Xcel Energy has been the nation’s No. 1 provider of wind energy, as ranked by the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA).

Cielo plans to select the turbine manufacturer planned for the project and start construction by July 2011. Cielo estimates 150-200 jobs will be created onsite during the peak of construction in 2011 and 2012.

“Tax incentive agreements with the Oldham County and Vega Independent School District are key reasons the project is planned to be located in Oldham County” said Cielo’s president, Walt Hornaday.

Xcel Energy (NYSE: XEL) is a major U.S. electricity and natural gas company with regulated operations in eight Western and Midwestern states. Xcel Energy provides a comprehensive portfolio of energy-related products and services to 3.4 million electricity customers and 1.9 million natural gas customers through its regulated operating companies. Company headquarters are located in Minneapolis.

Cielo Wind Power, LP (Cielo) is a private closely-held company based in Austin, Texas whose sole business is the development and operation of wind power facilities. Cielo is the largest independently-owned wind company in the U.S. Cielo has developed 1,234MW of projects in New Mexico and Texas over the past 11 years. “Wind Ranch” is a registered trademark of Cielo Wind Power, LP.