Southwestern Public Service nears approval for trio of wind deals

A hearing examiner at the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission filed an Oct. 21 recommendation with the commission for approval for Southwestern Public Service to enter into new purchased power agreements for wind capacity.

The filing was submitted jointly by the hearing examiner, Southwestern Public Service (SPS), the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission’s Utility Division Staff, the Coalition for Clean and Affordable Energy and Occidental Permian Ltd.

SPS is a unit of Xcel Energy (NYSE: XEL), which has also lately been committing to hundreds of megawatts of other wind projects in states it serves like Colorado. For example:

  • on Oct. 17 the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission approved 750 MW of new wind capacity for Xcel’s Northern States Power system; and
  • the Colorado Public Utilities Commission on Oct. 8 approved a request from its Public Service Co. of Colorado subsidiary for the addition of 450 MW of wind to its system.

On July 10, 2013, SPS had filed an application requesting that the New Mexico commission enter an order authorizing SPS to:

  • enter into a purchased power agreement with NextEra Energy ResourcesMammoth Plains Wind Project Holdings LLC for the purchase of 199 MW of wind energy beginning no later than Dec. 31, 2014, and continuing for twenty years;
  • enter into a purchased power agreement with NextEra’s Palo Duro Wind Project Holdings LLC for the purchase of 249 MW of wind energy beginning no later than December 2014 and continuing for twenty years;
  • enter into a purchased power agreement with Infinity Wind Power’s Roosevelt Wind Ranch LLC for the purchase of 250 MW of wind energy beginning no later than Dec. 31, 2015, and continuing for twenty years; and
  • recover through its fuel and purchased power cost adjustment clause (FPPCAC) the New Mexico retail customer jurisdictional share of the cost of energy purchased under these three purchased power agreements.

The Mammoth Plains facility is a new 199 MW wind project that will be located in Dewey and Blaine counties, Okla. Construction is expected to take up to nine months, and the facility is expected to be fully operational by December 2014. SPS expects the project toproduce approximately 996,000 MWh of wind energy per year.

The Palo Duro facility is a new 249 MW wind project that will be located in Hansford and Ochiltree counties, Texas. Construction is expected to take up to nine months, and the facility is expected to be fully operational by December 2014. SPS expects the project to produce approximately 1.18 million MWh of wind energy per year.

The Roosevelt facility is a new 250 MW wind project that will be located in Roosevelt County, N.M., between the towns of Dora and Elida. Construction is expected to take up to 24 months, and the facility is expected to be fully operational by December 2015. SPS expects the project to produce about 1.06 million MWh of wind energy per year.

About Barry Cassell 20414 Articles
Barry Cassell is Chief Analyst for GenerationHub covering coal and emission controls issues, projects and policy. He has covered the coal and power generation industry for more than 24 years, beginning in November 2011 at GenerationHub and prior to that as editor of SNL Energy’s Coal Report. He was formerly with Coal Outlook for 15 years as the publication’s editor and contributing writer, and prior to that he was editor of Coal & Synfuels Technology and associate editor of The Energy Report. He has a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University.