Colorado regulators approve Xcel Energy contract to buy 200 MW of power from wind farm to be built in Limon in 2012; purchase represents 10% increase in utility's wind power

DENVER , November 22, 2011 (press release) – Colorado regulators have approved a contract for Xcel Energy to buy 200 megawatts of power from a wind farm slated to be built in Limon next year.

The Public Utilities Commission voted 3-0 Monday to approve the deal.

Xcel is Colorado's largest utility. The 200 megawatts represent about a 10 percent increase in its wind power.

Xcel officials say wind farm developer NextEra Energy Resources LLC offered it the lowest wind costs it has ever paid.

The Denver Post reports the charge for the electricity from the Limon facility will start at $27.50 per megawatt-hour, which is far lower than Xcel's average purchase wind cost since 2007 of $42.16. The newspaper reports the price would increase about 2 percent a year over the 25-year contract.

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