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San Diego County Water Authority Seeks Proposals for 500-MW Pumped Storage Project

LCG, July 21, 2017--The San Diego County Water Authority Tuesday issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) for a potential joint energy storage project with the City of San Diego that would expand use of existing hydroelectric infrastructure at San Vicente Reservoir. The project could potentially dampen water rate increases and provide greater opportunities for renewable energy development in the area.

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Bay State Wind Receives Federal Approval for Offshore Wind Farm

LCG, July 20, 2017--Bay State Wind, a joint venture between DONG Energy and Eversource, reported yesterday that the U.S. Department of the Interior's Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) has approved its site assessment plan (SAP) for an offshore wind project proposed off the coast of Massachusetts near Martha's Vineyard. Bay State Wind states they are the first in the nation to receive federal approval of their site assessment plan.

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Industry News

Xcel Energy Expands Plans to Add Wind Farm Capacity to 3,380 MW

LCG, March 23, 2017--Xcel Energy yesterday announced plans to make the largest multi-state investment in wind capacity in the country. The proposed plan is expected to increase the amount of wind energy in the Xcel's energy mix by 2021, with wind fueling nearly 35 percent of its total energy mix.

Xcel's plan now includes 11 new wind farms in seven states that would add a total of 3,380 MW of installed generation capacity to its system.

The chairman, president and CEO of Xcel stated, "We're investing big in wind because of the tremendous economic value it brings to our customers. With wind energy at historic low prices, we can secure savings that will benefit customers now and for decades to come. Our plan delivers on both economic and environmental fronts, as we provide customers the cleaner, renewable resources they want, while continuing to deliver the reliable and low-cost energy they need."

Xcel is using federal production tax credits to secure low wind energy prices.

The new proposal includes a combination of Southwest wind farms owned by Xcel and power purchase agreements (PPAs) with others. Xcel submitted a proposal to add 1,230 MW of new wind energy in Texas and New Mexico, with the majority owned by the company. The wind farms are: Sagamore Wind, a 522 MW self-build project located in Roosevelt County, New Mexico developed by Invenergy; Hale Wind, a 478 MW self-build project located in Hale County, Texas, developed by a subsidiary of NextEra Energy Resources; and Bonita, a 230 MW power purchase agreement project in Cochran and Crosby Counties, Texas developed by NextEra Energy Resources.

Last week Xcel proposed to add 1,550 MW of wind generating capacity in the Upper Midwest that would add seven new wind farms in Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota and Iowa. Most of these projects will be owned by Xcel. The wind farms are: Freeborn Wind Energy, a 200 MW self-build project located in Freeborn County, Minnesota, and Worth and Mitchell Counties, Iowa developed by Invenergy; Foxtail Wind, a 150 MW self-build project located in Dickey County, North Dakota, developed by NextEra Energy Resources; Blazing Star 1, a 200 MW self-build project located in Lincoln County, Minnesota, developed by Geronimo Energy; Blazing Star 2, a 200 MW self-build project located in Lincoln County, Minnesota, developed by Geronimo Energy; Crowned Ridge Wind Project, a 300 MW build-own-transfer project (located in Codington, Deuel and Grant Counties, South Dakota) with a 300 MW power purchase agreement developed by a subsidiary of NextEra Energy Resources and Lake Benton Wind Project, a 100 MW build-own-transfer project in Pipestone County, Minnesota, developed by a subsidiary of NextEra Energy Resources; and Clean Energy 1, a 100 MW power purchase agreement project in Morton and Mercer Counties, North Dakota, developed by ALLETE Clean Energy.

In Colorado, construction is set to begin this spring on the Rush Creek Wind Farm, a 600 MW self-build project in Cheyenne, Elbert, Kit Carson and Lincoln Counties, developed by Invenergy. Last May, Xcel filed an application with the Colorado Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) for approval of this $1 billion investment, which includes installing a 90-mile, 345 kV electric transmission line.

The additional renewable energy from the wind farms will support Xcel's efforts to meet state Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS's). For example, in Colorado the renewable energy target for investor owned utilities (IOUs) is 30 percent in 2020, and in Minnesota, Xcel has a 31.5 percent target in 2020.
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