Renewables, Wind

Xcel transmission debate

5 May 2010– Xcel Energy says it might have to reduce the amount of solar power it buys in Colorado over the next few years because a hedge fund manager does not want a transmission line built over land he owns.

The utility, along with project partner Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association, requested May 4 to cancel a hearing on the proposed power line. The utility said it wants to amend the plan it filed with the state to meet a renewable standard. The Denver Business Journal reported the story.

Xcel and Tri-State are working on a 140-mile, $180 million transmission line in south-central Colorado to transmit power generated from planned solar developments in parts of Colorado and New Mexico. Solar project developers say they are unable to obtain financing because of uncertainty over the transmission line.

As a result, Xcel Energy said it wants to amend its 2007 plan that committed the utility to adding 700 MW of wind and solar energy and up to 600 MW of concentrated solar power. A state administrative law judge was expected to decide whether to cancel the hearing or not.

State mandates require utilities to generate 30 percent of their electricity from renewable resources.

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