PUC rejects solar plan for Xcel
Dec 19, 2012 (Menafn - The Pueblo Chieftain - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --State regulators declined to impose a 100megawatt target on Xcel Energy for certain types of renewable energy generation during deliberations Tuesday in Denver.
Terry Bote, a spokesman for the Colorado Public Utilities Commission, said the commissioners reasoned that in the absence of specific bids with costs and benefits there was no basis to require a carve-out, a setaside for certain types of renewable energy.
Xcel Energy, the sole buyer of power from the San Luis Valley's four existing solar plants, is required to file with the commission every four years, laying out its plans to acquire power generation.
In the current plan the utility said it didn't intend to acquire power from any more large-scale solar plants through 2018.
SolarReserve, a California company that has been approved by Saguache County to build a pair of 100-megawatt solar plants on 4,000 acres, had called for the 100-megawatt carve-out, among other adjustments in Xcel's plans.
But Tuesday's ruling does not preclude Xcel from considering largescale proposals when it calls for bid proposals. Moreover, the utilities commission will also have a role in reviewing any such proposals.
The company declined to comment on the details of the verbal ruling Tuesday pending a written decision from the utilities commission, which is due out in January. Adam Green, a senior development manager for SolarReserve, said the company still would pursue buyers for the plant's power. "This is an important project for the San Luis Valley and a valuable opportunity for them," he said.
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