Xcel Energy files proposal for solar, storage projects to meet power needs
AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) - Xcel Energy announced it has filed proposal plans to invest in existing Texas and New Mexico power facilities to meet growing electricity needs.
The company filed proposal plans to invest about $770 million in existing power-generating facilities by extending the life of two older gas-fueled units, constructing solar generating systems and adding battery storage.
The proposal comes as Xcel seeks to meet Southwest power needs and retire power plant generators that have served customers for close to 70 years, according to a news release.
“Our power plants are operated and maintained by highly trained and dedicated employees and hosted by supportive communities that have come to depend on the economic activity these power plants generate,” said Adrian Rodriguez, Xcel Energy New Mexico and Texas president. “By reinvesting in these power plants, we are providing new opportunities for our valued workers who have served this region with reliable power for decades while realizing significant savings for our customers by repurposing existing grid connections and generating electricity from free and abundant sunshine.”
In proposals filed Wednesday with the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission and the Public Utility Commission of Texas, Xcel Energy presented its plan to extend the life of two natural gas units at its Cunningham-Maddox Generating Complex near Hobbs, New Mexico.
The plan also calls for the construction of three solar generating facilities — two at Cunningham Station and one at Plant X Generating Station near Earth, Texas. A battery system is also planned at Cunningham Station to store surplus power for grid reliability.
The upgrades and additions to the generating fleet will return $116 million in added tax revenue to their host communities and save customers $900 million to $2 billion in fuel costs over 35 years, according to a news release. Additionally, Xcel Energy will pass through the anticipated $500 million in federal solar tax credits as savings to customers over 10 years.
“Xcel Energy’s proposal to extend the life of existing gas generation as well as own and operate new solar power and battery storage technology in Lea County will bring needed additional generation capacity to our region along with new multi-year, federal tax incentive benefits to New Mexicans, locally-sourced construction jobs, increased economic activity and more than $75 million in reinvested property tax payment to the county and local school districts,” said Jennifer Grassham, president and CEO of the Economic Development Corporation of Lea County.
Xcel officials say if regulators approve the plan as filed, Xcel Energy expects to have the new and updated generating resources online by 2026 and 2027.
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