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NM regulators give OK to wind-energy plan

AMARILLO, Texas (AP) -- New Mexico regulators have approved a utility's plan to establish wind-energy facilities across three states in a push to produce additional power but at a more affordable cost.

Xcel Energy announced Friday that the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission OK'd Xcel's plan to purchase 698 megawatts of wind energy for the Texas and New Mexico power system.

The plan was announced in July but needed approval by the New Mexico commission. The company was not required to seek approval in Texas.

Wind farms are planned for Hansford and Ochiltree counties in the Texas Panhandle; Roosevelt County in eastern New Mexico; and Dewey and Blaine counties in western Oklahoma.

Xcel says the energy will be produced at a cheaper price than the cost of power generation by older, natural gas-fueled plants.