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Xcel looking to add 550MW of wind power

DENVER (AP) -- Xcel Energy Inc. is looking to add about 550 megawatts of wind power to its system in Colorado by 2016, which would boost its wind power by about 25 percent to more than 2,700 megawatts.

The utility issued a request for proposals for wind in March after a federal tax credit for developers of new wind projects was extended.

Xcel doesn't need to add more wind power to meet Colorado's renewable energy standards, but utility officials said Thursday that it's economically beneficial to add wind power now at current prices.

The Colorado Public Utilities Commission must approve the wind projects, but Xcel says it expects to begin negotiating power purchase agreements with selected bidders in June, with final commission approval likely to come sometime in October.