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Xcel trying to speed schedule for looking at wind

DENVER (AP) -- Now that the federal wind production tax credit has been extended, Xcel Energy Inc. is asking Colorado regulators for permission to speed up its schedule for evaluating potential wind resources for its portfolio.

Xcel had planned to solicit bids in April from companies that could provide more wind power to the utility, but Xcel says that schedule would make it difficult for wind developers to claim the tax credit. Wind developers must start building a project before the end of the year to claim the credit.

The utility asked the Colorado Public Utilities Commission on Tuesday to let it solicit bids around March 1 instead. The commission hasn't ruled yet.

Xcel doesn't need any more wind power to meet Colorado renewable energy standards, but it might if costs are competitive.