Xcel Energy opens tender for 200 MW of projects in Texas

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The growth of utility scale solar in Texas continues with Xcell Energy’s SPS tendering for another significant amount of utility scale solar.

SPS serves 383,000 customers in the Panhandle and South Plains regions of Texas, in the states central north and southwest. It is also active in the eastern and southeastern counties of New Mexico and has transmission lines into Oklahoma and Kansas.

The projects under tender would operate under a PPA with Xcel’s SPS.

The tender announced yesterday comes in a big month for solar in Texas. On September 2, Austin Council passed a motion requiring Austin Energy to source 60% of its electricity from renewable sources over the next ten years. That could mean an extra 600 MW of solar capacity by 2017 and mandates 200 MW to be in rooftop distributed generation.

Solar clearly stands to benefit from these initiatives in Texas and is on the right side of the cost curve in the sunny state. Austin Energy recently signed a PPA for utility scale solar at US$0.05/kWh.

Bids for the 200 MW Xcel SPS tender will be accepted until 5pm local time, October 10.

Excel Energy has or is developing hundreds of MW of PV capacity in Colorado and New Mexico. The Minnesota based utility hasn’t always been in favor with the solar industry and was involved in plans to wind back net metering.