Xcel Energy plans to capitalize on what could be a buyer's market for wind energy this year.
The Minneapolis-based utility has told regulators in Minnesota, Wisconsin and the Dakotas that it will look for up to 200 megawatts of wind power by April 1. The federal tax credit for wind production has been extended to next January.
Xcel regional vice president Laura McCarten says the utility could buy a wind farm outright or just purchase power from it. But McCarten says the utility is under no obligation to buy any wind power if it doesn't find the right deal. Xcel has no need for additional wind power until 2017 at the earliest.
Xcel needs to generate 30 percent of its electricity from renewable resources by 2020.