Xcel Energy in Texas Seeks up to 200 MW of New Solar Projects


It may take Texas a while to become a hotbed of residential solar (though with the sun the state gets, we think it’s just a matter of time). But larger projects seem to be picking up there.

Companies like Meridian Solar are helping the commercial solar sector expand in Texas. Plenty of other positive developments are helping scale up the residential and utility-scale sectors, too.

Now Xcel Energy’s Southwestern Public Service Company is adding to that. The Xcel subsidiary is seeking proposals for additional solar energy resources as a component of its resource planning process.

Through this solicitation, SPS is requesting proposals for up to 200 MW of solar PV generation resources. This number could go up or down depending on the quality of bids received, updates to SPS’s forecasts, regional transmission availability, and of course, changes to regulatory or legal requirements.

SPS is looking for projects that could begin delivery to SPS on or before December 31, 2016, and that would be contracted through a power purchase agreement. It’s likely no coincidence that the end of 2016 is when the Investment Tax Credit (ITC) is expected to sunset; we can expect a rush of projects to be completed by then.

Bids will be accepted until 5 p.m. CDT on October 10.

SPS serves 383,000 customers in the Panhandle and South Plains regions of Texas, and the eastern and southeastern counties of New Mexico. The company’s transmission system also extends into Oklahoma and Kansas.

Parent company Xcel has been expanding its solar assets in a number of states, such as Colorado and some midwestern areas. In a pattern that’s become typical among large utilities, though, it hasn’t been as friendly to its customers putting solar on their own roofs.