A judge is weighing plans for four major new power lines in Minnesota.
The lines would bring electricity to the Twin Cities and Wisconsin, from coal plants in South and North Dakota, and potentially from wind farms in southwestern Minnesota.
Some environmental groups say the project's proposers should commit to giving priority to wind-generated electricity.
Xcel Energy's Jim Alders said that would limit the utility's options.
"By establishing this condition you in essence are reducing the developers that we can work with to arrange a power purchase, so they have less incentive than they otherwise would to be competitive. So our customers are, in the long run, going to pay more than they otherwise would with these kind of conditions," Alders said.
The line that offers the most potential for wind would run from Brookings, South Dakota, to the Twin Cities.
Other lines would run from Fargo, N.D. to Monticello, from Bemidji to Grand Rapids, and from the Twin Cities to La Crosse, Wis.
The public comment period on whether the lines are needed ends on September 26.