A top Xcel Energy official said Thursday that an expiring tax credit for wind energy production won't have a major impact on the utility.
It's unclear whether Congress will move to extend the wind production tax credit into 2014. Industry representatives have said production would come to a standstill early next year without the credit, affecting hundreds of jobs.
Dave Sparby, CEO of Xcel's Minnesota operations, told MPR's The Daily Circuit that wind projects have become less expensive.
"Today with improvements in how these wind turbines are designed, the materials they're made from, the spots that they're put in, tremendous efficiencies have been gained, so even without the tax credit, I continue to see wind being a very important resource for us," he said.
Sparby noted this isn't the first time Congress has debated whether to extend the tax credit.
Xcel started construction this year on wind projects in Minnesota and North Dakota, which do qualify for the tax credit. The projects will supply enough electricity to serve about 200,000 homes and represent a more than 40 percent boost in Xcel's wind capacity for the Upper Midwest.