By Denver Business Journal

Colorado led the nation in the amount of new wind energy installed during the third quarter, according to a report released Tuesday by the American Wind Energy Association.

The association, based in Washington, D.C., said 1,204 megawatts of wind power were installed in the third quarter, nearly 80 percent more than the 671 megawatts installed during the third quarter 2010.

Through the first three quarters of 2011, about 3,360 megawatts of wind power have been installed, up 75 percent over the first nine months of 2010, according to the report.

One megawatt of wind-based power can support about 250 homes.

Colorado installed 501 megawatts worth of wind power during the third quarter, the most in the nation. Colorado as followed by Minnesota with 103 megawatts, Oklahoma with 130 megawatts and West Virginia with 98 megawatts. Texas was fifth, with 88 megawatts installed during the third quarter, according to the report.

Xcel Energy Inc. (NYSE: XEL), the largest electricity and natural gas utility in Colorado, also projects that a proposed 200-megawatt wind farm in Limon will save its customers nearly $278 million in electricity bills over 25 years, compared to forecast electricity prices using natural gas, according to the report.

The savings are due to low wind-energy prices that incorporate federal tax credits, according to the report.

> Click here for the American Wind Energy Associationâ¿¿s third quarter market report.

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